Just got back from spending a week in Bali. It was nice. Because I have been to Bali so many times before, I actually couldn’t be bothered to do anything vaguely cultural or adventurous, so I just spent the whole week eating delicious food, drinking coffees and green juices, lounging around by swimming pools, reading, napping, getting massages and other unnecessary beauty treatments like cream baths and mani/pedis, walking around a bit to shops and to the beach when I could stand the heat… and that’s about it. Really. That’s pretty much all I did. My little sister came over from Jakarta, where she is living a very suburban existence studying out in Depok, very different to my expat life in central Jakarta (i.e. she lives in an all-female kost that has a 10pm curfew and no hot water), and she lapped up a week of hot showers, cocktails and all the ‘Australianess’ that pervades Bali (i.e. yoga classes, hip boutiques and yuppie cafes–obviously we steered clear of the Australianess that can be found in Kuta/Legian), so it was also nice to hang out with her. Once she went back to Jakarta though I lapped up all the warung food that I desperately miss but that she was not so interested in!
(Many Indonesians were confused about the age gap between us, because they could tell we are related but weren’t sure how. Some thought I was my sister’s mother, which made me feel pretty old! I tried not to take it to heart, since when I first moved to Indonesia some people would ask me if I was in high school and other people would ask me how many children I had… one man asked me once whether I was 30 or 40… I was 23!)
The one big thing that I did do besides lounge around was attend the wedding of my friends Ange and Martin. It was a beautiful day, and a real joy to attend. They are such a lovely couple, and Ange has been such a good friend over the years, always a source of guru-like wisdom during my time in Jakarta, always at the ready for a cocktail and a robust conversation, never one to shy away from an argument. She’s someone whose tenacity to succeed as a journalist, to chase important stories and to really understand Indonesia I have always admired. I not only got the joy of seeing Ange and Martin tie the knot (at the gorgeous Villa Batujimbar in Sanur, which has hosted an array of celebrities over the years), it was also an opportunity to catch up with some old friends from Jakarta, who are all doing very interesting things. So that was a rather special day.
My fatigue held up OK, largely thanks to a schedule of naps and ‘naps under the guise of doing something else’ (i.e. massage naps, floating in pool naps). I had to drink a lot of pocari sweat and coconut water to avoid feeling too dizzy and I definitely couldn’t stay out in the heat for long, but that was fine. The flights were pretty tiring, especially the overnight flight back I had with a long stopover in Melbourne–still recovering from that one two days later, my body did not appreciate sleeping on the airport floor (when I was backpacking in Europe I used to book flights so I could sleep at the airport and save money on accommodation! Not so anymore!). But I wore compression tights and made efforts to stay really hydrated during the flights, which I think helped reduce my problems like leg pain and the orthostatic intolerance. I had major jelly legs when I got off the planes, but it was OK after a bit and thankfully I got through immigration very quickly on both ends of the flight. It is a bit of a relief to know that I can fly without major problems–I was kind of anxious about how the flights would go, but it was better than I expected, so phew!
So it was a nice holiday. I think it gave me some things that I really needed after a rocky few months. While I don’t perhaps feel physically refreshed by it, it was a good chance to clear my head. And I think things are slowly improving with my sickness thankfully, I definitely don’t feel as rotten as I did earlier this year, and am having fewer episodes of absolutely crushing fatigue, so hopefully the next trip I can take overseas will be a bit less lazy and a bit more adventurous!