Sharing a Temple Dinner

Lombok Travel Blog

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Well, where do I begin...

I guess it all started at 6 weeks old when Lori, my sister, found I cried to much and proceeded to pull me out of my crib onto the floor...  It was all down hill after that, LITERALLY.

Then according to my Dad, I became an accident looking for a place to happen but if you ask me, as the 4th child in 5 years, I think I already was an accident but I pretend I don't know for my Moms' sake.

After that incident with my sister, there began a long series of little mishaps, like I fell over the 2nd story balcony at 2 years old, got a terrible pneumonia and was rushed through the red lights as my Dad drove to the Children's Hospital (I asked him on the way up, how the traffic lights changed from green to yellow to red and he told me there was a little man inside each one who had the job of changing the lights (after that, I always would look conspicuously at small people, sure they held that very important job).

Then I came close to drowning at 10 years old in the ocean in New Jersey (thank God for the surfer hit me in the head and rescued me to safety, (so you see that was a from lemons to lemonade story depending on how you look at it.) 

The list goes on... I slit open my wrist at 14 years old on a pyrex glass measuring cup while making pastry, became grounded between an antique lamp with a metal base and the metal handle on my fridge feeling the electricity circulating up one arm, past my heart and out the other arm (I guess that accounts for why I have so much heart!) a completely collapsed and suppressed lung at  30 years old, and then last June in St. Lucia, slipped on the stairs and twisted my ankle.

Well last night, after I finished my entry, yes, I did it again, same ankle only this time the crack was louder and it pooffed up within seconds.  

Now being such a shy and timid woman, I shrieked in pain and had 5 little Indonesians trying to carry me to my room and of course now that I am so big that I look pregnant according to the airport man, (pregnant... I guess his wife hasn't been blessed with the Menopause look) they were having a hell of a time lifting me.  So girls, for all those movies we watch where the strong, handsome, beefcake rushes to your rescue, whips you up as if you have been drinking slimfast your whole life  Well I don't want to burst your bubble girls but...

Not in Gail's world!  No, I get 5 miniature Indonesian's rushing to rescue me. "Gel, Gel, You good, yes?  No probem, yes?"  
O.k. is it me or is it hard to know when Indonesians are asking a question or making a statement.   I guess I would have been able to write my Eat Pray Love at Tugu, Bali book too and have a major motion picture made of my life had that happened but I can hardly see Julia Roberts wanting to star as me with 5 mini-Indonesians saving me.

I mean don't get me wrong, they did call for Riadi to come quickly to my room where he proceeded to massage my ankle for a full hour alternating with Dewi who put ice packs but no one asked me to marry them and live happily ever after.  Instead, I started sneezing and blowing my nose cause believe it or not, I also came down with a cold!!!!!!

Not to mention, I had to cancel my flight to Bali until late tomorrow after noon, so I lose out on getting the full grasp of Bali.  

Hey, Mother never said I'd become a movie star or live the life of the rich and famous but all in all, I can't complain.  It has been an eventful, colorful life. And who is kidding who, I am the Artist who created this Masterpiece on that blank canvas called my life.

But I have no doubt, that when I am old and grey (with a long silvery bun tied at the nape of my neck of course) and I am sitting in my old peoples' home waiting for my two sons to visit me to change my diaper and clean my dentures... I will look back on my life and smile warmly with a treasure box full of memories that will warm my heart and bring a smile to my lips.  

Hey, sometimes you really do have to make the lemonade and share a story with a friend.
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Good Morning Everyone

We have now safely landed in Lombok, local time is 6:13 a.m.  I ask you to remain seated (while I share the next passage in my journey) and we have safely made a complete stop.

So sorry for a few errors in my grammar last night but after the long day and exhaustion, I unfortunately didn't proof read.

So my departure from Malang was a feeling of leaving home.  I had become so bonded with the staff that I felt like I was saying bye to my friends.  But my car was waiting to take me to the airport and all good things must come to an end, so I asked "Iwan, (receptionist) how far to the airport?"  Iwan quickly replied with such politeness, "Not far Miss Hibou, really vry fast, yes?"  (Mamma-cita, quick translation, an Indonesian form of high respect and honor... and I thought it was cause they thought I looked like an owl cause I am curious and always looking around!)  "Oh good then, perfect."  Although, I must admit, this does leave me slightly confused to be leaving so early if it is not far and vry fast.

So I embark to be transported to the airport.  And so begins this most amazing form of driving that makes you feel like you are participating in the amazing race.  

The driver has to pick up other passengers, not at hotels but locals who live in the neighborhood.  The skill of Indonesian drivers is something to leave us shameful of our outrageous driving skills, with our traffic signals on every corner, signs everywhere to direct us with names of streets and cities, and modern day routes, laws of speaking on our cell while driving, I cannot help but wonder how can it be that we are having sooo many accidents with less than half the cars on the road, none of these scooters and motorbikes that crisscross in and out of traffic, no policing, and they are extremely aggressive drivers and drive wayyy over the speed limit and u-turns are legal, yet I did not see one single road accident.  I did see one ambulance and was laughing when I saw on the side written "AMBULANCE-Cabang".  I thought it was referring to Cabang as far as Cabang-accident, but no Cabang is the city.

So, my short ride to the airport is not short at all, no even with all the driving skills and speed, it still takes 4 hours to get to the airport.  No problem I think, the flight is only 45 minutes, I will be at my hotel in no time, right?  

So, I skillfully manuveur through the over crowded airport with my suitcases that is just proving to be nothing more than a ball and chain attatched to my ankle.  Ning Ning's brother picked us up the morning we arrived in Malang from our 10 hour bus trip (that cost the exact same price as my flight, I might add) and as he was putting my bag in his car, he asked Ning Ning, "What does she have in her bag, Rocks?"  I brought 3 hard cover books to read during this trip, which I have managed to finish two but never the less, it is such a burden to pull this bag all over.  O.K., I confess, I also brought 6 pairs of shoes. What can I say, I love shoes but in a country that either wears flip flops or nothing, not very practical.  

I get my boarding pass and get ready to board but that ends up being an extra two and a half hours before I find myself in line preparing to board the plane when the man who takes my ticket, taps my tummy and proudly exclaims, "Oh Mrs,... Baby?"  

Oh my God, he thinks I am pregnant!!!!!!!!!  Are you kidding me, Are You KIDDING ME???? I know travel makes me swollen and bloated but PREGNANT, are you serious, PREGNANT?" That is it, I am joining the gym, a runners club, yoga... you name it.  In all my 46 years I have never heard a comment like that, not even when I was 5 months pregnant!  But I must admit, the face on the guy, when he realized his error, was priceless!  

I was still in hysterics as I was walking toward the plane, still reflecting on what had just happened UNTIL the wind picked up and lifted the light material of my little summer dress and to my horror offered a, "A La Marilyn Monroe show" and now I have just flashed the whole Muslim community my swollen tummy and white skinned butt.  As I juggle my passport and carry-on, I scramble to get a hold of the material of my dress when I catch the eye of a huge Muslim Momma who is killing herself laughing and we both are now making sign language, communicating the hysterics of what just happened.

It is at this moment that I am acutely aware that Muslim Momma and I have bridged a gap in this world of borders in a moment that needed no language to explain the embaressment of my predicament.  

When I was waiting for my luggage, Muslim Momma came to say good bye to me as if we were old friends.  She made a gesture of my dress raising in the air and shyly with her hand covering her mouth, laughed again.  

These are the moments that I know that only in Gail's world would this have become a moment to reflect on the revelation that no matter how much distance separates us geographically, no matter how many borders, diversities, languages, cultures, race, religion, in a moment, we can see we are all connected and can find a way to communicate.

There is no right or wrong, good or bad, just experiences, life experiences that offer each of us the opportunity to evolve and grow.  And if we open our heart, these experiences become opportunities.  We will see the good that each moment can offer, freeing our mind from a world of judgement and demands of perfection to a world of acceptance.  

Through-out time, we can see it is when we stay trapped in our dogma that we suffer and this suffering stagnates our creative energy flow.  We become paralyzed and everything becomes a burden.  

Once there is a paradigm shift that takes place, in the moment when we can see that the true definition of hell is the one we create in our mind through our sense of knowing and rightous behavior.  The one thing I am sure of in my life today, is the fact that I know nothing and the only guaranty in life is change.  

So today I am learning to let go, accept the fact that I am human and we all fall short of the grace of God.  How liberating to know that everything is perfect, just the way it is...

photo by: inikeke