A Little Taste Of Asia

Why is it I’m always suffering from writers block, after experiencing too much beautiful sights in a week? Bali was absolutely amazing, there is so much to say, but where to begin?

“Now everyone can fly” 

We headed out late in the morning. We called for a cab which took us to the airport. There we checked in our luggage and went through the motions. For the first time I wasn’t randomly selected for a body scan (Emma was though, she must look like a terrorist too). It was the first time flying with Air Asia, and being spoiled on the long intercontinental flights, the leg room was shockingly scarce.
Thankfully the flight was short, and mainly uneventful. There was one neurotic guy, mid twenties, who left his bag under one seat then switched seats and kept pacing up and down the airplane, mumbling they were throwing him out because there was a gap underneath the cockpit door. I guess he felt really responsible for that. After landing, or in the case of Captain Crash-a-lot and his cronies, let’s just say we touched down, he was ushered of the plane by two big Balinese security guys.
Neither of us was very impressed with Air Asia, and after one weird take off, the guy turned onto the runway while throttling up as if he was cornering his tricked out Honda, and two artistic interpretations of a subtle landing, I’m convinced Air Asia’s slogan “Now everyone can fly” refers to the pilots, not the customers.

Miss Emma still asleep

My first time to Bali, or Indonesia for that matter, was met with expectations of lots of mozzies and oppressive heat. But looking back there were hardly any mozzies, and the heat wasn’t that bad either. Maybe I’m already getting used to the warmer weather on this side of the planet?
Our accommodation was simply marvellous, a little private pool, occasionally showered with frangipanis from the tree next to it, air-conditioned room, room service, shuttle services, and above all super friendly staff.
We went to a few spas but my favorite one was where I had a two-hour massage and Emma had a pedicure. Since my massage lasted longer than her treatment, and she was all relaxed, she fell asleep waiting for me. The staff just let her nap in the lush chair where she had her treatment. I came out all relaxed, and when the ladies at reception noticed I was looking around for my fiancée, they informed me, giggling, that “Miss Emma still asleep“.

It was the start of the rainy season, but we were lucky. It only rained late in the arvo, and on Saturday it hardly rained at all. Which was convenient, because we were doing the tourist thing on that day, following a steady stream of tour buses and taxis to various tourist traps locations. It’s kind of mandatory, and we enjoyed most of it, but next time we’re doing the eco tour instead. (Head over to my Flickr page if you want to see some pictures from Bali).

…just say G’day…

We returned to Australia on Sunday. There I was granted magical access to the line for Australian citizens, instead of the long wait for foreigners. The lady working at the airport, winking us into the short queue, told me to just say G’day when getting to the passport control. One more advantage to having a beautiful Australian fiancée I guess. For those curious, I followed the instructions given to me, and dutifully said G’day upon walking up to the counter. We swiftly went through quarantine, and found ourselves outside and on our way home.

Waiting for us in the mailbox where two small pieces of paper saying we had to collect a parcel from the post office, and equally joyful, my crisp new debit card for my Australian bank account! Now I just need some money in there to use it.

That reminds me, I sold the house! On the condition the new buyer can get financing, but I foresee no problems there. Apparently he works for city hall, and public jobs, in The Netherlands at least, are very secure, so the bank should love it. I guess you could say there is some money on the way to go with my new card.

I may look like a young Santa…

The boxes were less of a surprise, I sent them to myself before leaving The Hague. But it was nice to unpack them, at least now all my camera gear (except macro lights and some other rarely used stuff) is here and I can get going again with the picture-taking. There was a little surprise at the postoffice though, a third package, containing Christmas gifts from my mum in France. It got me and Emma in the mood for Christmas! Something normally strong on my mind as the days shorten, but since it’s getting warmer and warmer everyday, I’m suffering from Christmas jet lag. My brain still has a little short-circuit when wandering around the Christmas section in a store, and running into a stand for pool noodles when turning the corner.
Not to be deterred by this, we still wrapped all our presents and send one of the boxes back to my sis. The girl at the post office thought it was funny I made out the return address to Santa, prompting her to ask me if that really was my name. I may look like a young Santa, but I assure you I’m not. We all know I don’t really like lists.

…start finding my groove

The adaptation process is going well. Now that I’m not going abroad for the foreseeable future, I can really start finding my groove. Zoey arriving in about 10 days will have a big part in that. She is actually flying to Melbourne as I write this. Just under 6 hours left to go before she touches down, hopefully with a softer touch than Air Asia pilots search for the tarmac with their planes.

After proofreading this blog, I might have to consider retracting the opening statement, but I can’t think of a new one so I’ll leave it up. Call it a little convulsion of my earlier writer’s block.

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