Sitting in a cafe in central Ubud in the pouring rain …
Wondering how the hell I’m going to get home! Seem to do a lot of that here?
Thunder is roaring, lightning is cracking – the sky is angry today!
There are half a dozen staff running around rearranging furniture and moving patrons to dryer pastures. Actually let me rephrase that, they’re not running around, maybe just walking a little faster than normal – Balinese don’t run, even when their restaurant is flooding, the roofs leaking, and there’s water pouring in from all nooks and crannies! Nobody seems at all stressed, they just get to it and do what needs to be done. One is wiping down all the tables, one has a really big squidgy thing to sweep out the water, and then there’s another one following along with a big wooden pole with a piece of cloth on it to dry it all off. There is a leak that’s running straight into a light fitting, just above my head – that’s still on! So… after a few minutes of contemplation and head scratching, Kutut (the manager) seems to have a creative solution, don’t turn off the lights, just put a piece of cardboard over the light with a rock on top, works fine… the water runs off rather than into the fitting … and we remain in light! Brilliant!
With a final crack of thunder the rain stops, as violently as it started and life goes back to normal in Tutmuk.
When it rains here it’s really does a good job, thank god for the beautiful rain poncho’s that seem to be a staple seat filler in the scooters. Actually one tip for fellow travellers is, when you’re riding along, looking at the ominous clouds ahead (usually over Ubud!) and you see all the locals stopping along the side of the road, seats up, fossicking around in the storage area of their scooter. and putting on their ponchos, time to do the same! A ’follow the mob’ moment!
You learn to really appreciate these very obvious signs…
Which leads me to…
… after a restless night sleep, tummy gurgling and churning. Maybe a few too many g&t’s the night before, or maybe a dodgy prawn? Doesn’t much matter but it’s that restless night that gives you a clear sign of a rough day ahead –
(it wouldn’t be a true bali blog without the toilet talk would it!)
Yes, I had a dodgy day yesterday, got the squirts – the emergency type! the run to the toilet, in the middle of a conversation, holding your backside and clenching the bottom cheeks type of run! Why is it that it always seems to be that very day you decide to wear the pants with the trickiest zip, so you’ve got the hot and cold sweats, jumping around in the cubical, fumbling with your ‘tricky’ zip, then you thank the lord when you find that toilet seat only to find that there’s no toilet paper in this restaurant! This is where you really hope that they have one of those squirty hose thingy’s.
So, thank god it was Min that I was talking to, my new friend who saw the fear in my face and knew exactly what was happening. So it was no surprise that I left – mid sentence – and made the inconspicuous (hardly) bolt for the ladies. It has always cracked me up how travel opens you up to all sorts of very personal conversations with newfound friends. Conversations that are well left alone at home.
So, we took a window of opportunity to scoot home and stayed put for the rest of the day/eve. Thought an early night would be good only to be woken by Miss Neni at 1.30am who also had the squirts. Bless her little heart she was so distressed because she’d pooed in her nappy. To her credit she had a few repeats but got to the toilet each time. So a few hours of distress for the poor little poppet – then finally to sleep with her mummy only to wake to another pooey nappy. Then, as they say it comes in 3’s …. Jed got the fast poo’s too!
While we’ve been here Deni has managed to toilet train herself. We don’t have a potty, or a toilet seat, or any of the mod cons to aide in her training, she has just learnt to pop herself up on the toilet and do her business. Another learning that will be different for her is that we don’t use toilet paper here – eeewwww I hear you say – but when you’re renting a property, and the toilet blocks, let’s just say you don’t want to take that risk, so you change all your habits that you have learnt for the past 40 years, and learn to use the ‘hose thingy’. So our little Miss Deni knows nothing else, that’s standard, and she gets quite put out when we’re at a fancy joint, with fancy toilets (built for the comfort of westerners) and there’s no hose. ‘ohh but mummy, my can’t wash my bum bum!’ she exclaimed to me with absolute disgust! It’s all these little things that make travelling with children so rich and rewarding. Their learning quickly turns into yours, and you start seeing it through their eyes, very simple, very matter-of-fact, and very in the moment!