Don’t Drop ‘Til You Get Enough

After a crazy week leading up to a doubly mad weekend, I’m more worn out than I have been since my days of Thursday to Monday university benders.

Obviously there was very little debauchery involved in last weekend’s party binge (I wouldn’t be writing about it in the newspaper if there had been), but it was excellent in a responsible-adult kind of way.

The weekend kicked off with a high school Valentine’s dance, which had been organized by the students at the school where I teach.

It was held in the school hall, which was hot, sweaty and swimming in high school hormones, but it really was fun and a great, new experience for the kids.

High school dances in the US and discos in the UK are, in hindsight, incredibly lame, but now I realize how very privileged we were to have social events run by the school.

The students here rarely get a chance to dress up, let loose a little and see their friends and teachers in a non-classroom environment.

It was also a very freestyle event, unlike most here in Bali, which are scheduled to fill each seemingly endless minute. There was no sitting listening to painfully long-winded, pointless speeches, and certainly no tables set up with painfully sweet tea and rubbery cakes that no one has any intention of touching.

So after the triumph of Friday night, we moved straight on to preparation for my daughter Lola’s second birthday bash on Saturday afternoon.

With a seriously daunting amount of children invited (invite one cousin and the other 10 have to come too), I was what some might term “demented” from the moment I woke up.

Luckily, my most amazing sister-in-law in the whole world, Kadek, offered to make food for all the kids, and I made Western snacks to feed all my friends.

With Rp200,000 (US$21.40), Kadek managed to make 50 fabulously tasty boxed meals and still have leftovers to feed the family on Sunday as well.

I wonder sometimes where I’m going wrong. Dijon, Bali Deli and The Pantry, I suspect.

With a garden full of kids half an hour before the party was due to start, everything seemed to be far too easy. They were playing nicely, no one was crying and there had been no blood spilled.

To my amazement it stayed that way for two hours. They ate; they played; and when they started to lag, we presented the atomic pink and green cake, complete with dolls, plastic playhouse and random bits of pink plastic decoration and Styrofoam glued with something most likely toxic.

The kids squished in, sang Happy Birthday followed by Panging Umurnya and waited in an orderly fashion for their slice.

It all seemed far too civilized, but still, as the kids began to drift off with their sugar-filled gift bags, all was unsettlingly calm.

My husband Ongky’s drinking buddies moved in to devour the rest of the cake and all the leftover punch and beer, and ash their cigarettes in every available receptacle.

It’s always a pleasure to clear up after that in the morning.

Although I wished we could have called it quits and spent the whole of Sunday laying around in our pyjamas, a friend decided, very much spur of the moment, to get married on Valentines Day.

I love her dearly and wouldn’t have missed her big day for anything. So with much more effort than it took on Friday night, I made myself presentable and headed down to Legian.

Pretty much all my friends had been having the same weekend, or a version of it, and there were a lot of very hot and tired-looking people to look hot and tired with.

However, it was a lovely party and a very special day (Congratulations, Amy and Puput!).

Back at home on a quiet Sunday evening, I can look back over a very special but very un-Balinese weekend.

My in-laws are awestruck with the amount of partying that we’ve done, and are happy to have their Lola back at home, safe in the compound.

I wish I could have another day off before work again in the morning, but alas, relaxation will have to be put on hold for another week.

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My Compound Life

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