Preparing for Departure

By Hannah Black

In Bali, like every other holiday destination in the world, the majority of residents have to work. Of course there are the retired and the disgustingly rich, but I’d say 99 percent of the population have to bring some money in to live, me included.

I’ve been working at a school for the past year and have really enjoyed it, but with plans to go to the UK for a year I have had to resign.

I now have a full month to pretend I am a lady of leisure before I have to start looking for a job again in the Isle of Man.

Thinking of all the sitting on the beach reading books, swimming, lunching and other holiday-type stuff I want to do is really exciting.

However, when it actually comes down to it, I’m not very good at it. In fact I’m terrible at relaxing and find it really hard to stay sane if I don’t have anything on my plate.

I started my holiday with a list of things to do and buy. I took my daughter Lola to Denpasar to get some cool weather supplies. She has no shoes to keep her toes from getting frostbitten and my little family owns about a pair and a half of socks between the three of us.

A few little shops and a trip to the dreaded Matahari department store finished us off and we headed home with socks, some fridge magnets and a squidgy yo-yo thing, but no shoes.

I realised giving a two-year-old any kind of choices is very silly idea, so I have asked my aunt who’s coming in two weeks to bring something pink or purple in the right size.

A nap when I got home was my nod to summer holidays.

My second day of holidays was Sunday and I turned into the whirling dervish of cleaning as I do every “day of rest.” We’ve been thinking about renting our house out while we’re away and all the little things have been a bit neglected while I’ve been working – so I got a toothbrush out and got to it.

I was a bit hesitant to ask my husband and his family about renting the house out, but once I did broach the subject I saw them breathe a sigh of relief. My sister-in-law Kadek is pretty much solely in charge of upkeep of the compound and definitely doesn’t need another house to take care of.

She and the kids are also terrified of all the nasty things that they fear are hiding away in the darkness behind the house, so none of them really like sleeping here, which someone has to do because they fear an empty house even more.

The OK from the family gave me another mission to find someone intrepid enough to step into a Balinese compound and make it home for a year.

I suppose all the busyness is partly down to trying to ignore the fact that after almost six weeks we’re still waiting for my husband’s visa. Everything is hanging in the balance, but if I just sit and wait for it I’ll go mad.

I have promised myself that I’m going to do some lounging on the beach today, though. It’s time to get some sun as I’m office-imposed white at the moment and don’t want to deal with all the “You don’t look like you live in Bali” comments when I get back to the Isle of Man.

I do like to point out that if I went in the sun every day I would look like a crocodile-skin handbag, but it’s nice to have a slight tropical glow to show off.

I know I’ll be in the land of two pairs of socks and flannel pyjamas soon, so I guess it’s about time I went out and did some lounging in the sun, took advantage of cheap beer, spa treatments and outdoor life.

Perhaps I’ll go the whole hog, buy myself a Bintang vest and some board shorts and get my hair braided too. Or not.

Filed under: My Compound Life

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