Feeling strangely liberated with no children, he looks to me and says “come on chicky babe, time for us to get 2 wheels beneath us”………………………..
He’s back a few minutes later and says “are you ready to feel the powerful throbbing of transport between your legs” tosses me a crash hat and grabs my hand to the car park.
There it is, the epitome of manly power………… a shiny …………..110cc mo ped!
Hat’s donned, we leap on and he powers up the street, cracking nearly 15kms per hour we are zooming along, the afterthought of wind blows through our hair. We don’t care, we are free!
A couple of middle aged feral hippies on the loose in Bali again – look out!
We wind our way through the streets on Bali and back out into the familiar areas of Kerobokan (where we used to live) the traffic thins out and we get up a head of steam, I call to Daryll “how fast baby?” He looks and says “nearly 40kph, we’re on fire now!”
A strange feeling washes over me as we pass rice paddies, beaches and stone masons, I am home again!
It is unexpected, I had become used to the feeling of being a visitor here, we stop for lunch and a tourist walks up to me and smiles and asks “how long have you lived here for?”
An energy has changed and something I am exuding is different. A feeling of delight and love for the children washes over me, I feel like laughing again and I think of the time when Daryll has asked me “where did the young girl with flowers in her hair I loved go to?” She’s back, I can feel it!
Already we’re talking about how things can change, how our seriousness can go AWOL again, how life can be a delight again.
We find an internet café and upload the latest blogs and images and finally return to the kids clubs, they have had a ball, surrounded by friends they want to stay but look at their parents striding in, swinging helmets from their arms, their faces light up “did you get bikes?” they ask.
“Oh, yes”, we say, sure it may be a 110cc mo-ped, doesn’t matter, we don’t care, somehow youth has been reclaimed and the kids can see it, “see ya” they call to the kids.
We’re off, only 3 helmets, so Daryll takes Emma and I on the bike up to a restaurant, lost several times it is beginning to get dark by the time we arrive, he sets off back to get Gabe.
She makes new friends and they play on the grass whilst I meditate and feel especially grateful for this truly special day.
It is nearly 2 hours before Daryll & Gabe arrive looking a little flustered.
I decide I will take a taxi home, so he doesn’t have to do the trip again (I didn’t get an international license this time, thinking we’d hire a jeep and can’t be bothered with the 4 hours it takes to get a Balinese one here), however as we are leaving we see a family of 5 heading home on their mo-ped. We shrug and say “OK, lets give it a try then”.
The roads are calmer now it is late and the 4 of us fit on quite well, we zoom along in the cooler night air, the kids delighting at their sense of freedom, parents escalated noticeably in the ‘cooler’ stakes.
I share with Daryll how strange he won’t hire a car for safety reasons but will toss his entire family on a motorbike, he shrugs and says, it’s safer this way hon………. and although I can’t explain it, I agree with him.
Ah, yes, the old Bali still exists for us here, tourists hang out at sports bars, offerings are strewn about and trodden on, hawkers beg you to buy jewellery and DVD’s, but they don’t ask us, they just nod and smile……………….
Arriving back at the hotel, our friend has dropped off another helmet for us, it is strangely reminiscent of a world war 1 motorbike crash helmet – I think I have seen something similar resting on my fathers head in aging black and white photographs when he used to race bikes.
We’re set, look out Bali, the Mitchell’s are back………….. with kids!