Wednesday, September 22, 2010

From Losmen to luxury

The first week we are back in Bali feels strange. We are a little disoriented, no one seems to be that nice to us and our favourite restaurants are closed.

We settle in and soon find new favourites, however, the magic of the past seems removed.

Having lived in Melbourne and China for the last 12 years, these 2 places feel more like home than Bali now, never mind, even if this is the last time here, we are determined to relax and allow the experience be unique, rather than clinging to the ideals of the past. We are sure there are still many spiritual and personal experiences that may unfold for us and if not, perhaps we will have a pleasant relaxing time.

After our trip to the Orphanage, doors began to open. It is interesting how once you release you our needs and focus on those of others, energetic doors open to you. Whilst you don’t do things for reward, it is so wonderful how once you align yourself with the energies of the universe, all endeavours are supported.
Holiday Inn Baruna in Tuban Bali

We met the most wonderful people, spoke with shamans, stayed in exquisitely beautiful places and dined like royalty.

Chatting Daryll and I shared that whilst we liked it here, it didn’t have the pull to stay on as had previously happened.

We were determined to share the experience with the children of the ‘real’ Bali as we used to live.
I laid down the law, no computers, no play stations, no kids clubs, no separations, we were a family and in this together to share this amazing experience.

So here we were 2 weeks later, adults exhausted, kids bored, eldest desperate for any form of electronics – basically miserable.

Holiday Inn kids room
Gabe hadn’t coped too well with the required endless meeting and chatting with people. Whilst little chatterbox Emma found this form of socializing right up her alley, Gabe found it confronting and uncomfortable. He missed his programming and designing and the outlets that allowed his mind to flow.

Realising I was in fact clinging to an outdated experience, I decided to relax and let it be what it would.

We discussed what it is that makes people happy is generally their freedom and like the story in of “which part of the elephant do you hold?” how peoples experiences can be different even when in the same location.

I realized I was forcing the kids to have MY Bali experience, instead of allowing it to be their own.

Holiday inn kids whale chair
We decided we needed to check into a hotel that gave everyone the opportunity to embrace what ‘their’ idea of a holiday was.

Knowing the Holiday Inn had kids rooms, we tried to book in there, sadly all full, we even called the hotel directly “sorry, all rooms full”

I sat up until 4am surfing sites for vacancies here or anywhere else that had kids clubs – nothing!

Ah, well, time to hand it over then, I strolled into the quiet, yet warm evening/early morning air with the frogs and geckos beckoning, it was a beautiful typical warm evening.
I communed with nature and connected with ‘the spirit of Bali’. When we used to bring groups here, we often shared with them how import it was to ‘introduce’ themselves to the country they were visiting, share their reasons for being here and silently pay respects as a guest. We found so many times when people did this, everything in their experience began to flow and doors were opened for a truly special experience.

I realized I had forgotten this and spent some time, silently introducing our family and making energetic offerings.

The next morning at breakfast, Gabe shouts out excitedly “hey mum, your phone just lit up, you’ve got wi fi here” Ahhhh…….. if only I could get him as interested in cultures, but who am I to judge where  his talents lie.

We logged on and of course a family room vacancy now exists at the Holiday Inn Baruna (budget, what budget, that was long gone now!)

Checking in, we are a little unsure the vacancy will actually exist, but hey, worst case scenario, we look elsewhere.

Yes, they warmly welcome us with cold towels and lemongrass and lime jellies, they quietly explain that they do not have a vacancy for us in the room we booked, hence they have upgraded us to a family suite at no extra charge, as such all our buffet breakfasts are included, complimentary newspapers, fruit and free access to kids clubs and kids meals.

As Gabe is 12, the kids club is for 12 and under so he can go as he likes and the 12-18 zone gaming rooms he is also welcome in – he is in heaven.

We arrive in our room, the kids have their own bedroom with beds decorated like boats complete with steering wheels and masts. Their wardrobe looks like a circus tent and Gabe almost stops breathing when he realizes they have their own cable TV, DVD player and X Box. Emma is thrilled to find a bean bag and a chair that looks like a whale.

They beg to go to kids club and reluctantly agree to wait until tomorrow as we share a meal in Tuban.

Holiday Inn Baruna in Tuban Bali (adults room)
The next morning they are at the buffet (which by the way is the most extensive I have EVER seen, with EVERY need you could imagine catered for).

Daryll & recline back on the cushions sharing a pot of tea as the kids race off to kids club. Daryll reluctantly leaves to check them in, comes back 5 minutes later with a mobile phone lent to him and………….. no kids!

Wow……… now this may not seem amazing to you, however this is the first time in 12 years we have been childless. With 1 home schooled and our own business which we all do together, it just hasn’t happened before!

Don’t get me wrong, we adore them and it is a choice we make to have them with us, but the freedom of being childless for just a few hours was totally liberating.

Knowing they were totally happy (Emma was already dressed like a princess with several other girls and

Gabe was immersed in wi fi gaming with the other teenagers), my cultural needs were met as they were scheduled for a workshop in Balinese offering making, mask making and other experiences made fun for them later in the day, they were to be escorted to the restaurant for lunch later…………. We were free!

We looked at each other and wondered what to do!

Should we take a massage, drink mocktails on the beach, go for a walk, oh, my…….. so many options we couldn’t choose… so we drank tea and talked (lovely!)

Fascinating Bali Dry Stone Walls
Soon, the creative juices began to flow and we took off, studying the landscaping and working out how to build the fabulous stone walls, we walked, learnt, chatted and strolled hand in hand on the beach.
By the way - after 2 days of kids clubs - the kids preferred to 'hang out' with us, wonders never cease!

I had been trying to talk Daryll into hiring a car so we were able to travel around on our own and go as we liked. Having driven in Asia so much, he was adamant that this time he didn’t want to. He doesn’t like the traffic jams, the noise and congestion and the swerving around the larger vehicles (Asian road rules often state that the larger vehicle has right of way).

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”………………………..

1 comment:

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