Ubud and Padang Bai, Bali

When I decided to come back to Bali, I had a quite irrational fear that it had perhaps changed in the last year. I now see that time, being made of rubber here, hasn't affected Bali nearly as much as it's affected me.

Last year I left the states to "find myself."

"Perhaps, as we say in America, I wanted to find myself. This is an interesting phrase, not current as far as I know in the language of any other people, which certainly does not mean what it says but betrays a nagging suspicion that something has been misplaced. I think now that if I had had any intimation that the self I was going to find would turn out to be only the same self from which I had spent so much time in flight, I would have stayed at home."

- James Baldwin, Giovanni's Room

When I first tried to plan coming to Bali this year, it was for a two week Alex Grey "seminar" on painting, our reality, and out of body experiences. For whatever reason, I decided it just wasn't in the cards for me this year. Something didn't feel right about it. After I decided not to do it, Bali became less appealing. I knew that I didn't want to come to Bali with nothing to do, to sit idly as a tourist. Last year I had something to do. I had come to find myself. This year, I had myself. Now I needed something to do with me. A project. This is about the time Honahon pitched his Nicaragua / UK Adventure plan to me. Surfing kind of sounded like a project. At that exact moment in time, I had an overwhelming urge and need to just leave the country. Period. I didn't care where to or why at that point. So I booked tickets. It wasn't until a month or so later that I was contacted by Amber and Steph.

I met Amber and Steph in Tonga last year after my month long adventure with the crazy Russian, Sergai, on Ovaka island. They had me over for a decompression dinner of sorts, once I made it back to Neiafu, and helped me mentally sort through my ordeal after I escaped Ovaka. After the decompression session, the conversation mellowed and I told them of my wonderful time in Bali and told them that they, too, would enjoy it. They ended up moving here and Amber has been working on a book ever since.

We kept in light contact over email over the last year, but nothing major. Amber contacted me out of the blue in April and said that she had a vision of me the night before. She was asking if I would please come to Bali and edit this book of hers that covers the not so simple subject of a global shift in human consciousness. They would provide the tickets, the house, and even the food.

I asked for a project. Here it was. I told her that I was already traveling during the time that she needed me there, and she said, "well then which country shall I book the tickets out of?" I changed my ticket from the UK to NYC from June to mid July. Round trip tickets were booked from London, Heathrow. (This explains why I had to fly all the way AROUND the world rather than across the Pacific for this part of the journey.)

I found it fairly ironic that the night I landed here, I was brought straight to the opening of the Alex Grey talk and exhibit that marked the start of his 'seminar.'

Full circle. Zoom to now.

"Pen's are in short supply... this is the only one left in the house."

I haven't been writing anything about what I'm doing here because of just that... I'm too busy writing to write.

However, yesterday I came on 'vacation' to Padang Bai, my Bali beach town / home away from home. My hosts were invited to stay at the Blue Lagoon, which, ironically, is the place that my friend Harlan (the sacred geometry sculptor from New York I met here last year) designed. I opted to stay at my old place here, the Serangan Inn II. True to tradition, I woke up before sunrise to the roosters, two stroke fishing boats, the cymbals, bamboo flutes, drums, dogs, and the little funny man chanting through the bullhorn in the temple down the street, to a magnificent sunrise on this very familiar balcony. I had to take a moment for myself.

Bali hasn't changed a bit.

Children still get excited over cameras and thank you for taking their picture. Traffic rules are still 'suggestions.' You still have to look out for monkeys crossing the road when you take that left through the temple scooter lane and right at the giant Ganesh statue (look out for oncoming traffic because you'll be driving down a one way street the wrong direction.) Putu still works at the Inn. Tankas still works at the Kinky. Wayan and Made still have their internet cafe, and still nap together on the floor during the slow hours. Their son is still happily married. (These people all have intricate stories woven here, if you're interested: Blarvolution.com / the Beckys, the Bobbys, the Randys, the Bettys, and a Styrafoam Butt Plug at a Balinese Wedding.)

(Just for you T... the only thing that was different or out of place in the entire town was the two french guys sitting in our chairs when I first walked up.)

I missed Padang Bai.

I, surprisingly, love Ubud though.

I knew that it wouldn't be another trip of 'finding myself,' I just didn't necessarily expect to find so many other intriguing people. Every day there's something. I'm getting very useful leads.

This led to one HUGE event. Those who know me well will know just how big this is exactly (drumroll please):

I bought a new phone.

HUGE, right?

My first one in nearly ten years.

200,000 Rp (20 bucks) for a funky little Indonesian phone.

It's not the biggest upgrade in the world, in fact, it may be the only phone in the world that could possibly be a downgrade, but the "L" button works.

"mud you" guys...

... no matter how crazy you've gone!



Question posed in my dream last night:

Is it okay to travel with a loaded gun as long as the safety's on and it's in your checked bags? (Not carry on of course.) Because evidently I need it, and that's what I'm doing.

Got any ideas anybody?


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In my headphones today:

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