Bali 04.04.15

Saturday the 4th of April

Most eighteen year olds know who they are. Trudging from adolescence into and out of puberty is a testing experience in which one can learn so much of themselves. I speak from experience. Having flourished throughout high school I knew exactly who I was. I was organised and enjoyed leadership practices – I was school captain and singlehandedly coordinated the formal, yearbook and dress up days. I loved high school. With an inherent fear of missing out I joined every club and partook in every opportunity. I felt a responsibility to give back to the institution that had shaped me to the person I had become, standing on stage at graduation. I wanted to give back to the community and give the same chances through charity to those who were disadvantaged. I wanted to make the word a better place, but now I find my mind somewhat distracted from the things that once gave me purpose. I have changed. My motivation is lacking. My friends are gone. My character is unrecognisable from my former self. If you were to ask me who I am today, I could not answer you. I am lost for who I am to the point that I cant remember who I used to be as clearly as I new it then. How times have changed.

This morning I have spent the majority of my time waiting. Waiting for the taxi. Waiting for the gates to open. Waiting for the time to pass. Finally I am seated in true family style – the only child wedged between her mother and father on the flight to Bali Indonesia. The aeroplane is rather new and rather small. There are no monitors embedded into the in front headrest but instead in-flight entertainment is available using electronic devices linked through a free to download app. Its quite clever considering this method reduces the weight of the aircraft and is a welcome improvement in viewing definition for the every traveller that is bound to have a mobile device in their back pocket. This could have been somewhat of an annoyance to me (the battery of my iPhone 5s had been exhausted prior to boarding from the unbroken texted conversation with Daniel) however I was luckily granted the luxuriously larger screen of dad’s iPhone 6 for my disposal on which I watched The Prestige while simultaneously typing on my laptop. The only inconvenience was realised as the passengers ate a typical aeroplane meal of chicken and roast vegetables with necks bent at an uncomfortable 90 degrees to keep an eye on the screens now stowed on their laps. Already I miss talking to Daniel. Already I want to make plans with Bella. I am reminded of how significant my friends are. The immense weight I place on friendship has not changed although the people it is directed towards may have. Friendship, to me, is the most important kind of affinity. Maybe it was because I grew up an only child. My parents accepted each friend of mine as a child of their own and I reciprocated this in how I regarded their company. Treat others as you would like to be treated – I did. I have found this a vice to myself; a virtue to others. Four months ago I made myself a promise. It was my new years resolution to surround myself with good company. Bella and Daniel are, without a doubt, at the height of this class. I could not be more privileged.

I have to admit I love flying. I have been flying since I was a baby; I know I couldn’t count the flights I have made on only my two hands. I like the aeroplane food. I like the in-flight entertainment. I like the excitement. I like the clouds. I like the time to reflect and write about the journey I experience overseas. The flight was not fully booked – it was funny to see the grown man one row forward curled up in foetal position across the three chairs. The marathon of movies continued with Magic in the Moonlight. A smooth landing delivered us safely to thirty-two degree climate and, with a short bus trip across the tarmac, we found ourselves in Ngurah Rai International Airport. We purchased a visa for US$35 and were greeted by botanical gardens, bestial statues and an exotic xylophone ensemble on the floor of the arrivals hall.

Indonesia, as it stands today, was under the control of the Dutch Government prior to World War II. This was a component of the European expansionist movement enabled through trading posts. This dynamic changed in the 19th century with the rise of classical liberalism – the Indonesian people sought self-determination and freedom from hierarchical rule. That is why they detest the Dutch here, dad said, luckily you two are from Belgium.

Traffic conditions I had only witnessed previously on dash cam viral videos surrounded us – mum did little to hide her concerned groans. We passed quaint wooden shops as we drove on bridges suspended on wooden shafts in the murky river. I was amazed by the abundance of ornate statues, many adorned in gold, often featuring an elephant trunk, elven ears and an irregular amount of limbs.

The Club Med resort is absolutely beautiful. I am privileged to have a room to myself with a double bed and plenty of space for activities. The only disappointment is that tied around my wrist: a black and red wristband (very distinguishable from the orange one my parents sport) to mark that I am under eighteen. NOOOOOO! *cries* I was beyond excited for cocktails by the pool! Looks like mum and I are going to have to handle this schoolies style. Method 1: mumma B will very sneakily order two cocktails per round and subtly slip one to yours truly. Method 2: tomorrow morning mum will awake to find her wristband is “lost” and will have to ask for a new one at the reception – and I will replace my offensively coloured one with hers. Method 3: me in a bikini will find bartenders to make me cocktails by the pool please. Tune in tomorrow for an update on the success of the plans.

SUCCESS! My parents have me covered. I am only a month away from my eighteenth birthday so they saw no problem in ordering me a sneaky cocktail at the bar. My cocktail selection for this evening is the cosmopolitain, made of vodka, cranberry juice, fresh lime juice and triple sec. Its delicious – I had three. Buffet style eating always feels so indulgent. With so many options to choose from you can’t help but crave a bit of everything and then load up a plate until you’re somewhat embarrassed. A little bit of Asian Cuisine, turtle shaped bread, not to forget the healthy balance of salad and chocolate covered pineapple from the fountain to complete the meal. My energy was definitely replenished enough to keep me awake for the remainder of the evening.

I am so relieved to have my own room and double bed. A little bit tipsy. A lot tired. A double bed to myself and no need for pyjamas. Can you hear my sigh of contentment? Good night.

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