There is always a Dutchy around
There was just this one other young buleh on the airport of Manado and of course he happened to be Dutch. There is always a Dutchy around, no matter where you are. And I was lucky to find one because my plane was delayed for 3 hours. Because it was quite early, we started out in silence enjoying the comfort of our (head) phones waiting patiently (there is no other way in North-Sulawesi). Then watching each others bags while the other one could go to the toilet. It's amazing how fast you would trust somebody of same age and nationality with all your stuff. And finally we started talking, ended up next to each other in the airplane and having a sandwich lunch (first in months) at La Place together. Girlfriend, surfer, diver, chill guy, nice to have him around on the way here. Thanks Daan!
What to do, what to do
But then it was time to really fly solo. As this was my first time traveling alone, I was very much out of my comfort zone. Kees and me are very Anikees. And it showed apparently because when I went to the bar after I dropped my bags in my room, a friendly elderly couple from Australia joined my table for 1. They saw me sitting alone and thought, she could use some company, and maybe a cuddle even. I have to admit their intuition wasn't far off. After check in I wondered around the beach, looking at others enjoying their time together. I grabbed something to eat and ordered a cocktail and then another one. Feeling proud for staying till after dark, without taking the easy way out and fleeing to the safety of some Netflix or Dutch digital television. What has become my favourite, or maybe just the most convenient pass time. Life and confrontation is out there. I thought of one of my brothers, the most outgoing one. He is great at being by himself in busy places like festivals and even likes it. Actually I think my other brother would be the same way in that same situation, even though he is more introverted. It adds to your stories and probably also to those of the people you meet. I have some of the same blood in me, so I went out. To a gay bar, just to be on the safe side. But actually these drunk Aussie gays were more grabby than any he or ho guy I've ever met. I was home before 00.00. But I did it. And after those few drinks I fell a sleep quite easily.
The girl from the Clean Canteen Cafe insisted I would have my picture taken here after I praised their delicious vegan burger.
The next day I already felt more at ease with this new solo situation. And because I would start my yoga retreat the next day I wanted to have a good and positive fit day. On my to do list for today was to have the best vegan burger I had ever tasted. Walk around, do some necessary shopping and some unnecessary window shopping. Eat a magnificent Thai curry and chill at the beach with a green smoothy. This time I allowed myself to do so in private, on my bed, between 4 walls, watching my favourite Dutch programs.
So what did I realise on Bali in my pre-retreat phase:
- Without a phone or laptop keeping me company, I found it really hard to enjoy myself in the midst of a crowded space.
- Some restaurants are perfect for eating alone and looking intelligent and at ease while staring.
- Although it's my favourite song, 'Enjoy the silence' is something I can definitely work on.
- Next time I feel like going out on my own I would choose a more layed back surf/yoga place and maybe not a hysterical gay bar.
- I got to get rid of my grandma mode.
I was very happy when finally the day arrived that I could start the retreat. And what a retreat it was. I booked the private villa because although I am mostly very social and a real herd animal, I need my own space to recharge, lay in bed, Youtube, or whatever after all that socialising. The room had a bathroom I could through a party in, a big pool and views on a holy river, temple and the jungle. I have never felt so spoiled in my life. So I was off to a good start. What is perfect, because my expectations for this week where super high. This will be life changing.
My retreat experience deserves a whole new, separate page. So in my next blog I will write about the retreat, if it enlightened me and if I now will walk around the rest of my trip with rice on my forehead.