My Life in Bali. The Corona Tax.
Updated: Jun 14, 2020
I was pretty chirpy for the first 900 hundred & eleventy seven days.... But this new normal thing is starting to set in & this week it got me a bit down. I don't want new normal to not involve collective practice, hugs, friends & overseas adventures! I love video chats with friends & family, but as independent as we like to think we are - connection is still king & all the efforts & energies that I have put into reconnecting seem to be flatlining.
Some people are getting weird, loosing their shit.... you try to look away but just cannot....If we spend so much time by ourselves & we are not sharing/ bouncing our thoughts & opinions around reading & responding to energies and signals around us? And/ or being guided by our intuition? ......Can we become polarised & dogmatic in our views & approach to the subjects of our beady eyed attention??? Are we actually subject matter experts by virtue of the time we have up our sleeves to read, research & watch YouTube?? Or do we all just need to switch off & take a break from the digital overload? The latter me thinks.
Really I just want to sink myself into a juicy YTT(yoga teacher training) for a month preferably in the motherland -India. I miss flying & saying no thank you to the flight attendant the sky high uniformed purveyor of inedible ready to go meals & luke warm tea.
The relationship that is super important is the one that we have with ourselves.... our minds, our bodies & our spirits. Finding the balance is an art form & requires constant observation & self enquiry. Finding the motivation usually comes easy, this week however it was no where in sight. I had to make peace with that - which was so not easy..... maybe it was the universe telling me that it finally got around to implementing an overachievers week off - aka the week leading up to the full moon, on this day it was waxing & gibbous, just sounds like the moon is a greasy monkey of annoyance.
Perhaps it was just the week that I have had...
I am doing what I can in Bali to support small local businesses. I have my coffee & eat in the small family run warungs, buy my fruit & veg at the pasar, donate masks & some money where I see space... not an hashtagged instamoment. Just an energy exchange that brings small relief where it can... I/ we the 3 residents ....where I live have apparently adopted 5 puppies which I am going to refer to as pound puppies as in they live in our compound, we all pitch in they get a lot of love & food.
Sunny Sunday was lovely until I had my phone & glasses stolen from my scooter.
Before you tsk tsk me for leaving them in my scooter.... I was driving my scooter when this happened!!!! The thief sided up to me on his motorbike ... I was like whoa buddy too close.... who is in my personal space??? There is a lot of personal space invasion & accept that in most densely populated places... I thought he would drift away but he came even closer reached over & grabbed my phone & reading glasses out of my Scoopy cup holder & sped off. We were both doing 50km per hour, it was 5.30pm the road was full of other drivers...it was so fast. My first instinct was to hold my ground as any reactive move could have sent me to the ground..... My second instinct was a squeal.... a pointless girly squeal which went unheard through my mask & helmet.... My third instinct was to accelerate & chase after him which..... I very quickly reconsidered & slowed down... I haven't earned any racing stripes yet & that probably wasn't the place to start.
So this is the Carona tax..... so many people lured to Bali by the tourist dollar are now trapped on the island unable to return to their home towns. These towns & villages are not just 3 hours drive but an island hopping mission through a vast archipelago..... There is currently no air or sea travel in an effort to prevent Covid19 from spreading to remote & ill-equipped parts of the country.... I genuinely feel for these people, they are not part of the heavily networked supportive village of Bali, they are the outsiders just trying to survive.
Although, in a travel update today I read that you might be able to travel by air or sea to keep the national economy going - if you are a "special person" that "may do the movements according his duty but there is no homecoming" I humbly request that the above mentioned special people do indeed do the home going.
Then there was that one time(at band camp) this week, when I was on a food mission. I had to do a task in Denpasar & thought I would head to the markets which is a masked foodie festival every single day. My love of a good warung well documented, I went in search of a dodgy laneway with a wok & a wobbly wooden bench. Found lack lustre laneway & ordered food - nothing fancy just a vegetarian nasi goring & iced tea. Nice bahasa chats with the family making sure they were all sehat (healthy) & senang (happy) there was the understanding that it was sepi (quiet) but everyone was ok. Eating, chatting, making new friends.... I love these experiences food brings people together...
Until the bill drives them apart & you get charged three (3) times the local price!!!! Good old harga bule... usually nasi goreng costs you between 10,000 & 20,000 IDR (AU$2) but not down this lane way.... 60,000 IDR!!!! When I asked here is she was in the habit of overcharging she shrugged her shoulders, when I asked here if it was foreigner prices she shrugged again, when I said that I wouldn't be back as what she did was wrong she said "tak apa" a colloquialism for no problem. I did not have nice thoughts for a few minutes after that & I was really bummed cause the nasi was really good but I had been harga bullied & that was not cool. Corona tax strike two.
This is a quiet time on this little island paradise. Small gestures of kindness & connection do not go unnoticed. There is a beautiful opportunity now that the every day busy-ness has been dialled down, to make connection from behind our face masks & at a safe social distance with people in our communities. Ask the Circle K shop assistant how her family are? Spend a little time asking the family that runs your local warung how their village is & if the kids are driving them nuts cause they haven't gone back to school lol. Learn a word a day of our local language. Find out what the Gojek driver was doing before he was delivering pizza & bubble teas. But this is a two way street as respectful as I can be I would like that to be reciprocated & this week it wasn't...
I am not gonna blame Bali or Covid it just was & it could have happened anywhere. Also if I am going to manifest things on this powerful island let them be awesome!!! Not theft & an over charge bs of the past 7 days!!! (that is another blog entirely)
As I type this sigh....I have paid my Corona Tax. As for my new normal it is constantly evolving, connection it just looks really different to what it did 3 months ago.
I am practicing the Calm-a-Sutra....The art of not stressing yourself out.
FYI - Bali has drive through rapid testing for Covid19 AU$50 - true story!!