In a few months’ time we have a VIP visitor, my wife’s mom … the mother-in-law. She is returning to Bali for the first time since the mid-1980s and quite obviously, here at No. 9, Pileithigh, Banjar Burnitlong, we are all pretty excited about this momentous, some say epic, occasion. There have, since the announcement made live on the Beeb and published in The Sunday Times, of course, been numerous satellite broadcasts regarding the potential visit, plans and progress; well Skype actually, but let’s not allow facts to get in the way of a good old ripping yarn.
Despite the frequency of said communications, they have all tended to be rather repetitive: “What do you want to do? Where do you want to go? Does my butt look fat in this?” “How’s that nice Mr. Suharto and what was his son called? Do give them my regards, dear.” (Audience gasps, exit stage left). So, armed with nothing more than my specially imported, environmentally friendly Chanel sun factor 50 to protect my pale complexion from the aging effects of UVA and toxic pollution, my eco-friendly reusable water bottle (sourced from The Ethical Bottle Co), genuine Queen box set, reclaimed plastic bag hippie hat (yellow, gold and green, naturally bro), and of course a tiger in my tank, I set out to her favorite places of old with the action plan clearly written on the back of my hand (bamboo pen and octopus’ bottom ink humanely extracted).
The goal was to report back within the week and make the appropriate offering of happy snaps. It’s in my very best interests to make this visit a good one you understand. A happy mother-in-law equals a happy Bu, and that is a good place to be when you want a new camera. (Smiles, theatrical winks, slaps thigh, exit stage left). It’s 6 a.m., and the first thing I see after leaving home is a guy on a motorbike delivering eggs, he is The Eggman (goo goo g’joob), adorned in the government issue white T-shirt featuring on the back, and maybe the front too (but I couldn’t see the bigger picture), a huge black I, an even bigger red heart and then, in a shocking piece of irony that surely will incur the wrath of somebody somewhere on the island of lurrve, written underneath in huge bold black type was “BUILDING SITES”… yes it said, “I LOVE BUILDING SITES”.
Oh how I laughed, but sadly my dear friends, not for long. It’s been a few months since I last essayed a sashay around Simpang Siur, but needs must and so there I was under the watchful bubur-induced gaze of Bali’s finest and taking extra care not to exceed the newly posted speed limits on the bypass, of course, (thereby becoming an instant mobile chicane). Traveling light and with not a care in the world, I was heading south to…… The Bukit. (Hollow tones, reverb applied, exit stage right). As I reported later in my statement, “At approximately 6:23 a.m., I duly arrived at the aforementioned Simpang Siur and bearing left continued to proceed due south, albeit rather slowly, which gave ample opportunity to take in the sights, sounds and smells, officer.”
It was at this point the irony of the irony truly hit home … ironically. The Eggman (goo goo g’joob) was telling the truth. He must have been. Surely? Well, the time is fast approaching for the next satellite link, the VIP will be expecting the bog, I mean blog, to be crammed full of new photographs to discuss and fawn over, but alas, all I have to show is motorbikes, building sites and mud on the road (that’s right, that’s right)… What is a man to do? (Curtains close, applause, actor enters bar/yoga studio/massage parlor – delete as required).
Picture a woman going on a journey, beyond sight and sound. She’s left Crete, she’s entered….
The building site zone. I do hope she has safely packed the champers and my copy of Marx’s How to Build a Swimming Pool on the Cheap.
Exam papers should be turned over now.
Q1. How many tons of concrete did it take to sink Atlantis? Discuss (no cheating now).
Chris O’Connor is a retired doctor currently exploring his creative and culinary interests
source : bali daily