Pre-Bali meditations on a theme

Because it’s been two weeks since my last trip, I just can’t fathom another day without travel. So today I will go to Bali.And it’s a total holiday! Eight whole days of holiday.

I haven’t been doing much in the last week that I can post about. I took some photos of a giant spider in my kitchen and a cute kitten but I didn’t bring my camera to the office.

So today’s post will be a reflection. Unfortunately this doesn’t present any obvious opportunities for photos. Unless you want to see a photo of me thinking.

Reflection no.1.
An observation about travelling out of Aceh: I can handle cold water showers every day but the day I am travelling. It’s like my mind knows that hot showers await and that I don’t need to kid myself that cold showers are fine. I think this can tell us a lot about expectations and how they impact on our acceptance of certain realities.

Even though I am LOVING my current jet-setting lifestyle, it might actually be making it harder to accept the day to day living standards of Aceh. I had ceased perceiving cold water, scratchy sheets and limited food choices as discomforts. Rather, what I was experiencing was a lack of luxury items. I think you would have to agree that the relative lack of comfort in not having a fine Egyptian cotton bath towel is far easier to accept than the discomfort of having no towel at all. If I begin to perceive cold water as a discomfort again I am in trouble. If I get fussy about food I might even starve.

Reflection no.2.
There is one thing in my house that I will NEVER be able to accept. And I think it might be that it is a potential health risk. Fecal matter in my mandi. That’s right…POO! Here is an example of a mandi (this is one in my office. I took this photo to capture the manky green water).

I’ll often use the mandi to wash my face and hands and brush my teeth. Traditionally it the only means of washing. I have a shower head so I don’t use it for everything.

You use the little red bucket seen in the photo above to get the water out of the mandi. Theoretically the mandi should never be contaminated with soap or dirt. For example, if you want to wash your hands you scoop up some water in the bucket and pour it over your hands onto the floor (this is the kind of bathroom that stays wet from floor to ceiling all the time).

But now mine is contaminated not with soap or dirt, but animal poo. I can identify rat poo but there is some crazy other pooing going on in there that is just FREAKING ME OUT. Not only are there unidentified animals living inside my house, they are pooing in my face-washing water.

I thought the animals living in my house might be mongoose (mongooses, mongeese?), so I Wikied it and discovered that Indonesia has 100s of animals that could possibly inhabit my house and poo in my water. Possums, bandicoots, bats, megabats. Why don’t don’t they tell of you of the dangers when you arrive at the airport?

Any advice on ridding my house of these unwanted , disease-ridden monsters will be gratefully received.

Even though I am having 8 DAYS OF HOLIDAYS, I am going to have to work a bit, so if there are any special Bali treats you would like, or if you think of any good places to visit in Bali go ahead and send me an email.


2 thoughts on “Pre-Bali meditations on a theme

  1. Lars

    SARAH – that’s gross and I certainly send my condolences, and furthermore as someone who happens to be a doctor I too reckon it’s potentially a health hazard. I hope (and recommend) that there will be no more cleaning teeth with that water? I’ve been thinking about what you can do to get the beasts. I don’t suppose you’ve got a ‘possum trap’? If it wasn’t a metal object 40 by 60cm I would lend you mine (but it doesn’t kill the animal so then you would have to decide what to do with it anyway). What about a ‘mandi cover’ modelled on an Australian swimming pool cover? Otherwise I’m stumped. Have fun in Bali.

  2. yvondertramp

    I feel like you’ve been to Bali 3 times and are constantly on holiday since you arrived in Aceh. If that’s the case, then sign me up for an award that serves as a cover for travel. Oh wait, that was me. My bad.

    p.s. please don’t use poo water to brush your teeth. Dis to the gusting.

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