Category Archives: Escape from Oz

Staying out of trouble… … almost

I have decided to take a ‘gap year’….. Having left school at 15, gone straight into the workforce, and then raised a family, this was something that had never really occurred to me before. But why not? My husband is not with me any more, and my children are young adults, all living away from home. I have earned a ‘mid-life crisis’! Maybe now is the time to ‘escape’, whilst everybody seems to be ‘looking the other way’, and preoccupied with other things in their lives. If I go quietly, they may not even notice….. I could go back to ... [ Read More ]

How not to do a visa run… … .

‘The visa run’ is an expression which is well known by expats living in Bali, and is a term readily and comfortably used by them. For me, however, the first time I undertook a ‘visa run’, was a nerve wracking experience, and felt like something from a James Bond movie…. I really didn’t understand the process very well, and felt completely gullible, and like a ‘lamb to the slaughter’. Going to Singapore for my visa renewal was an interesting experience, to say the least. I had initially come from Australia with a visa arrangement that I didn’t fully understand. When ... [ Read More ]

More Bali, but still not serene… … …

Day two of my holiday and I am covered in blood, being driven at what passes for breakneck speed in the land of traffic jams by a very shaken surf teacher. Still in my bathers and clutching a blood soaked towel to my face we are headed for the nearest medical clinic! I had forgotten the golden rules: always point the surfboard towards the waves, and keep watching the ocean. I had been distracted. Having ridden a mighty six inch wave into the beach, on a board big enough to bring in a whole football team, I stood knee deep, ... [ Read More ]

Farewell to Bali… … .. for better or for worse?

I arrived in Bali about a year ago, having endured a few tough years back in Australia. I thought living in Bali for a while would help me to rest and recover. I sold my house, put a few things in storage, and packed up my airline job. Drastic, but essential, I thought. Those of you, who have been following my (mis)adventures, know that the ‘resting’ bit didn’t happen! I seem to have spent my entire time lurching from one crisis to another. I guess if I had gone to Ubud and taken up yoga and meditation (which my friends ... [ Read More ]

That Balinese Logic Again!

I was staying with Ketut’s cousins in Tabanan. I had set my alarm for 5.30am, so that I could watch the sun rise over the mountains. I didn’t eat or drink first, as we would be home within the hour – just pulled on t-shirt and track pants, and headed off into the dawn. We stood high in the rice fields, listening to cocks crowing, birds singing and frogs making their own wonderful sounds. The full moon was still in the sky behind, and the island of Bali was changing colours in front of us, as the sun rose majestically ... [ Read More ]

No fridge? No worries… … . eat fresh!

Previously I spoke about the crush injury to my leg, caused by the fin of my surf board; and about how the balian got me moving again, at the same time relieving the intense pain. However this had been achieved at some cost: I had been forced to endure some pretty excruciating massage! So did the balian cure me? Well, it relieved the pain so that I could move again, but unfortunately in administering the forbidden massage, the balian had, in fact, created some more trauma. This meant that fluid was now leaking from the damaged tissue, and collecting in ... [ Read More ]

More adventures in Bali… … ..

My visit to the Balian! The balian (traditional healer), lives in Jimbaran, not far from the beach. Yesterday, when I came past here in the early evening, it was a typical street in an urban Balinese village. There were local men, women and children sitting on the footpaths outside their homes, chatting with each other and calling out to passers by; and sad looking dogs wandering lazily in and out of gateways. This morning, however, the place is transformed. It has become a lively, noisy, bustling marketplace, with vendors busily selling their fruits, vegetables, plants and various household items. I ... [ Read More ]

Is Cycling Safer than Surfing?

Ten days ago, I hired a bicycle (well it looked like one anyway). There was air in the tyres and it had handlebars! I had moved about 50metres from the shop when I realized that this was the bicycle from hell – but hey it was cheap. At about $1 a day, how could I complain if it went sideways, and the chain kept falling off…. I did actually go back and ask Wayan to attach the brakes! The pushbike was my first foray into being mobile on the streets of Kuta. I highly recommend cycling around Kuta, to anyone ... [ Read More ]

Visa Run Again – Sarawak this time!

Who would choose me as a travel companion? This recent visa run was meant to be well organized, and well planned. As a route for a visa run, Kuching looked perfect. A quick 2 hour flight – and cheap. This time I did not need to go to the consulate, or meet anybody on a street corner, to hand over my passport. I just needed to exit and re-enter Indonesia. Should be pretty straightforward? So how was it that I found myself stuck in a hotel in the middle of an industrial estate on the outskirts of Kuching city, unable ... [ Read More ]

Kota Kinabalu – and a ‘gorgeous moment’

I have just been to Kota Kinabalu for another visa run, and this time there were no dramas, and no surprises. In fact it was a delightful couple of days, beginning with my Air Asia flight. This time no cancellations or delays. No flying via Kuala Lumpur to return to Bali. This time it was as smooth as clockwork. Air Asia’s recent additions of Kuching and Kota Kinabalu to its network, have made visa runs a lot simpler and more affordable for those of us who simply need to leave and re-enter Bali. It is almost worth taking the flight ... [ Read More ]