Ten days in Bali, and I am sick of the sunshine and green juice. I love the delicate cucumber and earthy spinach taste with a side of dirt. My hormonal changes decided to unpack themselves here before my yoga pants, so I am trying to have compassion for my perceptions in a trough of no estrogen.
Yoga Barn is a special place. If one more sun-kissed expat walks up the steps from a yoga class without his shirt on and stretches his arms above his head and puts it on, while the sun is pouring down on his perfect body and long tousled hair, I am going to slap the living daylights out of that mosquito that is terrorizing my ankle. I just murdered a mosquito.
Seriously Puspa the waitress? How do you remember my order every day? I've only been here a little over a week. You even remember my name? I can't even remember my name with my plummeting pregnenolone levels threatening my mental resilience. Dinner conversation revolves around organic tampons, diva cups and mermaid sightings. My mentor drew the line at coffee enemas.
Why did I decide to go vegetarian, gluten-free for this trip? There is a reason I love fried chicken. It's fried. Thanks to the lovey-dovey Hare Krishnas who had to write about eating the energy of another soul, they totally took the joy out of fried chicken. Now all I can picture if I take a bite is the bloody massacre of a baffled, stunned chicken frozen in the horror of the moment. I guess I opted out of PTSD flashbacks at lunchtime. Let's take it a step further -- a fellow writer here could challenge, "Simi, what in you that you don't like about yourself, is showing up in that chicken? The chicken is a mirror." Hormone fluctuations?
Newsflash to white yogi expats with shiny hair in Ubud: Why are you taking over? This is not your island. Why are you spreading Namaste raw food cafes over the landscape? Can't you leave the Balinese in peace, five to a motorbike (without helmets), to celebrate their own Hanuman festivals? Why are you here? If I have to reframe one more thought about why I can't insult myself, I am jumping off the top of the rice terrace. You can sort out later whether I was humble rice or ego rice.
My major concern of the day has devolved into irritation that my head massages have too many flicking motions in them. I take it upon myself to inform Wayan in carefully choreographed T'ai chi slow motion with hand gestures, to slow it down.
To the romantic rain at night that reminds me I came by myself: Do you have to? Can't you throw some scary lightning in there and a tsunami siren to distract me from the pleasant soothing sound outside of my mosquito net? You could be more like the earthquake a couple of days ago that made my bed feel like a boat?
I choose to hold on to my worry. In fact I'm holding onto my judgement for dear life. Without it, I may just have to fall in love with all the hippie descendants of white privilege who took over every indigenous population on the planet. Without them, we may never have had Cup-A-Soup. I mean, they took Japanese noodles and put them in a Styrofoam cup so we could nuke them in a microwave for that delicious MSG chicken flavor.
To top it off, they have to have a cute baby at the front desk. She is there every day waving hi. The whole family is there. They are relaxed and calm, smiling even.
I perfectly set myself up Sunday to be miserable. I made sure I couldn't go swimming on our excursion to Virgin Beach because I had an overabundant unresolved bikini line situation -- a bush. Hey, Bali, respect my need to not alter one more thing about myself, to hang out with you. My "self-care," was not to get a rash down there by ripping the hair out of my bikini line, and having saltwater sting me like a thousand jelly fish. Bali was not having it. There right on the white sand was a smiling salesman selling stylish purple floral board shorts for five dollars in my exact size . I put them on and went in the pool blue ocean water with my fellow writers. When I got out slightly seasick from being able to see straight down to my toes through the waves, I plopped down on the umbrella covered chair, and a friendly woman asked if she could rinse my feet and massage them. No matter how hard I try, joy and magic stubbornly reign here.
This post has been updated since its original publication.