Monday, 24 May 2010

"DON'T Come Dine With Me"

Today I woke up with two new resolutions.

1. I would start running in the mornings again
2. I would begin in earnest working on my music with my collaborator in London

Well, everything started alright. I woke up just before 7 am with Egg snuggled in close to my left, the husband snoring lightly to my right, and Dumpie sitting atop me, trying to grope my unprotected left breast yelling, 'Get up!'

In other words, a normal start.

After a hastily sipped strong espresso, I donned my running gear and turning left out the door I once again took up my specific brand of self-flagellation after a six-week hiatus. Breathtaking scenery aside, my lungs began protesting with that all-familiar ache and I wondered, "Is it worth it?" A quick glance down to my legs assured me that 'Yes, it was', and I tried to ignore all the bemused villagers checking out the Adidas-clad 'Bule' (ie. foreigner) huffing and puffing her way through the rice paddy strewn fields.

Of course as soon as I got back the heavens opened and it poured, necessitating a soaking ten minute ride to the boys school, the four of us crammed onto the back of a pink Honda scooter. Luckily I was still on a high from the run and barely noticed that the whisper thin pool cover up I'd thrown on to do the school run was now stuck to my skin, giving me the appearance of a nude, heavily tattooed biker.

Finally settling down to record some new vocals for a track i'm working on, I laid down what I thought to be a pretty good take, only to hear it back on the headphones and realise that along with my dulcet tones, was the sound of the beautiful fountain emptying into the pool AND the foreign chatter of local workmen erecting a new house next door. Great.

Soon after, the husband discovered that he had lost his bike keys and an hour of frantic searching ensued, followed by an emergency hi-jacking of our landlady's husband's scooter to go and pick up a now distraught Eggie from school, a good fifteen minutes past pick-up time.

To top things off, we decided to eat dinner at our 'local' - a quaint looking restaurant within a stones throw of our new home. We so wanted it to be the kind of place we could pop into all the time, partake of some decent, inexpensive food and become on first name basis with the staff.

Well, the last part we got right. 'Miss Derani' remembered the husband and I from the other day when we stopped for a quick lemonade and a frantic whisper fight over which place we should rent. She welcomed us like old friends and herded us in protectively, excitedly saying, 'Mr. Jaaaay....Miss come here EVERYDAY for eating...yes?'.

For starters, we were the only people in the place. Possibly ever. We got harangued several times to come to their impromptu cooking class (a hilarity not lost on us some time later when the husbands 'Pad Thai' arrived looking like a sorry pile of Pot Noodle... prompting the husbands, 'And where do we sign up for that cooking class again?')

The food was the worst we've had in Bali so far - pretty sorry tasting and very expensive. Our dining experience was not helped by the fact that what seemed to be the entire kitchen and wait staff were gathered in a giant semi-circle a polite distance away, watching every mouthful we took with great interest. Miss Derani in particular had a birds eye view of the husband extracting a large black hair from a particularly slippery noodle.

To be fair, the boys didn't seem to mind their chicken fried rice, which is surprising given the amount of free peanuts they ingested pre-meal. (I say ingested, but unbeknownst to us, Dumpie had been chewing up great mouthfuls of the salty morsels, before spitting them out into a not insignificant little pile under his chair. The sodden mess was discovered by the husband mid-meal and Dumpie was instructed to get down and clean it up with the toilet paper which was hidden inside a lovely wooden box in the middle of the table - masquerading as a serviette holder.)

We finally managed to extricate ourselves from this Twilight Zone-ish farce of a restaurant (the husband having needed two large bottles of Bintang just to get through it), and left amid squeals of 'Pancake?...You no want pancake for dessert?' from Miss Derani, the well-intentioned if overzealous waitress.

Vast quantities of duty free white chocolate were needed to restore our equilibrium upon arrival home, and I am pleased to say that we shall be in future looking for 'a new local'.

Oh well, at least I got one thing out of it. Should I ever be caught off-guard hosting a dinner party and find myself bereft of napkins, I now know that I can always nip into the nearest toilet, grab a bit of loo roll, and presto! - a novel AND useful centrepiece.


  1. Hi - the morning breastfeeding session again! Just got stuck behind a tractor for 8 miles on the way back from school with my baby screaming in the back of the car- and that had me thinking about your blog and wishing I was some-where- anywhere but there!

    Are there a lot of other "locals" to chose from? I remember going to an Island off of Ireland years ago and causing a stir among locals as my boyfriend and I got friendly with a local couple who offered us a bed for free for a few days - no more staggering back to the hotel at 3 a.m after drinking whiskey and playing cribbage.- But the hotel was owned by the mans parents and they went nuts accusing him of trying to steal their trade and ruin their livelihood. I suppose we were mucking it up rather but we had stayed and paid with them for a bout a week already and were quite broke at the timw so our other option would have been to go straight home, thus not spending any more money in their bar either!! The whole situation got very heated and in the end we were quite relieved to leave and get back to the mainland.

    I was also laughing at you with your wet-tshirt competition on the back of the bike, I managed to expose my right breast to the whole ground floor office of John Lewis collections a few months back. I was feeding my daughter in the car (before I had to run in and collect something from JL,) and then as it was pouring I laboriously wrapped her up in my cagoule and leapt out of the car. Running towards the building I thought "crikey its alot colder than I had thought and my body feels wet through" Then I realised I had'nt pulled my top down or my bra up and so was completely flashing one boob at the bemused office workers!

    Hey ho - enjoy the sun its gone cloudy here now despite the past few days heatwave!

    Amanda x

  2. you know, the way i see it, it's just sharing the wealth...and listen - don't forget - I just keep reminding myself that one day NO ONE is going to interested in geriatric breast so...flash them while you can!


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