Friday, 29 October 2010
"I know!" I tried to reassure her. "I just was wondering whether you could get it fixed for us and whether we could pay you?" I was starting to falter here. I had the distinct impression she thought I was accusing her of having made shed loads of toast while we were in Bali for five months and blamed her for the breakdown.
She smiled, took the toaster and disappeared inside. The toaster hasn't been mentioned again, and that was several days ago, so I suspect our current method of dry-frying bread in our saucepan is going to have to suffice for the next few months. Which is a shame of course because toast is one of our staples.
Isn't it funny how certain environments engender certain eating habits? At home, I might have peanut butter toast once in awhile, but here in India, the husband and I have it almost daily. And take beer for example. I despise the stuff. Always have, always will...or not it would seem. Since we've been away I've regularly consumed both Bintang (Indonesian) and Kingfisher (Indian) beer with the husband. So I blame him of course. But I wouldn't dream of ordering beer in a pub back in England (I draw the line at a half pint of Guinness now and again, but that's a totally different matter), or cracking open a cold beer in the heat. Gross. No way.
So why do I suddenly take to sipping it nightly with meals as if I've been a Pilsner Babe all my life?
The only thing I can think of, is that my particular surroundings are conducive to such brew-friendly behaviour. Everyone else on the beach seems to drink it (peer pressure is never a good excuse but I'm just saying...), and there are only so many fresh lime soda's a girl can drink in a day, and...well...it just seems like it would be wrong not to.
At any rate, Eggs and Dumpie appear to feel the same way - but in regards to mango juice and ice-creams. Egg bawled his eyes out for a good ten minutes last night because we passed the Baskin Robbins without stopping in for a chocolate chip mint cone. And Dumpie has taken to walking up to wait staff and simply ordering his own Maaza's (mango juice) if we deny him. Come to think of it, Egg does too.
Unfortunately the boys are so persuasive that the local shops give them ice creams when they wander in and tell them that their Mama and Dada will pay for them later, and then the husband and I are surprised to find that we have tabs running at various beach shacks. I hope this is not a sign of things to come.
Mind you, Dumpie is currently on an ice-cream ban after cutting my beloved earphones in half last night. I was SO angry that I banned him from ice-cream for the rest of the year. This morning the first thing he said to me was "I have ice-cream today Mama?"
I looked into his adorable, twinkling eyes, smiled, and said, "No way."
I will NOT cave in. I will not. (I won't. I think.)
Posted by "Moaning Mum" at Friday, October 29, 2010
Thursday, 28 October 2010
Posted by "Moaning Mum" at Thursday, October 28, 2010
Tuesday, 26 October 2010
Posted by "Moaning Mum" at Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Wednesday, 20 October 2010
Posted by "Moaning Mum" at Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Tuesday, 19 October 2010
Okay, by socialising I suppose I mean drinking wine, having cocktails on the beach and general frivolity...(ie. acting like the teenagers we definitely no longer are).
But to those who would scorn or deride us for such indulgence, for attempting to enjoy ourselves, and for 'making hay while the sun shines' (quite literally), let me say this:
Life is short. This is evidenced by the totally incongruous way my biological age seems to have sped miles ahead of my 'internal age'. I still feel 21 or thereabouts. The husband does too. And given that we appear to be successfully raising two very happy, healthy (okay slightly naughty - but what do you expect with their gene pool?) little boys, I can't believe that it's a sin not to try and enjoy this stage of our life.
All too often we meet parents who have sacrificed their own desires and happiness in order to fully give themselves over to role of parenting. We admire them...we discuss how short we fall in the comparison stakes...and then we smile at each other and breathe a sigh of relief that we are NOT them.
You see, just because you become a parent, doesn't mean that your life should matter any less. Yes, of course you should take your children's needs into account every second of every day, and ensure that they are kept safe, healthy and happy. But I've always believed that a happy parent makes a good parent.
And the husband and I like to have fun. We like to socialise, travel, meet new people, have adventures, bury ourselves in books, write, make music and generally indulge in many of the pleasures life has to offer.
And...we've discovered that some imagination, a bit of juggling, and a 'risk it all' attitude to future employment and financial security means that we can take that step out of modern life, pack our bags, and take our shambolic family 'on the road'...thus reaping certain benefits.
Everything is a trade-off in life. Yes, we've just spent five months living in paradise, eating gorgeous food, walking amongst rice paddies and hanging out with amazing new friends. And now we're headed back to our lovely Goan hideaway to swim every day in the Arabian Sea, sip fresh lime soda cocktails at sunset, and nibble on homemade samosas.
But (and it's a big but) we don't know what we're going to be going back to when our 'Family Gap Year' ends early next year. And we've just found out that our rental property needs a new boiler. And our children now approach meal times with the phrase, "This isn't what we ordered" when we plonk down something in front of them which they don't like. And Egg thinks it's perfectly normal to slip off his flipflops in a restaurant or department store and wander around barefoot...
Need I go on?
So back to the life is short thing. It really is. And I don't want to be older, look back on my life and wish I'd done more, had more fun and really enjoyed it. And there is no reason why YOUR life has to end (the social, fun side of it anyway) just because another life begins.
A little modification is all that's required.
Oh, and some childcare help now and again never goes amiss.
And some good friends to share happy times with.
And a lovely beach upon which to have cocktails and contemplate your next great adventure...
Posted by "Moaning Mum" at Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Saturday, 16 October 2010
You know that clever commercial, created somewhere in Scandanavia i think, where a frenzied parent in a crowded store tries to deal with his screaming, out of control children...and it's advertising birth control? Well this morning could have been another follow on commercial for condoms - advising young people to pause mid-lust and reconsider the repercussions of an unexpected pregnancy.
The husband, monsters and I are in Kuala Lumpur (or 'Palla Lumper' if you're Dumps) for just shy of two weeks, waiting for our Indian visas and security clearances to go through, so we can head back to Goa. An old friend from London kindly invited us to stay in his lovely, centrally located three bedroom apartment for the duration, and we have been ever so grateful for his hospitality, but nevertheless have reserved a room at a local hotel from tomorrow, so as to leave while still on a (sorta) high note, rather than have him hating us and tearing up future Christmas cards from us forever more.
To be fair, I guess the worst they've done is have a shower fight with the hose in his ensuite bathroom, help themselves liberally to his miniature KitKat supply in the fridge, and totally commandeer his sofa for their dvd-watching pleasure...but still. Any minute now it could be ink stains, broken knick knacks or chucking something over the third floor balcony (a favourite pastime of Dumps). So we're getting out while the goings good.
But this morning was another matter. Last night (in celebration of our soon departure?...but can't be sure) a gorgeous bottle of Dom Perignon was opened on the balcony and enjoyed with blissful sighs of appreciation. As was a gorgeous bottle of red. And a killer blueberry vodka concoction. And some ice cold beer (this is round about when yours truly bowed out of the festivities...deciding that when every other word was proving too difficult to pronounce let alone understand - even for me, the utterer - then I should leave before the contents of my stomach ended up somewhere in the vicinity of a pink porcelein bowl).
Sometime after that the whiskey apparently came out, and then who knows, another whole booze-iacal rotation may have been set in motion. But what is known is that the husband woke me up while crashing (and i do mean crashing) into bed this morning sometime between the hours of 5am-6am. I lay awake, unable to get back to sleep for the next hour and a half. At which point the monsters arose, and with it, any chance of nursing my hangover with the respect it deserved.
A game the husband and I are known to play, a game of 'who is least capable to do childcare right now' thus ensued...and damnit...I lost. (Knew I shouldn't have bowed out so early last night.)
So the husband snored on, oblivious, and I fashioned an emergency breakfast out of a few packs of raisins and some semi-stale Ritz crackers, while throwing a dvd into the the boys newest gadget - a mini dvd player bought at one of KL's millions of malls a few days ago. All the while I attempted to hold the contents of my head in, and maintain a coherent ichat with my sister across the world - amused but by no means surprised to hear how once again I wasn't coping too well.
So all I'm saying, is that if someone had filmed 'the morning after' when you HAVE children, and a lie-in is an impossibility, i bet you anything those pre-teens queuing up to sprog littlun's, might just have a re-think.
As for me? Well, it's late afternoon now and we're bandying about the idea of taking the monsters bowling. Though to be honest, what I'd REALLY love to do right now would be to take my laptop, earphones, and go next door to 'Gloria Jean's Coffee' (a fab gourmet coffee place - I can always sniff them out) and pretend that the frazzled, pained-looking man following behind, dragging two screaming children and trying desperately to hide from the hot midday sun behind some battered RayBans, is NOT my partner in crime...and not requiring my assistance to get through the day in one piece.
Posted by "Moaning Mum" at Saturday, October 16, 2010
Saturday, 9 October 2010
We're leaving today. We're finally leaving Bali after five months of blissful tropical living. That might be one of the reasons i haven't been so prolific these past few weeks...I've been soaking it all in.
So here is my (kinda) definitive list of the best and worst bits of Bali living:
* the food...cafes abound with scrumptious fare on which to gorge oneself
* the lattes (the crack of the caffeine world - wouldn't have been a functioning adult w/out my daily dose)
* the people...we made some brilliant friends who make parting such 'bitter' sweet sorrow :(
* our cook/cleaner/pembantu...time to get my hands dirty - again...get those soft elegant hands reacquainted with soap detergent. and poo. and crumbs.
* our digs...jungle treehouse living on lush huge grounds takes some beating...might be the nicest place we ever live (so says le husband....should i be worried?)
* the weather (aside from unseasonal nightly torrential rains during the 'dry season,' Bali weather ROCKS)
* the school (Egg and Dumps had the chance to go to the glorious 'Pelangi School' where the sweetest teachers and adorable playmates in the most idylic setting, made school seem like something out of 'The Truman Show'!
* Monkey Forest (nuff said...I mean how cool is it that everyday my walk into town meant traversing a forest full of hilarious monkeys?! Beats a Bugaboo-saturated London Common hands down I'm afraid)
* the scenery (rice paddies....ahhh bliss...picture perfect loveliness complete with ducks and cute frogs)
* $1 dvds
* the dogs (Rabies huge problem here at moment...sick to death of snarling four-legged creatures)
* the mosquitos (urgh, urgh and more urgh...esp. the tiny ones that come out daily at 3pm)
* the traffic (Ubud is a single lane town with often too many tourists...traffic jams are epic...and suck)
* they've recently opened a big Starbucks (a sign of things to come? I mean come on...)
* the dampness (my leather is destroyed and ALL my clothes smell of wee - and I'm NOT incontinent)
* the kitchens (trying to cook meals on a hotplate and a toaster oven loses it's appeal after awhile)
* the rats (I should have known the day I spotted the huge Rat Alarm in the kitchen...they are big, ugly and unrepentant - and the sole reason I couldn't step foot in there for a week after my latest spotting)
* expensive reading material ($7 for a used paperback...are you serious??)
* the horrid road by the boys school (everyday on the back of the scooter, the four of us perched precariously, I was always tensed up and ready for an accident on the gravel strewn non-road...urgh)
* the fact that eventually you have to leave (sob...sniff...sniff)
So here I sit, typing away, self-delusional about the piles and piles of possessions which sit homeless in great heaps on the floor, around our already stuffed luggage. Oops. Now all those sneaky little sundress purchases and my penchant for dvds seems misjudged.
I could try layering I suppose. I've been known to do it before (hey, suffer for fashion and all that). I could literally try and wear say ten dresses on top of each other, look like a total moron and willingly portray myself as obese. Or I could leave some clothes with Kadek our 26 year old Pembantu (though face it - I can't really see her rocking the mini-skirt look somehow).
The worst part will be if we have to do a frenzied 're-shuffle' later today in the middle of a crowded airport and the husband clocks how many clothes his wife has, and the fact that she has insisted on packing the tupperware. (I'm sorry, but in India it's inferior and i NEED my tupperware damnit!)
Okay, I'm off. Bali I'll miss you...people in Bali I'll miss you too...and feel the luckiest girl in the world for having had such a brilliant experience.
Kuala Lumpur....here we come!
Posted by "Moaning Mum" at Saturday, October 09, 2010
Saturday, 2 October 2010
This morning as I awoke in our luxurious tree-house-like dwelling, I savoured the sight of the dawn, and the various chirping noises all about me in a 360 degree cacaphony. Twas bliss. Then I took a stroll outside, across the grounds (yes, we really do have 'grounds' here) and gazed fondly at the fish pond, the huge stone trellis, the riverbank, the gorgeous gigantic flowers and the majestic trees. Our own private paradise. Ah, how I'm going to miss this....
Still, I know it's time to go. It feels like it's time to move on. Five months (has it really been that long?) in Bali and our expectation level has catapulted skyward to such an extent, that deep inside I am aware of the rumblings of dissatisfaction waiting to rear their ugly heads once we return to London next year.
How shall we ever adjust to the (in retrospect pathetic) 'delight' we feel when a blast of sunshine penetrates the mirky London skies - and that's in the summer months even!
And how shall we ever fit back into our three bedroom London home - which though spacious enough - may feel like servants quarters compared to the grand scale splendour we currently inhabit (sigh)...
Ah....that's how life gets you...how it bites you in the behind. If you insist on tasting the forbidden fruit (in this case, a year chasing Paradise in Goa and Bali), then you WILL have to pay for it at some point. And I suspect the payment is going to consist of a very hardcore, very humbling re-entry into 'real life'. We shall have to adjust our expectations down to a more moderate level, and learn to be happy when we get a seat on the bus, or when our cleaner finishes her weekly clean and the place feels great for like, one hour.
We will no longer have two women hovering about, picking up clothes, doing laundry, preparing meals, washing dishes, making beds, etc. If the husband and I feel like a night out we'll have to shell out a small fortune to some bored teenager who will slouch on our sofa, watching bad telly and texting her boyfriend incessantly all night while we try and get our money's worth out of the world's most expensive 'date night'.
I am so grateful that a week today doesn't see us flying back to London town but rather to the sand swept, romantic beaches of Goa. Downsizing to more moderate conditions will be a chore to be sure...but then we shall be across the road from the beach...and have the smell of jasmine in the air, hot sugary chai on tap, and the gorgeous Arabian Sea to frolic in day after day...after day....after day...
And as long as Havianas remain the footwear de jour...in my books...that's okay.
Posted by "Moaning Mum" at Saturday, October 02, 2010
Friday, 1 October 2010
Posted by "Moaning Mum" at Friday, October 01, 2010