Bali was the promise of relaxation, cocktails by the pool and shrugging off the stress left over from regular routine and planning a lengthy trip. It didn’t disappoint, but relaxing holiday? Not entirely. Anyone who has been to Bali and has ventured outside their hotel knows that there is chaos and danger at every corner. If the cars and mopeds aren’t trying to run you over as you cross the street, the sellers and hagglers are trying to wear you down and make you buy some ugly trinket or fake handbag you don’t need. On top of that the heat smothers you like a blanket leaving you drenched in sweat within minutes of stepping outside your air conditioned room and the kids start whining ‘how much further?’ before you have taken even left the hotel premises. All of the good parenting mantras you said to yourself when you woke up ( we won’t eat too much junk food today, I’ll order vegetables for lunch and I definitely won’t drink alcohol again) are forgotten immediately as you offer an icecream bribe to get to the corner of the street. Oh , and I’m going to need that cocktail when we return.
Did I mention that we started our relaxing week in Bali with my sister, her three girls and my mum ( aka nan)? Thank-god for nan who quickly became the leader of our tribe. Nan , a Bali-guru, who visits Bali at least 2-3 times a year made sure we didn’t catch the wrong taxi, get short-changed by the mini-mart cashiers or taxi drivers ( my sister tried to pay $21 for a $2.10 taxi ride – easy mistake) or get overcharged for a fake pair of adidas shoes. Nan knew what restaurants to eat at, where to watch the sunset whilst sipping on a cocktail and where to buy the cheapest souvenirs. She had us and the six kids rounded up and safely across the street each and every time.
Yes, there was plenty of hanging out at the pool and the drinks service was great and to be fair when you have someone to clean your room daily, someone to cook you meals and even someone to give you a massage when you need one I guess it was relaxing. Anywhere you go with three kids, heat, overcrowding and traffic chaos is unlikely to be a walk in the park ( a lush green park with a cool breeze that is). We are slowly adjusting to the new chaos and the new parameters for relaxing. Bali, we love you , we will be back. If you were too relaxing we might not be prepared to move on to the next busy, hot and chaotic spot!
Where next? Lombok and the Gili Islands.