Lembongan Diary Entry @ Denpassar Airport 4 November 2023

It’s been a while plus some  since the last diary entry and as I’m at the airport in Bali at Made’s Warung looking at a picture of a youthful Mick Jagger who must have visited the Ubud version of the warung sometime in the 1980’s, this seems  about as good a time as any, to wrap up Lembongan pt 1. 

The past few weeks have been diary free in the main because of a fairly energy draining bout of influenza, I say influenza as that is what it felt like rather than just your average flu. Not quite as bad as the first time I got flu in Australia but pretty close.

This, combined with an average daytime temperature of 33-35 degrees with night-time never really falling below 25.

 I did eventually give in about a week ago and go to the local medical centre to involve myself in a Monty Pythonesque skit involving a pharmacist, receptionist and Doctor who were all one and the same person, so he could after much form filling, charge me 550K IDR (Aus$55) for 5 antibiotics and some indeterminate pills that were supposed to clear the chest. 

Of course on getting back home and checking with Dr Google I found that he’d prescribed antibiotics that he shouldn’t have, although I admit that didn’t stop me gobbling them up in the hope that they might achieve something, they didn’t. The airport air-con, instead, appears to have done the trick.

So what’s happened of note over the last month or so?

Hamish came up from Sydney for a week or so and spent the first couple of days discovering the island and neighbour Ceningan. I think he managed in 2 days what it took me two months to do. He even found the not so mysterious “secret beach” that always ends up on “travellers” instagrams or their You Tube channels, replete with sign saying “to secret beach” and abandoned resort it is the perfect hangout for 20 and 30 somethings who want to feel as though they are off the beaten track, By day 3 he’d slowed down and would spend most of the day chuckling at his phone, popping in and out on his Scoopy and doing the Mola Mola sunset session. He is the best of company and I missed him dreadfully as soon as he left.

The Internet guys came and swapped over satellite to cable giving me better internet access that I had in Sydney. This has its advantages and disadvantages, The main advantage being the ability to get more work done and watching more middling films on you tube. 

These are of course outweighed by disadvantages including an endless vomitorium of emails from the Judge in the US who I idiotically agreed to work with on presenting a conference in Portland in December ( why I’m at the airport now). Also, it means that by default it is easier for the outside world to invade my life and all the subsequent horrors of the latest chapter of Israel / Palestine have been unavoidable. As a reformed news junkie I thought I could disengage but the updates are so harrowing one is drawn back and back again to know what new horrors are underway. I even found myself watching Poundland philosopher Peter Hitchens being interviewed  by idiotic Australian National Party and ex deputy PM John Anderson last night. Of course Anderson’s lack of intellect makes Hitchens look almost smart but I did notice that every time Anderson actually asked anything deserving of an answer Hitchens would put his hands up in the air and simply say I don’t know. He really is the palest imitation of his departed brother and even his new Marx/Chomsky beard fails to hit the right note of erudition.

Geopolitics was even on view from the front porch of the Joglo a couple of weeks back. The US, Indonesians and others were undertaking naval exercises  the subtext being, China fuck off. For a week or so large grey vessels would glide up and down  the Bali Lembongan channel . Ominously silent and distant and yet so close . A week also, with plenty of whirring helicopter traffic over the island.

Closer to home the mangoes have been fruiting again. I left the freezer full of old Jam jars stuffed to the brim with mango pulp for my return in December The Chickens are now completely used to me and don’t run away when I approach them. The red ants are finding it so hot they are spending a lot of time in the middle of the day hanging out on the porch in what looks like a moot court or parliamentary debate. I don’t what they are discussing but it looks important, I wonder whether they are having ant debates on what to do about climate change as the days get hotter and the rains come later.