Being a bit of a recluse is a fact about me that escapes most people. My less than standoffish demeanor when meeting people – I am partly outgoing and had been taught proper manners when young – automatically classifies me as a people person. It is a bit off tangent in the scale; in fact it is only moiety of the truth of my personality. I am far from being a her,it but group outings are not my cup of tea. I prefer trips that involve me and perhaps one or two people such as my gal-pal Fistri, who is an intermittent travel buddy and whom I have been on several trips with. Life got in the way and our girl trips was put on the back burner until November 2014. Bali was our destination. It was homecoming of sorts for her being half Indonesian while it was a break from the classroom for me.

Bali has always held a fascination for me and every trip I make is always like landing in the Island of the Gods for the first time. I am suddenly always brimming with positive thoughts and a surge of hope. It seems that all the bad vibes disappear too.

This trip was off to a face-palm moment, but ended with a good laugh over fries and coffee as Fistri and I waited for the hotel car to arrive. Mind you, it was well coordinated over Viber and WhatsApp – from dates, time of arrival, hotel, and activities – yet somehow we overlooked one important detail. I arrived earlier than Fistri and waited outside the arrival lobby. While waiting, I was privy to a scene. An irate man was hurrying to the customer service and started pounding on the counter. He started berating the staff behind it at the top of his voice then started walking away while still shouting at the top of his lungs. Within seconds, a throng of burly airport security officers came and promptly whisked the disruptive man. Curious, I asked a lady next to me what had happened. She explained, with a hint of mixed facetiousness and exasperation, that it was just an airport security drill.

The same throng of people plus disruptive man were back at the customer service counter in minutes and crowded over someone’s handphone. They were going over the video of  their little drill, which ended up in fits of laughter, cajoling and a little bit of friendly pushing.

My phone buzzed – Fistri was at the outside the arrival area, she texted.  I looked around but couldn’t locate her. I texted back, saying I was at the same area but no sight of her. Then epiphany hit the two of us. We were both at the airport except I was at the domestic terminal while she was at international.

The Bali escapade had begun even as we sipped our drinks and waited for Pak Gde from Hotel Putri Tempo Doeloe, a boutique hotel located in Sanur, to pick us up.

Trip number 2 is still on the table.




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