Photo H.S. Palladino

Why the heck did I come to Bali?


As barking dogs, howling roosters, my neighbour’s television and the morning traffic competes for my attention at 4 am I wonder what on earth possessed me to move to Bali.
I haven’t slept in three days because of the noise, the room is dirty, the air-condition doesn’t work, there is only cold water in the shower and from the tap there is hardly any water running at all.

When I complain to the manager of the hotel he just shrugs his shoulders and says: “Sorry, there is warm water in the hotel … the problem is the location of your room.”
“And the air-condition?” I ask, a tad sarcastically.
“Oh, it works, it is just that someone stole the remote, so now it is manual …”
“Manual? At three meters up on the wall? And with no chair to stand on?”
He then walks away.
I’m not sure whether I should laugh or cry. I’m not so crazy about air-condition anyway, since it makes me sick, so this is not such a big deal, but at least it keeps the mosquitos away, now my legs look like two red and white spotted eels.
Again I’m thinking – why did I come here?
The answer comes immediately – you love this place remember?
Yeah… my mind says reluctantly.
– You have come here for years; you love Asia and have always dreamt of staying here long term.
My mind is silent for a minute, searching for ways to oppose, but then I must admit – Yes, I do love Asia; and I do love the beaches, the food, the rural villages and the endless rice fields. And I have been coming to Indonesia off and on since the late nineties, so why am I complaining now?

This was supposed to be the best decision of my life. Staying in Bali for at least a year, travelling around Indonesia, dedicating my time to photo and most of all, my love for writing. So why don’t I feel great? I pause, then log on to Facebook and complain to a friend,
– I wasn’t supposed to be like this, I write.
Maybe you should give it more then three days, she replies.
True. I smile to myself and know what her next line will be
– But then again you are not known for your patience, are you?
Also true. I start to feel a bit embarrassed. Patience isn’t my strength as friends and family, boyfriends and co-workers have experienced over the years. But maybe this is what I should learn on my little Asia experiment? Maybe I should learn to relax more, be more patient and learn to live with life’s ups and downs. Do I always have to try to change things to the way I want them?
A minute or two goes by.
Yes, I conclude. Maybe patience isn’t one of my strengths, but taking a new route when I’m not happy is.
So I return to my room, pack my bags, give the manager of the hotel such a hard time he agrees to return my advance payment. I then step outside to the burning Bali sun and hail a cab.


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8 Comment
  1. Ellen 8 years ago

    Å ja jeg gleder meg til fortsettelsen Hilde, men det var så vanskelig å lese svart skrift på denne bakgrunnen……..

    • H.S. Palladino 8 years ago

      Fortsettelsen er allerede mye bedre Ellen!

  2. Tony 8 years ago

    Lettlest og underholdende, og “bortimot” perfekt engelsk diksjon.
    The only impeccable writers are those who never wrote. – William Hazlitt

    Ved hjelp av påmonterte lesebriller fremsto teksten klart for overtegnede 🙂
    Kommer til å følge med litt om litt.

    • H.S. Palladino 8 years ago

      Hehe, tusen takk Tony!

  3. Beny 7 years ago

    Your story brought me an attention while waiting for my flight from Taipei to Jakarta
    You make a great picture of Indonesia

    • H.S. Palladino 7 years ago

      Thanks for your comment Beny, I’m still here and I guess that the chaos and constant reminders that things aren’t always as expected is what we love about Asia too.

  4. munther fahmi 7 years ago

    You are funny! Reading your first lines reminded me of a book I had read by William Sutcliffe called” Are you experienced” about a trip to should check it out, it’s hilarious! I think you are having more fun than you ready to admit…by the way, Mr. Sutcliffe was one of the international authors who participated in the Palestine Literature Festival

    which I help organize each’s a traveling festival and the idea is to have writers experience life under the brutal Israeli occupation and inspire them to write either fiction or non about it..He had written a great book after his visit called the Wall

    Hope that one you can come a visit this fascinating part of the world and be part of our festival perhaps? In the meantime enjoy Asia.

  5. H.S. Palladino 7 years ago

    Wow, thanks for both your compliments on my writing and for the information about the festival. I spent the best part of four years in India so no doubt I’ll have a great laugh!

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