#1 Massage. Night Market.
It is our last full day in Balian. School is rad. My surf session is the best of Balian. Swell is down a bit, conditions are as good as they’ve been since we got here (for me) and far fewer crowds — hey shocking in the best conditions for your ability with the fewest people better than you competing for waves you have the best session. So yeah, surf literally until I am physically dusted — not mental or just after I got freaked because conditions too big or whatever or I got tired or the clock ran out on fam surf window or something but literally just fully physically drained . . . feels good. I finally don’t assume I’m just gonna be psyched or conditions are going to support an afternoon program and drain the tank for the day surfing wise — I love the surfing phrase as a parable for anything in life (sic): “if you are on good waves, why are you looking for other/better waves”. Surfing brings this into AMAZING focus and relief.
The thunderstorm pattern continues, Megan and kids walk to dance class that gets cancelled (cuz rain — and I feel secret pride that my “soft” western ladies are out rocking through rain and t storms and locals are bailing?). I’ve sourced a massage for 4pm for $5. This means I’ve walked all over for fun, which was/has been fun to check stuff out, and just poked my head in the random “massage” sign spots until the vibe was right. Another meta learning for travel for the trip apply it to your life — the vibe. Trust the vibe. Gladwell “Blink” zone writ large. All good. Know when you can “Blink” and know and know when you can’t. I nail it. I walk through a thunderstorm and get a massage in some ladies kitchen w/ her kids jumping all over. And it is the best of 3 already awesome Bali massages. Net is this woman just seems to know it all and things range from what we’d call sports massage to thai to chiro adjustments — whatever goes down I just feel right and I think she did it all on energy/physical feedback I did nothing verbally. A future post will capture more of my rambling about services and economics and what not but the massage thing is crazy. Before I a ramble let me repeat that the practitioners in Truckee are probably amongst the best in the U.S. And, in general, this is just an economics lesson. Nothing more and nothing less. But when at $5/hour you get “60% – 90%” of the value of a $100/hour massage in the U.S. that is wild. So for 20x less price you get at least half the value if not 90% of the value? All about number of people available for “cheap” labor vs. U.S. . . . again please any higher paid body worker in the U.S. don’t yell at me! You know this stuff already, it is just wild to see it firsthand. Quality of $5 massage varies massively and there is lang barrier and all that again don’t get me wrong, but it is never only “5% as good for $5 as a $100 U.S. massage for hour” kind of thing — that is all I’m saying.
Last night in Balian: I take the crew to a very local night market for dinner just up the road. It’s kind of fun — we have no food in the house we are “done” with anything walking distance for food or whatever — we hit it. So fun. Amazing. We are carrying 10 bags of $1/bag when we are done. Chicken satay 10 cents/piece. $1 for 10. The insane thing is you need 30 of these satay to equal a chicken breast in the west. It kind of makes sense but the adjustments are hard to figure out for a family of four. In Indo dinner is not the “big” meal. And rice is the game. The crew “adventures” on and all is good. More and more native we go . . .
The other bits of this day are about me not having things 100% dialed for the family in terms of the next 9 days. I decide we are doing the following:
a. dropping car tomorrow (tue the 23rd) — 2-3 hours away
b. finding the place where our intl mail has arrived (no JOKE!) and that is where we are going to meet rental car-ish guy to take back this indo cheapo car we’ve had for 6.5 weeks!
c. going to nusa lumgongan on a boat after we drop car and getting boat guy to pick us up there where drop off car
d. staying in nusa lembogan for kid beach/snorkel program (and hopefully daddy paddle to surf?)
You got all these logistics on the cheap in broken indo – lish? Good. Me too.
All of this is in a mix of no / bad internet and email thing, inglish language kookiness, trying to sort out getting ripped off vs legit value, balancing the aforementioned puzzle of money vs. conv vs. time vs. comfort vs. stress, etc. . . . I know the next day is going to be INSANE. And it is. Adventure.