Journal: Tue 7.2. Java Day 5

The chill zone. Sick surf continues. Going in cognito. Masseuse in a
Birka (uh, I’m naked?)

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We enter the chill zone today, officially. Big sleep for everyone, up
early with the locals, awesome dawn patrol surf for me while the
ladies hit the included breakfast in the delightful ‘al fresko’ cafe
at our place. It is comedy — they love a long breakfast — but I’m
back after 1.5 hours in the water and they’ve just wrapped up —
apparently the local crew likes to serve the included breakfast in
“courses”. Three of them. Here is your coffee/tea. Here is your egg
or cereal or whatever. Here is your fruit, etc. Even the kids get
restless on that one and they are the kings of the 2 hour meal.
We decide to hit the beach earlier than yesterday, goal is Megan can
get some surf and the girls some beach time w/out 1,000 folks mobbing
them (and to a lesser degree me/Megan). We learned last night, and
this helps, that many of the local tourists here in the Pre-Ramadan
festivus zone are rural — not from Jakarta or Bandung or something,
and we are the first white people they have ever seen. And yeah, we
are white. The girls w/ bleached blond hair and tans and matching
polka dot swimsuits. It’s all good, we balance through accommodating
the never ending photo requests with some parental hovering and
friendly wave offs to balance things out. Most of the peeps here have
no phone — and by that I mean they have no camera either. But that
says something about the rural thing. This is why the beach photogs
are in force, taking pics and selling, etc. It’s insane the feedback
loop as hundreds of folks come back around to show us the photos of
them with us!
Lebron, we feel you!!!
I actually figure out if I drape a sarong over me while sitting and
what not I am somewhat camo . . . maybe I get the ladies hijab
(headscarves?). I’m only half kidding.
But anyway it is a glorious morning on the beach. The waves are still
glassy, the crowds are low and manageable after a few photo requests
and the girls actually get some wave/ocean time (including Megan on
the surfboard!). I just huddle and watch under my sarong . . . the
wave’s here right now are not super scary the swell has backed off and
it is mostly a sand bottom but the zone is not straight forward and
there is a lot of current and what not so I’m watching Megan hard and
the kids, etc. It is sunny and getting HOT. The sun is cool though
because it drops a mad tropical and WILD JAVA scene — super blue
waters, breaking waves and whitewater, exploding jungle and palms to
every shoreline, row upon row of mountain/volcano shooting up, black
sand . . . depending on how you like your beach/etc. this is arguably
the most scenic beach we’ve hit.
I sneak in another short surf :) Man, it is nice. The convenience of
this place is incredible, to be “with” the family and have 2 sessions
before 11am? And no stress for me, either. Driving/parking/blah/blah
. . . none of that, cross the street and boom. You can pay 10x what
we are for less accommodation for as good as this is delivering.
By 11:30am the crowds have hit and sure enough it gets a little much
for the girls — at one point they are literally surrounded by 20
young women and Megan and I are like wow I hope our kids are in there
(we are 20m away) . . . after photos and flashes the crowd disperses
and what emerges are our girls sitting the awesome hole / castle zone
they’ve been working. I’m trying to figure out how much is ok to
expose them too . . . we are all talking about it a lot together, what
to do, how to respect and interact and get the most out of the
experience and accommodate but not “force” ourselves to be zoo animals
or something.
Today is better than yesterday — hit the beach early, then when it
get’s a little nutty bail the kids out for lunch (out of our fridge
leftovers from other meals so simple and loving it — secret to chill
is no transport or food hassles/stress and awesome stuff to see/do for
everyone) — and further mommy/daddy yoga program. Day 2 in a row as
Megan trains me up. Surfing, yoga, eating clean. It feels pretty
good. Adventure travel is amazing but we’ve literally not had room to
stretch/do yoga/do core/etc. — I mean yeah there is always room but
adventure travel w/a few nights in each place and on a budget and
jamming ourselves into whatever we can is just not aligned with
optimal health on any front (sleep, regularity, diet, stress, blah,
blah). It’s ok, that is not a rant, just a fact, and it’s all good.
I’m probably the least “in shape” aerobically that I’ve been in the
last 10 years. And I wouldn’t trade the last 4 months for ANYTHING.
I have the rest of my life for health and fitness and whatever blend
of those I choose to seek. What we are doing isn’t aligned w/ either
but it’s all good and we are posted up at a place for 6 nights that
offers the ability for a little more routine and pursuit of how I call
“Truckee in Asia” :) Surf (not bike or ski), Fam beach (Indian Ocean
wild Indo not Donner Lake or Tahoe), Yoga w/ Megan (not personal
stretching/core), my own reading and writing (vs. full time work for
$$), and then my “work/dealing” which never really goes away given
my/our situation but all good and a TINY % of usual.
Megan leads me through another amazing 1+ hour of
yoga/flow/power/stretch and on the heals of 2 surf sessions this
morning and 90+ heat and humidity and little breeze on our patio I am
both loose but challenged. In a good way, cool. The Mosque is
singing prayers in the background and they continue to enchant/haunt
me, just beautiful to me. Yes, and hold that side plank for 10
breaths, oi!
Afternoon, what a job they’ve done on this pool area. Small, but
beautiful, style and taste on the right scale, mix of sun and shade
and pool and view right onto the break/beach when you want it, all the
little touches, mother of all beanbag/chaise lounge mashup thingies
(why are these things so absent from the US??).
So hot, so still, so chill and fun for us the hours melt away in pools
and cold showers and novels and swim races and beautiful surroundings
we succeed in jacking my mental clock by more than 30 minutes (I guess
2:30 and it is 3:09!!) — that is our new measure of daddy chill-axe!
All in context of Megan and I punching in Sunda massage. $8/hour,
mid range for what we’ve done on the trip, low of $4/hour and max of
$12/hour. It really has become a cultural right of passage for us to
see what we get on the native program. Here is it is the Sunda
massage. We decide to go for it as the storm rolls in and we are
going in anyway and no afternoon surf, I am required to walk 70 paces
down some stairs to my room and take a quick shower and at 3:30 a lady
shows up.
She is Muslim (of course) and wearing a shiva (headscarf). I’m wearing
shorts . . . uh, take ’em off? She points to a bed, puts down a
sarong on it, nods at the shorts drop . . . my fame is on the patio,
whatever, ok, now I’m buck w/ 4 ladies? I try to go modest zone w/
the massage lady and I think that is good I dive face down . . . she
finds a towel and covers my ass . . . my face is in a pillow on my bed
. . . and let me step back a second. You want a masseuse w/ power and
pride and focus. This woman is ~50 and has it all in spades. Wow.
She rips me apart, in a good way. A fun way. I am cooked on 5 recent
surfs and 2 yogas and standard travel and this and that and she FINDS
the spots, she knows. It is not random, she finds the spots and goes
to work. She could crush my hand in a handshake. Her hands are
insane!!! It is not delicate in any way, but awesome as always just
experiencing what is up. Mad focus on the joints and tendons . . . I
need to compare notes w/ Megan is this because that is Sunda or she
knew? I feel like this lady could also light a snake on fire and put
it on my back as part of this treatment. Again, in a good way. I
trust her and she is a healer.
Outside I can hear Keira making Sambal with rocks and grass. And the
predicted thunderstorm thunder and rain and flashing. I don’t care,
some techno vibes are drifting through . . . then they stop and more
Islamic prayer magic comes from the mosque . . . the family is
watching through the windows and it’s kind of cool and I don’t care,
the massage backbeat of a century.
Then it’s over and I am worn and kneaded — and feel incredible! I
think Megan will love it, but it’s actually too much in some parts and
I’m laughing as usually
Megan gets the same, and I take snuggle w/ Keira on the daybed outside
and we just chat galactic style and it is transcendent, and connected,
and I soar. I head out for takeout again and it’s awesome, all of it,
getting it from our now “local” warung we’ve sourced and dialed (thing
“Blink” instincts proven right by 3 other data post data points), and
out patio is a magical candlelit zone and so good for the kids (and
thus us). We chill some w/ the owner of the place who is rad and it’s
just a cool eve, overall, storming here and there, good atmosphere,
big JAVA love for this place and spot. Surf fx is rad, too, so smiles
are easy for me for sure :)
Tucking the girls in w/ sarongs and their animals (who I’m super deep
with, earned yo) is icing on the cake.
A final zone at the cafe w/ Iman and Paul and some broader b-day crew
rounds thing out. You are only here on an intentional basis. Just
like living in Truckee. That is why we are simpatico w/ the locals and
travelers here, and at all points on the road less traveled (and to be
clear that road is not a geographical road as could be intuited here,
it a spiritual / intentional road, one I see in the crew I roll with
local and afar and just love, a decision of spirit, all that
matters.). So, that is our program and we feel it and love it.
Iman and I drink tomorrow, I think. Or now. Out.