I awake to a flat gray sky. No matter. Cliff is still asleep. I try to unlock the double turn master bedroom door lock as quietly as is humanly possible, and then tip-toe half a dozen feet across a damp open breezeway to the main living area of the villa where I unlock door number two. While checking about for geckos and other creatures, I note it’s a bit stuffy. As water boils for coffee, I open the front door, opposite the sliders to the lanai in the back of the villa, which has an immediate cross ventilation effect and instantly refreshes the room. Typically, the house remains open most of the day. It serves as a convenient way to welcome guests, allow for quick check-ins with Kadek (the Gardener), and random visits from our beloved scavenger dog Belang. Interestingly, other stray dogs do not enter. Nor has the chicken or the rooster so far! We noticed the same kind of canine behavior pattern on a six week house-sit in Bora Bora. Despite the huge number of feral dogs on Bora Bora, they never entered the home, even with the doors wide open. Belang has obviously received permission from the owners to enter the villa and has marked his territory; he growls fiercely when other dogs attempt to encroach. As I am plunging the coffee press, Cliff saunters in and joins me on the lanai.
Outside, the air is perfectly comfortable. We both marvel at the effects of the daylight from the flat bluish sky that creates strong contrast, popping the detail of the surrounding flora. The silhouetted landscape is crystal-clear. It is kind of surreal. Tall variegated evergreen shrubs with shiny, thick leaves, in colors of magenta and chartreuse are scattered about the yard. They are up to ten feet tall with a texture that reminds me of burnished leather. Yellowish-green banana ferns stand out brightly. With exception to a few large trees on the property, the banana ferns are second in height only to the palm trees and they dominate the area surrounding the pool. The rain has kept the birds fairly sedate. I miss their sweet chirps. Unlike Australia where the birds seem pterodactyl in size, Bali’s birds are typically dainty with gentle, chirpy songs. The roosters are just getting started with their incessant crowing. Kadek’s uncle’s pregnant cow is mooing just below us down the hillside. Occasional raindrops dance on the pool in ringlets.
It’s easy to get some on-line work accomplished on a day like today. Not too hot and little glare. Cliff enjoys sitting on the lanai while he is working. Even in a downpour, the roof extends out far enough that he, and his prized twelve-inch-wide x ¾” thick Dell laptop, can stay dry. Sometimes it’s a bit hot for me, or too sunny. I move into the villa and start reading handwritten posts in the villa guest book while Cliff prepares for a Skype call with a client. The layout of the villa is a perfect environment for rest, relaxation and work when we must! Cliff will use the second bedroom to make his Skype call and has already turned on the a/c to cool it before he closes it off.
I find myself thinking about how I so appreciate the pace of our new lifestyle this past year. Our mornings rarely start in any kind of hectic way. We hardly ever set an alarm; which is usually reserved for important stuff like catching a plane. Waking up naturally as the room fills with light is never taken for granted. There is no stressful freeway commute to fret about; used to be a good 50 minute drive on I-25 in Denver for Cliff. Me? I drove all over Denver all day long to visit Architects and Designers, however my schedule was flexible and I could usually return to my home office before the evening rush hour. Distant memories now!
Also, first thing in the mornings, Cliff and I connect on our plans for the day, if any, and talk about upcoming needs; like scheduling flights or deciding where we might want to be six months from now. Or investigating Visa requirements for another country we will be visiting. It’s nice to be able to ease into work now, and first appreciate the glory of nature and a cup of rich Balinese coffee.
I retreat to the master bedroom to check email, Facebook and work on some blog posts. But first, since it is has started raining again, I curiously open the door to the Red Shower Room, attached to the master bath. As I peek inside I think to myself with a chuckle, “I’ve not taken a shower in the rain before. I might have to give a go!” As I open the shower room door it is obviously quite wet inside. Rain is sheeting down the walls. Planters either side of the shower are filling with water and some muddy water is spilling over. The floor has large black strips that are very porous (could be a volcanic material), however with care one could certainly walk about. At moments like these I miss having young children around. I can imagine what my own kids might have said, having discovered this critical event prior to my knowing about it, and proudly being the messenger of this important news, “Mom, it’s raining in the shower!”
Unless you’ve visited a typical home in a tropical area like Hawaii, most of us aren’t accustomed to open-air showers and toilets. At our last Airbnb in South Kuta, Bali, the toilet was in the shower area as well. Fortunately, here in Bali at Villa Tiga Wasa, the toilet area is separately enclosed. So, no worries about toileting in the rain! 😊