We have gone up in the world. We are staying in a dead posh hotel. We know it is posh because Alula’s first words upon tearing through the room and discovering the bathroom were, ‘YAY! There’s Loo paper!’ (Mine were, ‘YAY! There’s a minibar!’, John’s were: ‘Yay! There’s wifi’)
That says it all really doesn’t it?
In the last few days Alula has invented a new game. It goes like this, as soon as we arrive in a place she gathers any and every bag she can get her hands on – mainly of the plastic gin bottle carrying variety – and places all the things she possesses and then some things she doesn’t into these plastic bags. She then deposits the bags around the room in strategic places that we must step over, leap over but never, under any circumstance move, look in or god forbid EMPTY out. Not even if our toothbrush is in one buried under dirty socks and her wet boardshorts.
Our morning routine goes something like this.
‘Alula have you seen the hair brush?’
‘Super trouper lights are going to find
me shining like the sun…’
‘Alula focus, where is the hairbrush? Have you moved it?’
‘Smiling having fun…’
‘Alula darling where is the hairbrush?’
‘Feeling like I’m number one.’
I will turn my back on my Abba tribute in frustration and start checking under desks and beds. And there invariably I will find her shrine.
Alula’s shrines are created by placing her Barbie on the mountain of her tutu and placing all around the plastic D-cupped deity, the coins pilfered from my purse, an entire pack of playing cards laid out face up, my little pony, my hairbrush, whatever shoes happen to be handy, a handful of hair clips and some sweet wrappers. Basically anything that won’t fit into the bags. I’ve not yet found any human or insect sacrifices.
I’ve started calling her magpie. These little shrines are more like nests where she collects her stray belongings (and our not so stray belongings) and hides them from our prying eyes. And the bags containing her possessions she calls her shopping bags– so either she is learning some really bad habits from me or she’s actually manifesting some anxiety behaviour due to all the changes being foisted on her.
For the first time in four months I’m starting to worry about the lack of stability in her life and the constant change. Up until now the pros have outweighed the cons but then up until now we’ve been slow travelling, spending a month in one place and allowing her time to make friends and go to school. When we’re on the road she struggles.
We had better settle somewhere before I find her trying to hitch a lift back to London with a plastic bag containing her Barbie, her float suit, a pack of cards and my hairbrush.
I jest but actually for once I’m not laughing. It really is time to move to Bali.