I don’t think I’ve ever been so scared. And that’s nothing to do with reading the Air Asia inflight magazine in which they discuss what happens when planes crash into the sea and try to comfort you with all the rescue paraphanelia that would ditch into the watery abyss with you. It’s ok, you’ll plummet 37,000 feet but you’ll have a whistle.
And seasickness tablets.
So what’s the big fuss?
I’m sacred because I think we are mad. And it’s only suddenly occurred to me, 37,000 feet in the air and over water, that we’re emigrating. I swallow hard. And then clutch John and demand to know what we were thinking.
(I’m also unnaturally afraid because, even though I’m not trafficking drugs of any description, entering Indonesia freaks me out every time. Just the sign declaring death to anyone with so much as a pipe on their person makes me nervous.)
Our previous wanderings seem suddenly like a 2 week Thompson holiday in Spain compared to this. This is monumental. And a part of me longs for the crazy, lazy days of mooching around the planet with just a 60ltr rucksack, a bank account aslosh with money for the ahum bathroom and a round the world ticket in my hand. I miss the lightness of that, the vagueness, the freedom, the possibilities.
Now I will be a stayer putter. I will be chair of the parent board at Alula’s school – volunteered in my absence and crap if that’s not a slap around my vague face and a reminder of responsibilities rather than possibilities. Am I ready to have a home again? A routine? Won’t that feel like prison?
For the whole 14 hour Air Asia flight to KL, when not trying to stave off hypothermia by clutching Alula in the throes of sleep (Air Asia that’ll be 50 quid for a comfort blanket please) I kept thinking ‘what have we done? what have we done?’ There were no films to choose from either to distract me (normally I’ll take a three hour shot of Jakey boy running around in a skirt to distract me from the 37,000 feet and the whistle) but no on Air Asia you have to pay Odeon west end prices for a movie. And though I like Jake, particularly his chest, I have to say I don’t like him enough to fork out 8 quid. For that I’d expect something a lot more personal than can be achieved through a plasma screen.
And then something weird happens, we arrive home. Our gorgeous house in Penestanan. And within seconds it is home (especially once I’ve stashed the Absolut in the freezer). Our pembantu Kadek arrives all smiles and with sweets for Alula. The car gets dropped. Tea gets made (albeit Bali style – black lipton with 8 tablespoons of sugar), the restaurant next door russles up a pancake for Alula. I do a supermarket sweep and bump into 3 people I know.
Oooh I think, I can do this. This is actually rather wonderful. All we need is a dog.
And then I unpack the mugs, the magnets and the marmite. Oh, and the PG tips and the percy pigs. I sit back on the balcony admiring the view. And then, then I really do feel at home.