There’s a part half way through where I’m pouring sweat, literally pouring, as if my body has sprung several leaks, and I realize that I can’t move my shoulder or neck anymore.

I decide to take a break.

I pant my way to the water cooler. It’s ecstatic dance. Everyone by the water cooler is full of ecstasy.

‘It’s amazing isn’t it?’ I get asked by some euphoria fuelled girl.

Yes, I say, and for once I’m not having to stick my tongue so far into my cheek it looks like I’m chewing a billiard ball.

Because it actually is. It’s the best dance night I’ve ever been to.  It’s way better than one I went to the other week where I mistakenly thought I’d signed up for two hours of lose yourself in the music dance like no one is watching in a corner by myself fun but instead it turned out to be two hours of holding hands with thirty other adults, skipping around the room, stroking strangers’ faces and sending them the love of the universe.

So not my thing. But apparently a lot of other people’s thing because no one else was muttering what the fuck under their breath or looking horrified or wiping their hands down their shorts or casting around desperately for the exits or mentally preparing their blog lines. They were all sending the love. And stroking the faces.

But tonight I am high without being high and I’m loving it. There’s no holding hands or swaying or sending love to the universe. Although there are two people sitting on the floor in a lotus pose smiling ecstatically like buddhas who’ve smoked one too many. (I later find out that they were ‘making miracles happen’. didn’t fix my neck though did they).

I clutch my neck and realize it really, really hurts. Earlier I pulled a muscle in my neck whilst taking a shower. Which makes it sound like I was up to something in the shower. I wasn’t. Anyway, then I decided I needed to dance. So I sank two nurofen and two margaritas and now I’m paralysed.

But this is ecstatic dance. And it’s ecstatic dance in Ubud no less. I only have to wait oooh, thirty seconds before someone comes and starts healing me with a hands on Reiki session right there by the water cooler.

All better – well not all better but I find that once I start dancing again – like a loon – like there is no pole in the world that could take the heat – I am cured. Miraculously.

Then I go home, pass out, wake up and start crying. Because pain has replaced ecstasy.

I go to the chemist that is not Boots. Unable to turn my neck, driving becomes even more reckless, I just have to trust in Ganesha to keep those bike drivers safe. I order something over the counter for muscle pain. Take it. Half an hour later I tell John I don’t feel so well and go and lie down. What follows is a tamer version of a Peyote fuelled nightmare. I trip. I am unconscious but conscious. I am being hit on the head by Alula repeatedly but I am not able to do a thing but drool.

After a few hours I prize my dead eyes open with toothpicks and tap the name of the drug into my computer. I am told I have just taken the strongest opiate on the market other than perhaps heroin. Also the most addictive.

Indonesia, where you can be shot for smoking weed, happily administers opiate based drugs (with no warnings about not driving and no suggestions to not take if pregnant or on other drugs) to people with a little bit of neck pain.

But my neck is better now.

Which is good because this Friday I intend to dance again.



One thought on “Ecstatic dance in Ubud. Again.

  1. Cathy says:

    euuuugh! face stroking!!! tell me it wasn’t so!! Maybe I’ll take a couple of those opiates next Friday…could take Flashdance to a whole nother level!!
    Cathy 😉

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