The lady over the road sells clothes. We’re not talking Topshop here. Hell, we’re not even talking Primark. And when we first moved in I kind of had a glance at the random assortment of bintang t-shirts and fisherman’s trousers hanging up, sighed deeply and silently to myself about the fashion vortex that is Bali, and then went and unpacked my suitcases, figuring it was a price well worth paying in exchange for coconuts and Kadek. And it is.
Since then (it’s been 6 months living in the Fashion hinterlands) I’ve actually come to care a lot less about fashion and what I look like. I mean we’re at the stage now where Alula cares more about looking cool these days…
‘But mummy,’ she says once she’s accessorized her morning ensemble, ‘Does it look cool? Because no one at school says I’m cool.’
‘Yes, well darling cool is subjective.’
‘Being cool is about not caring what people think of you, because you’re too cool for all that shizz.’
In which case I’m uber cool. I care not an iota of what people think of me (fashion-wise at least, in Bali at least). I’m wearing flip flops two sizes too small for me because someone took mine by accident and I think the ones they took were ones I took from someone else the week before anyway. So at this rate I should get my original pair back in a few days I estimate.
I wear the same manky old vests and ripped jean shorts almost every day. Most days I forgo the bra because as A tells me I’ve got no boobs left anyway. And I’ve given up caring. I like that about here. You can’t wear heels – not unless you want to fall into an open water channel. The most common look in Ubud is the yogi stretchy pants, cropped top over tight abs look. I don’t have the abs for that. I don’t have abs fullstop. And I don’t own stretchy pants (sweaty camel toe ickness).
Last night I went online and thought I’d have a look at what goodies Topshop is offering these days…am going to Singapore next week so this was my recon intel mission.
I looked at the flip flops – $20! But they’re $2 in town. And a dress for 50quid! I sighed once more, then went over the road to the woman who sells fisherman trousers and bought myself a tie dyed t-shirt with a big heart on the front, a white embroidered top – something Star from Lost Boys might wear – and thought ha! as I handed over my 80,000 rupiah. Partly I bought the stuff because Made, the lady who owns the shop always tells me I’m cantik (beautiful) in between telling me that I need to have a boy child, and that everyone thinks I’m cantik. Cantik this, cantik that, cantik hips, cantik face, cantik boobs. I’m like ‘ok, ok you got a sale lady enough with the cantik, get your hands off my boobs.’
This is what I’ve come to. Buying clothes from a woman who sells t-shirts with beer logos on to kids and who wouldn’t know a copy of Vogue if it landed on her lap. Fashion and I are no longer on speaking terms. Fashion is in fact dead to me.
I just tell myself I’m really, really cool though. Too cool for all that fashion shizz.