Monday, February 27, 2006

Off I go...

Into the Wild Blue Yonder. I'm struck by how different it all feels this time. Last year it really felt momentous, the four of us taking off (five actually, with Joyce for the first three weeks), for three full months, our stuff all in storage, our cozy little crash pad waiting for our distant return.
Today it's just me, and I'm really just slipping out for ten days. Not that big a deal, I guess.
There's a number of folks I'd like to have said goodbye to, or seen. Oh well. If you are one of them (and you'll know if you are) then "so long, see you soon".
I'm taking the airport express bus at 5pm. "Express" means it takes an extra hour and arrives at an inconvenient time. It looks like I'll have a five hour wait at SFO! Gak. That's before the 22 hour flight.
But my buddy Steve is going to pick me up on my return. He's my hero! He and Meredith gave me the idea of bringing jam for gifts. Good ol' blackberry, strawberry and raspberry jam will be an exotic treat for some Balinese friends. Picking gifts for the kids was harder. I ended up with some psychedelic rubber bouncy balls and some Matchbox cars. How much Western influence do I want to bestow upon the lovely Balinese? Western crap made in China.
Walking through the toy isle at Target I was struck by the very strong cultural influence of the toys. The toys aren't just reflecting our culture, they're shaping it! Violent war toys, action figures, and vehicles for the boys. Dolls, dolls, dolls for the girls. But what awful dolls! Sluts and prostitutes by and large, with a few babies here and there (and I really don't think of myself as a prude). And then most of the toys are meant to go right into the landfill in short order. I don't think Bali even has a landfill.
Hopefully what I picked out will be inoffensive. If I have time today maybe I can find some cheap frisbees.
When we were leaving New Zealand we had so much bulky winter clothing to bring back we went out and bought a huge, cheap suitcase. I went and got it yesterday and threw in a few things. It's 80% empty. I'm planning to cram it full of Balinese craftwork. I suspect this is my last trip over. There are many other places in the world I would like to see, so Bali may not make the list again before Peak Oil hits. I'm planning to enjoy every minute!
It's funny. Always when I leave on a trip I feel as though I may die enroute. This makes saying goodbye a little more urgent. I think it's a past life thing. I don't feel it this time. I'll be back for sure.
Sorry this is a little dull. Or very dull, more likely. It's been a weird few days, running around trying to get ready. I've come to realize how much I depend on Krista to handle certain things. She's so organized! I'm more the headless chicken, running about in circles.
Today I'm planning on really cleaning the house. And spending lots of time playing with the girls. Then off...
Oh, and if you get the chance--please impeach those guys while I'm away. Thanks.

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