Eat, Walk, Sweat
Trip Start Jul 15, 2007
197Trip End Jul 16, 2008
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Where I stayed
Amy's bible for our trip has been Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert's bestseller about a newly-divorced American woman who spends a year traveling, learning about pleasure (Tuscany), spirituality (India) and balance (Bali).
I think that I may write my own book about our trip. I will title it, Eat, Walk, Sweat.
I read once that the world's worst pickup line is, "You don't sweat much for a fat girl." I've never been much for pickup lines, so I can't vouch for that particular ice-breaker as a conversation-starter.
I do know that I am a fat boy, and in warm climates I sweat a lot.
Bali is a simply stunning place. Our hotel is a riot of vegetation. We are surrounded by perfect palm trees, hibiscus plants with flowers the color of Marilyn Monroe's lips, forty-foot figs. The stones of our villa are covered with moss and tiny epiphytes. All of this greenery is self-supporting, requiring only Bali's warm breezes, clean air and the water from the daily rain showers.
In other words, it is 90 degrees and 100% humidity pretty much 24/7. I walk out of our semi-air-conditioned bedroom and begin to sweat.
Yesterday we were in a shop buying sarongs so we can attend a ceremony at a local Hindu temple. I exited the shower, got dressed, walked down to the van, and drove in air-conditioned comfort to the shop. Unfortunately, the shop was open and not air-conditioned. Immediately I began to glow.
We bought sarongs for Amy and Katharine, a sarong and an apron-thing for me, and Balinese headpieces for me and the boys. In the still air of the shop, the sweat was flowing and I still needed a shirt. The shopgirl took out her largest one, a white cotton item she said was 3XL. It was a pullover model with a tab collar and three buttons at the neck. It looked small to me, but Amy held it up to my back and said she thought it was okay.
"Try it on," Amy suggested. I started to do so, and got it halfway down, at which point it stuck. Our driver began to shake his head. The shopgirl looked on with horror. With my head semi-protruding like a corpulent turtle, arms waving helplessly in the air and pale belly exposed, I had to summon Amy to extract me.
We paid for the rest of the items. The rejected shirt remained in a moist, wrinkled heap on the counter. I think the shopgirl was unsure whether to launder it or have it processed as toxic waste.
It is much, much worse when we walk. A stroll downtown and back is about three miles round-trip, and guaranteed to soak my clothes as thoroughly as a leap into the swimming pool. I shower three times a day. Our laundry bill two weeks into our Bali stay is closing in on $200, and laundry here is cheap.