Good Morning Bali in Bali, Indonesia
“Good morning, Bali.”
My wife throws open the curtains and greets the day. Strapped to her chest, Quinn squeals with joy at the burst of pink dawn. He loves his life here — all two months of it.
From bed, I watch them waltz around our yard, greeting our new lives one delight at a time. “Good morning, silly doggie. Good morning, pretty fruit bowl. Good morning, shiny sunshine.” She does this every day.
I’m supposed to be filming. Our Sunday plan is to shoot a “day in the life” video for the grandparents. My Flip video camera syncs straight into iMovie which uploads easily to Youtube. Our folks will be downloading a virtual visit by dawn in California. Paradise 2.0.
But first, a shower. If I wait any longer, the night’s AC will seep from our bedroom it will be too muggy to for hot water. I never imagined I’d one day crave cold showers, but that’s life on the equator. Sweaty.
Never mind, I jump in the pool instead.
Dripping wet, I grab the camera and catch up to the tour. “Good morning, Mr. green lizard. Good morning, fruity mango tree. Good morning, big red flowers.”
Outside our stucco walls, scooters buzz past. Roosters crow. Dogs bark. Palms rustle in the morning breeze. Bali is waking up. Ring of Fire. Island of the Gods. Vacation of a lifetime. Home.
Just outside our door, baffling third world adventures await us. But not today.
I film Quinn drooling at a ceiling fan, then start the coffee and pop open my laptop. It’s Sunday, but I can’t resist. The line between work/play is fuzzier than ever. Everything’s stewed together in this one technological wonder-box, both anchor and sail between my former magazine editor job life and my new gonzo Indonesia freelancer life.
I took four meetings the day I arrived in Bali. A film project. A photo shoot. Two book ideas. Most of it went sideways with the slouching economy, but somehow we remain. Posting blogs. Skyping interviews. Emailing text and photos. Surrounded by palm trees.
Most days I bike my laptop and surfboard down to the beach. Free wireless and Italian cappuccinos on the sand. I peck away until the tide and wind agree, then paddle out for a liquid lunch. All without leaving “the office.”
“Good morning, loungey lawn chairs. Good morning, happy pillow pile. Good morning, shouldn’t-be-working daddy.”
“Sorry,” I beg, “just had to check these emails.” And Google the news. And download some music. And update my Facebook. As far as the Internet knows, we never left. Meanwhile, I don’t even own shoes anymore. Our kitchen is outdoors. I take cold showers…or just jump in the pool. This resort has no check-out time.
When we announced we were moving to Indonesia, our families asked how long. “Oh, you know,” we said, “a little while probably.” When we adopted a local dog, they started to worry. When Quinn was born, they started to adapt.
As I’m pouring coffee, the computer starts to ring. I was just about to shut it down, I swear, but now my mom is calling on Skype. The woman who couldn’t work her VCR has now installed a video camera to her computer so she can “visit” her grandson.
Quinn stares at his digital grandma goo-goo-gaa-ing him on the monitor. The Jetsons used to joke about this. Now our pixelated grandparents read him bedtime stories and phone in virtual baths. When he starts to cry, they turn down the volume. Some things don’t change.
Grammy’s examining his diaper rash when the screen goes abruptly black. Ceiling fans coast to a stop. Fridge and AC go silent. On an island evolving too fast for its power grid, black outs are a weekly occurrence.
Now we’re stranded here. No email. No Skype. No uploading or downloading. No work. No responsibility. No disruption. Good morning, splashy swimming pool. Quinn squeals with joy at the refreshing plunge. Two months alive, he loves his pool. We might just float here, oh, you know, a little while probably.
Place you live: Bali, Indonesia
Preoccupation: Fatherhood, surfing, photography, travel, music, film… rinse and repeat.
What is a perfect day in your city, town, or village? Morning surf, followed by coffee and writing session, afternoon strumming guitar, evening down on the beach with my boy, then dinner and movie with the wife.
If someone was visiting for the first time for one day only, what must they do? Change their plane ticket.
What and where is a perfect meal in the place you call home? Martinis and ribs at a little expat joint called Naughty Nuris
A little known fact about where you live? It’s just one of the 17,000 islands that form Indonesia (so visit somewhere else, cause this one’s too crowded).
Nathan runs a surf video contest at innersection.tv and post weekly interviews on surfingmagazine.com.