January 23rd

It’s 5 am.  My sleeps are getting longer.  I’ve finally made peace with the larger animals, their territorial spats, mating disputes and just general moaning into the night translating into dreams of kittens, and baby red squirrels sleeping in the woods, thanks to the wonderful invention of ear-plugs.  The insects, however, are going to take some getting used to.  I was feeling quite pleased with myself, having no mosquito bites after two whole days, and quite surprised myself with the degree of calmness with which I resolved the issue of being woken up by a cockroach crawling on my face.  I’m pretty sure flinging it to the floor with one hand, and simultaneously, lobbing a shoe with ninja-speed with the other isn’t particularly zen.  Narok told me on our journey from the airport that it’s against their religion to kill anything unless it’s to be eaten.  So when he and his friends used to play with spiders and bugs as children, for the lack of playstation or a lego-set, they resolved any accidental killings by bunging them on a fire for a few minutes and sharing them out as a mid-afternoon snack.  It’s seen as a sign of respect.

As for the mosquitos, I wasn’t immune; I think they just couldn’t believe their luck for a couple of days: this vessel of fresh, foreign blood waltzing naively into their midst.  Neat clusters of bites have arisen, like volcanic ranges, behind the knees, around the ankles and wrists, each with a perfectly shaped cleft on their summit.  They’re infuriating!  Am going to have to start wearing mittens when I go to bed to save myself from potential gouging of skin.

I’m beginning to establish a morning ritual.  Put the kettle on, takes about 20 minutes to boil.  Turn my laptop on, get rid of all the frog poo, make the bed, try my hardest to tame my hair into something that looks less like a hay bail and then take my garish Bali souvenir mug of green tea, out onto the balcony and watch the village of Nyuhkuning come to life.

Shopkeepers sweep the steps, westerners make their way to their sun-rise yoga classes, children reluctantly plod to school, momentarily distracted by the chickens in wicker cages.  The hum of motorbikes crescendo, smell of incense filters into the air, as the women of the house begin their daily ritual of offerings to the gods.  Male friends meet on street corners, arms folded behind their backs, talking in soft Balinese tones.

I block out the nagging hunger in my stomach, trying to train myself to not feel light-headed with the yoga diet, which appears to be not eating much at all.  No food for two hours before a class, at least for an hour after, and by the time you do get around to eating, you crave things raw and fresh.  Like my lunch yesterday – mixed salad, with avocado dressing and a large glass of freshly blended watermelon:

I’m excited about yoga today, despite a slightly dodgy stomach.  After only one session, my head feels clearer, and I’m slowing things down.  Spending less time worrying about what I need to do and see, and taking each day as it comes.

Once yoga is finished, I have a 3-hour window to eat something very light, before our intensive session, and then I’m going to investigate local amenities.  There MUST be a hotel around here somewhere that won’t mind me making use of their pool every now and again….

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