Blessings from the Lessons Learned — final entry as AbroadnAsia

•August 31, 2008 • 2 Comments

Things I’ve learned on my journey:
I’ve learned about balance and how important it is for living life and being alive
I’ve learned there has to be evil for there to be good, and the good is worth the evil.
I’ve learned that life is about climbing to the next level and just when you think you’ve arrived there’s always another level to go (thank you Moonzu)
I’ve learned planning doesn’t always work, but if you approach things with an open mind, an open heart and an open soul, things work out better than you could have imagined, all thanks to the divine.
I’ve learned that control is tireless and pointless, because I’m not in control of any one thing or circumstance, just what I do. And from that I’ve learned to let it go and let it naturally flow.
I’ve learned to give thanks to God for all that I have; for each new day, for every mountain I’ve climbed and every plateau I’ve landed. Just give thanks.
I’ve learned to give back when I’m blessed enough to share and even when I think I’m not, there’s always room and enough for one more.
I’ve learned people are good, and kind, and generous, and proud and honorable. And that we are all One in God.
I’ve learned there is no time or room for regrets and that I have to make the choices that are right for me despite what the consensus may say.
I’ve learned to listen to the God in me. Because God is in everyone. Whether it’s Allah, Jehovah, Buddha, Brahma, Yahweh, Ra, or just God, we are all made from the Divine and the Divine resides in all of us.
But most of all I’ve learned I’m going to be ok. I’m a child of God with a Divine life-force coursing through my body. I’ll overcome any adversity or challenge and I’m not limited to anything.
Finally, I’ve learned that Cipro is a wonder drug and if I could by stock in the company who makes it I would.
I suspect these are things that I already knew — I was raised right after all. However it took this journey for me to believe in them, live them and share them with you. In sharing with you, my nearest and dearest I hope at times when I’m stressed or worried or fretting about something, you will remind me of what I believe and how I’m supposed live. I’m relying on you to remind me of my word and the point of AbroadnAsia.
See you on eastern daylight time.

AbroadnAsia Comes to an End

•August 30, 2008 • 1 Comment

So my abroadnasia journey is just about over. On Sunday, August 31st I board an Asiana 747 jet (hopefully in business class if Omma can work her magic) enroute to JFK. If you’ve been reading my blog then you know I had the most wonderful and blessed time. But all good things must come to an end.
Originally it was my intention to go to Vietnam and Osaka, Japan well I just wasn’t able to pull it off this trip. For an awesome this experience has been, it’s time for me to come home and deal with my life from a fresher, more grounded and calm perspective and I’m really looking forward to the next chapter of my life.
For now though, I’m just chillin and taking it easy with my family in Korea. … My family in Korea, what a great bunch — made up of all women; strong, funny, smart and fashionable women. There’s Halomie who holds courts from her hospital bed, she’s like the Godmother, and Don Corleone has nothing on her. She’s about three apples high and two apples wide. I’ve never seen one person receive so many visitors while in the hospital. She’s bossy too, but in that loving kind of way. Truly a character. Her biography is being published in October, so I’ll be sure to buy one for her to sign.
Then there’s Omma. Omma Gosh! is the most fitting term for her. She is like a whirlwind of energy. Not your typical maternal figure, as you won’t find her baking in the kitchen. She’s a mover and a shaker. Case in point: when I left Korea on August 9th the house was in tact, business as usual. I return to find the house turned upside down as Omma Gosh! decided to redo the entire kitchen and Halmonie’s room. Just like that. So yesterday we had to go furniture shopping for the new kitchen and then we had to eat. Omma Gosh! is big on eating, so you know we got along famously. Omma Gosh! is funny too. Jenny has this friend, Ashton, who is a really cute guy. On the surface he looks to have it all together, but that’s on the surface. He’s missing something and as Omma explained he’s missing 2%. When she said it I knew exactly what she meant. Have you ever met someone who is almost there, but is just missing 2%? Well that is Ashton. Too bad because he and Jen could have made a great couple, his just missing 2%. Oh well what are you going to do? Omma Gosh is planning a trip to the US sometime in the fall, so I plan to spend sometime with her while she’s there. I’ll attempt to treat her just as well and kindly as she’s treated me.
Then there’s Jenny. How many people do you know share their homes and families so generously and openly. Jenny is truly a blessing in my life and I’m so glad we were friends and now we’re family. I’m going to miss her and her Dalai Lama-like calm way about her. I’m also going to miss her cooking, but I did gain weight once she moved it. Jenny is truly spectacular! She’s so giving and selfless, quite the opposite from me, I guess that’s why we work so well as friends we have a balance — she gives and I take. ( I tried to give but she wouldn’t let me.) Although I’ll miss her terribly, I know that this is where she has to be for now and I know her reasons, so I’m in support of that. I pray that she finds happiness, success and love while in Korea, because I need a reason to become Seoul Baby D again and a KO-rean wedding would do the trick. Jen says she’s coming back to work the Parade, now why she would want to do that I don’t know, but I’ll be glad to have her home once again.
And of course you can’t forget the Emoes. A gaggle of women who chit chat and laugh together, and although I don’t understand the language I connect with them and understand completely what they’re talking about. Sisterhood speaks a universal language.
So you can see I’m a little sad to leave my respite, but I’m so excited to take what has been shared and revealed to me with my family, friends, sisters, brothers, parents and confidantes. I’m definitely a changed person and changed for the better.

I’m off for my last scrub down at 2PM (y’all know I wasn’t leaving here without one) and then let the count down begin for my return home.

I can’t wait to see you!

xxoo
Deanna aka Seoul Baby D aka Beijing Baby D aka Shanghai Sugar D aka Hong Kong Honey D aka Bali Baby D aka AbroadnAsia

Traditional Balinese Healing

•August 28, 2008 • 4 Comments

The morning after my birthday my plans (operative word) were to awake early, eat breakfast, catch the first shuttle and do my shopping as it was my last full day in Bali, well that was the plan. After the driver dropped me off I headed to the book store, my plan (there’s that word again) was to buy post cards, go to the post office, stop by the internet cafe, and hit the market. Afterward I was planning to have a late lunch, early dinner at 3 Monkeys. That never happened with the exception of the post cards, post office and internet cafe. I went to buy the post cards from Ganesha Bookstore. Once I bought the post cards, I asked the shopkeeper if they had the book “Eat, Pray Love?” And she said yes and then I asked her if she know of the medicine women and she instantly said, Wayan? I said yes, she said she’s right down the road next to Bali Buddha. So you know made a bee-line to Wayan’s Balinese Healing and Vegetarian Cafe. I walked in and asked for Wayan, who quickly came out. I introduced myself and told her that I had read about her in the book, by the way, there’s a picture of Elizabeth Gilbert in the restaurant area.
Now, I didn’t really know what I was doing there other than to meet Wayan, and Wayan wasn’t really sure about what I was doing there either. I thought I was there for her services, but I wasn’t sure. She then began to pinch my arm and told me to show her my hands. After her brief diagnosis, she told me I had too much wind (we all know what that means); I had poor blood circulation; my blood pressure was good. That was just the initial diagnosis. I was left sitting for a long while alone in the restaurant as Wayan went about preparing for her day and what was to come. One thing you should know is that the Balinese are in no rush for anything. They take their time with everything they do, so if you’re in rush to eat, drink, be driven some where or to be healed don’t come to Bali.
As I was sitting there waiting for Wayan or so I thought two more clients or patients showed up looking for Wayan’s healing services as well. Connie and Susan were on a Yoga retreat from San Francisco and Susan it seems was suffering from a bout of diarrhea (I could definitely relate). They accidentally happened upon Wayan, unlike me who sought her out. Wayan greeted them and invited them to sit down and then again she disappeared into the kitchen or back of the house to do whatever she was doing. The three of us sat and got acquainted. When Wayan finally reappeared she handed us each a piece of paper for us to fill out, a patient history form if you will. Once we filled it out she proceed to do a full body reading and tell each of us what are ailments were, whether we knew about them or not. Out of respect for Connie and Susan, I’ll only tell you her diagnosis of me. It seems that I have too much wind, poor blood circulation, which we knew from the previous diagnosis, but I also suffer from bloating, gastritis, too much worry, lower back pain, some knee pain, and I need to loose weight. My blood pressure was good – who knew. She also read my palm and told me that I would have a long life and would be starting a part-time job soon (good know considering my current employment status) and that I was not too smart but not stupid at all. Gee thanks, I’ll go far with that. Now here’s the kicker, she also told me that I wouldn’t have many boyfriends but I would be married three times and have a child with the third. I can’t get one guy in particular to marry me, and she’s telling me I’ll be married three times. Yeah right! Well that was just the beginning of what turned out to be an all-day process
First we were given several herbal concoctions to drink to help us with our ailments; it seems that we Americans all suffer from too much wind. As I was enjoying my drinks and I use the term enjoying loosely we were joined by two more women Keely and Caroline, these two hailed from Australia. It was a nice mix of women, convening at Wayan’s looking for healing of some sort. See that’s what I mean about planning. I couldn’t have planned this meeting for Wayan or these four special ladies, nor could I have planned or expected what was about to happen.
Once we finished our drinks we were ushered upstairs and ordered to remove our clothing (every stitch) and put on a Sarong. We were then seated and three young girls no older than 16, and that’s being generous began to scrub us with warm water and leaves. Susan was lucky to have a young boy; approximately 13 years old scrub her. She was little apprehensive about it at first, can’t say that I blame her, but she quickly got over it. I think now is a good to time to explain that in Wayan’s place there is no room for inhibitions, you have to check them at the door. Wayan and her staff are focused on the healing process at hand not with your physical appearance so if you happen upon Wayan’s be prepared to be exposed.
The scrub down started with the face, the arms the feet and the legs, all of this done with plant leaves and water. Throughout the washing Wayan would visit us applying oils of some sort to our head, arm, hands and special leaves and to our stomachs to ease the bloat. After the leaves our legs were scrub with a garlic paste and garlic was place on my head to ensure a good sleep. Once again Wayan visited us and applied acupressure techniques on our feet and head. There is one spot on my food that she dug hard into, she said that it would alleviate the gas, and as soon as she said it I cut one and a good one at that. From that point on I doubted Wayan no more, so bring on the three husbands.
Our scrubbing was followed by a two hour massage, 1 hour on my back where I was kneaded and stroked to increase blood circulation and 1 hour on my stomach where a scrub and oil mixture was applied to my back. Upon application, the scrub gave off a warming sensation; I think it was made with cayenne pepper. Afterward, we were taken to the shower, which also served as the toilet, by way of the squatting commode and the laundry room. We were washed off by a grandmother type figure and one of the 16 year old. A funny thing happened while I was being washed off by the 16 year old she handed me the container and told me to wash my penis. God bless her and her attempts at English. I didn’t have the heart to correct her because she was so proud her knowledge of the English language it just that I’d never been accused \of being a chick with a dick while I was in the nude.
Once we were showered, penis and all, we got dressed and headed down to the restaurant to be instructed by Wayan. She gave us our herbs and supplements and had our instructions written down for us in case we forgot, and we put them in our bag with our name on it. Once she was done with the instructions she took each of our bags and blessed them at her Hindu alter. Finally, we were served a delicious vegetarian lunch and were sent on our way. During lunch the four of us had a chance to get to know one another, some of us had suffered and were surviving cancer, while others of us were dealing with illnesses that western medicine has yet to identify. Susan even suggested that I take up Hatha yoga as Juvamukti can be a little taxing on a new yoga student’s body. The whole experience was a sharing and caring experience. I learned something to help me in my journey and I was reminded of how blessed I am to only be suffering from too much wind. I wish all of those ladies a full recovery and a life of good health and happiness. I gave Wayan two hugs and said good-bye to everyone and I was off.
By the time we were finished it was 5:30pm. I missed my shuttle back to the hotel and I hadn’t accomplished anything I planned to do, there’s that word again. I think from now on, I’m not going to plan much, I’m going to let the Spirit move me when and where it’s time to go, things work out better that way, if my journey to Asia hasn’t proved anything else it did prove that planning doesn’t mean anything.
No fear, I was able to do some last minute shopping and say a formal good bye to Ubud. Unfortunately there was no dinner at 3 Monkeys, but I have a feeling I’ll be back in Bali again.
My journey in Bali ended as my flight took off on time. I was only a little sad but I feel like I got everything I needed and more out of this trip and I wouldn’t have changed a thing. I hope you enjoyed reading about it.

Bali Hai Birthday Cont’d

•August 27, 2008 • 2 Comments

So when last we spoke I was on my way to the hot springs called Air Panas Banjar as suggested by Dewa.  Before the springs though, we stopped to have lunch at a buffet-style restaurant.  The food was mediocre, I was hungry from only having a light breakfast so mediocre food was welcome food.  I however was pleasantly surprised by my waiter who had been following the US presidential elections and it was he who told me that Biden was named as Obama’s running mate.  Who’d a thunk it, our presidential news made it all the way to the other side of the world.

Once I finished lunch, took a stroll on the black sand beach of Lovina and shooed away the many hawkers, selling everything from “cultured” pearls; to wooden dolphins; to sarongs, I went to go look for Dewa. 

 

Oh the funny thing about Dewa, remember I told you about the daluman drinks that Dewa had purchased for me.  After I drank the first one, Dewa insisted that I drink the second one later in the day.  I don’t know what it is about the Balinese force feeding me things, or maybe it’s just me, but Dewa was insistent that I drink the second daluman.  So when we stopped for lunch he again, insisted that I drink the daluman.  I “happily” took the drink ready to chug it down (NOT!). Once I got seated at my table, I quickly disposed of the drink, but I made it look good, I poured some of it into a glass and sat it on the table in case Dewa showed up unexpectedly, as he has a habit of doing, and then I threw the rest away.  I don’t know what I go through such extremes, but I didn’t want to appear to be ungrateful for Dewa’s efforts.

I digress, like I was saying  I went to look for Dewa after the beach and found him perched underneath a Hari Krishna designated lean-to getting his feet massaged.  Well I couldn’t be mad, so I strolled the beach some more and came back for him in a few minutes later.  Now when, I returned, Dewa’s masseuse, who also serves as a medicine man, grab my arm and proceeded to pinch and knead it, right at the bend, only to tell me that I had a lot of stress and I was blocked.  Nyoman, the masseuse/medicine man ordered me to sit and he began to give me an impromptu foot and arm massage. I couldn’t argue with that either.  After the massage, where he also told me I had poor blood circulation, Niyoman cracked my back and neck.  This was the best massage 50K rupiah has ever bought me.  If your ever in Lovina, look for Nyoman, you will not be disappointed.

After the massage, I was in hog heaven and ready for a dip in the sulphurous hot springs.  We drove up the entrance to the hot springs, met with the usual hawkers and panhandlers.  Again, Dewa provided me with instructions, don’t take any valuables or too much stuff as sometimes, “the guys up there steal.”  We decided that we would meet back in :45 minutes.  The hot springs were amazing, surprisingly, there were three pools with three different degrees of heat.  It seems that everyone congregates here — 80+ grandparents, middle-aged Australian men, Balinese children and me — single black female.  I was enjoying myself, basking in the warmth of the pool, comforted by the fact that the pool’s warmth was a cause of nature not because nature called, if you catch my drift. Like I said I was happy splashing away, until I saw a woman in a wet, pink, see-through shirt spit in the pool.  That kind of did it for me, I got out, headed for the shower, because who knew how many times she or anyone else for that matter had spit in the pool and the water was not that hot enough to kill any germs, and it was not chlorinated, so I had to go.  Showered and I was out of there.

Once I got back to the car, I quickly settled into my seat and fell asleep, the next thing I knew we were back in Keliki Village, just minutes away from the hotel. 

Despite, Spittles, my day was great!  I was relaxed and enjoying all the beauty Bali had to offer.  When we got back to the hotel, I paid Dewa and even gave him and extra 5 for a tip, not much for me but a lot for him.  He pays 280K rupiah a month for his boys to go to school, so an added 50K rupiah will be an added bonus for him. Plus in addition to driving me where ever I wanted to go he also provided me with lessons about the Balinese and Hindu practices so it was the very least I can do.  I had a good experience during my entire vacation, strangers and friends alike have been very generous and kind to me, so I wanted to return the favor.    I promised Dewa that I would recommend his services to anyone traveling to Bali.  He doesn’t have email but if you’re interested let me know and I’ll give you his number. Tell him, I referred you to him.

Once I got to my room, I was about to change and there was  a soft knock at the door. You see, the Balinese are very soft spoken and soft-acting, if you’re not listening closely, you won’t know that they’re there, so I don’t know how long he was standing there knocking but when I turned around there he was holding a bouquet of flowers the hotel had arranged for me.  I thought it was nice the staff had wished me a happy birthday early that morning, I surely wasn’t expecting anything else, so the flowers were a very nice surprise.  So big shout-out to Nico, my own Mr. Rourke on the Fantasy Island of Bali.

The rest of the evening was pretty quiet, I had dinner, showered and went to bed to the sound of rain falling on my roof.  I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect close to the day.

Until we blog again.

Bali Baby D

•August 27, 2008 • Leave a Comment

•August 27, 2008 • Leave a Comment

•August 27, 2008 • Leave a Comment