Escaping Jakarta

A Balinese shrine- found in every home.

A Balinese household shrine.

The semester ended December 20th with a half day.  Our nanny Iin had already dropped Áine off at our school, and Sarah had arranged a taxi to pick us up at 11:30 for the airport.  Cian was still in his uniform and covered in chocolate from his class Holiday celebration.  I had brought our luggage, bulging with Christmas presents, to NJIS the night before.  Well, by the night before I mean at 2:30am- a group of parents had hosted karaoke for the staff the previous afternoon to say thank you for the semester and a few of us had taken them up on the offer. All the food and adult beverages you could ask for sent me home and in bed by 8:00 after a stupendous duo performance by my friend Adrian and I of “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For”.  I don’t quite remember hailing a taxi to get home.  My only job was to get the luggage to school for the next day, and I awoke in a panic knowing the consequences if this was not done.  It was done.

The Jakarta traffic is legendary, deserving its own blog entry, but as everyone in the city started their Holiday break, the three and a half hour window we had to get to and through the airport for what should be a twenty-minute ride was starting to close.  We eventually made it- three security checks, a failed battle with the ATM machine, and a scramble to put money together for the departure tax put us right on time at the terminal to hear our plane was delayed an hour.

But as we sat on our plane and waited another 30 minutes for our turn to take off, the chaos melted away, because we were headed to Bali for the three week Holiday break.  A quick two and a half hour flight across the island of Java and we arrived to The Island of the Gods.  We had already visited Bali for a long weekend in October, and were all desperate to return.  Cian had woken up early that morning and jumped out of his bedroom exclaiming, “Today we’re going to Bali!” only to be devastated to hear he had to go to school first.

The villa front door

The villa front door

We are now renting our coworkers’ villa Elysian Fields, within the quiet village outskirts of Canggu (pronounced Chang-gu) and its surfing destination Echo Beach.  Designed in Balinese style with modern comfort, there are three separate bedroom pavilions walled in glass, each with a bathroom and shower open to the sky.  The open living room/kitchen pavilion overlooks the small infinity pool with views of a forested stream at the end of the property and the terraced rice patties beyond.  We are being hosted by villa caretaker Mul, his wife and housekeeper Ati, and driver/guide Katut.  A perfect location to take a break from city life and enjoy the Holidays.

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