Thursday, February 19, 2015

The sounds of Bali

A rooster wakes me in the morning. I hear it proudly trumpeting in the not too far distance. I would be pissed off with it, but it's hard to be angry when you're waking up in a new country full of excitement and hope.

Later I sit by the pool, chosing to rest my weary bones and actually pace myself for once, and close my eyes. I let my ears be carressed by the sound of wind rustling through the thick trees and tropical brush.  Birds call out, their song melodic and clear, a beautiful sound so very different from the birds at home. And there's more of them. They sing with each other.  A frog croaks out what sounds like a throaty catcall. I imagine he's flirting with the birds.

And thunder, deep and powerful rumbles through the sky. Loud claps ricochet a counterpart to the intense bass and the hairs rise on my arms. A smile plays about my lips. I love thunder. No rain, yet. Just a cascading sky of grey clouds and breaks of hot sunshine.

I open my eyes and look at the small flower held between my fingertips which fell from the tips of the balinese trees. It feels like a gift from Bali. A little welcome blessing for me.

I am happy here.

First accomplishment: Fried mini-laptop

Managed to short out the mini-laptop on my first try using it. Guess this new adapter doesn't convert the voltage like it should.  Or maybe I fully used it wrong?

In any case... I may not be blogging as much as I'd hoped! It works on the phone but not very well. Phoo.

Seriously considering just chucking ol mini here... I'm not certain it's worth the weight to try and fix it! Any computer blokes care to check out this error message and let me know if it's magically an easy fix?  :p

Holy fuck I'm in Bali

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

So far, a little red dot

Well I've checked in! So far no help walking but I did get a little red dot. I can see I'm going to have to find a better way to explain my disability. Still the assumption is, if you can walk, however slow and awkward, you're fine.

I wonder what this dot will do for me. Maybe it's a transporter and when I get to China I press it and BEEP I'll be right at my connecting flights gate.

It could happen! :p 

Anywho!! Less than 2 and a half hours to go!!! Bye Canada!!

PS, I want to send out a HUGE thank you to my amazing friend Roxy who went out of her way to drive me to the airport. She is my little red dot ;p

Monday, February 16, 2015

Gah! Leaving so soon!

I can't believe how soon I leave! One full day left in Canada. I find myself more nervous than I've been in a long time. But then, I remember once upon a time a trip to London brought on the butterflies. Now, it's as comfortable as coming home. And the same went for places like Spain and Italy - nerves before experiencing the unknown, then, inevitably I relaxed as I got used to the differences and celebrated them.

Mind you, due to illness today I lost a day of getting ready!! (Not helping the nerves!) God I hope I can get everything ready in time! Wish me luck!

Also, a big thank you to my bestie and her hubby!! Such an awesome going away present! All-weather pen and pads of paper! Too cool.

All right... time to attempt sleep. I've got a big day of packing and picking up last minute things!


Saturday, February 14, 2015

Tiny computer!

It's occurred to me that a long time ago a friend provided me with his old mini-laptop. I now have the keyboard I needed to blog with ease while I'm away! Or, well, relative ease. I think this thing was originally designed for a keebler elf but whatever, it's so much better than the keypad on a phone or a keyboard so rife with unique letters that getting out a simple English sentence would be about as easy as doing Bikrams Yoga on a white water raft.

Anywho! Score! And thank you Kris!!!!!

From the mini,


Friday, February 13, 2015

a rose for v-day

Someone should get me a rose for v-day. I would really like that. Just one pretty rose. And maybe a hug, too. Smooches if you're a good kisser. Or, just the rose and a smile. I deffo would be into that.

Nerves, and asking for help from the airport

Traveling is a challenge for everyone. Anyone who has done it will, I am sure, agree that it is not a relaxing vacation. In fact, it may be considered even more challenging and difficult than regular day-to-day life. Mind you, for the travel-lover, the experiences we reap from it far outweigh the difficulties we face.

For someone with a spinal cord injury, however, we have added challenges. I am an ambulatory quad. To the layman this may give way to the misconception that I'm perfectly healthy. Dealing with simple ignorance is a challenge in and of itself. For example, in 2011 when I was going through the YVR airport to catch my flight to New York and then Spain, I found that one of the security lines was so abhorrently long I feared my legs would not be able to handle the long wait. The thing is, yes, I am able to walk, but doing so is extra fatiguing on my body due to muscle weakness, tone, and spascicity. I simply can't stay upright as long as I look I aught to. And I have to pace myself according to the activities for the rest of the day.

So, bracing myself for the inevitable kick-back, I chose the empty handicap line.

The first words the guard said to me were, "You're not disabled."

Oh, jeeze.

THIS trip, I've decided to try to preemptively avoid these sorts of troubles. Especially since I have a short layover in China. If I needed to rush for any reason, I'm not capable of doing it. My "running" speed is about as fast as a casual stroll.

So, I had my travel agent specifically request for special help due to my spinal cord injury. Personally, I've never done this, so I have absolutely no idea what it will mean. Will I have someone show up with a wheelchair and wheel me about? Will I have access to one of those golf cart dealios and get to blast through the airport pretending I'm a dune buggy princess? (Please be that one!!). Will I still have to deal with ignorance once I get there with another declaration of my physical ability spouted out from the mean lips of an uneducated airport worker?

I gotta admit, I'm a bit nervous of it. Nothing to do but set myself to ready, and go for it, though!

Wish me dune buggy luck!


Thursday, February 12, 2015

5 days, 16 hours, 22 minutes: The roller coaster of anticipation

"You must be so excited!!!"

"Uh... yeah. Yeah, of course I am," I reply with a distinctly shallow sense of conviction.

I can tell you that, yes, truly, under all the layers of stress and preparation, I'm thrilled. But, over the last few weeks, a blanket of overwhelming activity attempted to smother out the flames of joyous anticipation.

How easily that can happen, yes? For me, I had taken on extra hours at work, handled all of the day to day, prepped the new employees, coordinated the switch-over, spent two full days driving and two days attempting to help renovations on a house, dealt with the potential of getting a new dog including taking it with me on said trip, tried to keep up on meeting with people since it's the last time I will be able to for two months, and desperately attempted to eck out the occasional minute to actually think about and plan my trip.

Oh right, and I have a spinal cord injury. :p

I lost track of doing laundry, stopped doing the dishes, and basically flat-lined on pain and fatigue more than once. Thank goodness I decided to start having groceries delivered to my house or food would have completely subsisted of the uber-healthy choice of delivery.

(May I take a quick moment to gush about grocery delivery? I'd balked on allowing any sort of help during my recovery and acceptance of getting an SCI, and groceries was one of them. I didn't feel normal unless I went through the regular process of going to the store, wandering around, and lugging the food into the house.

What an utter fool I had been.

Why waste all that energy!? I can now shop whilst sipping vino in my pajama's if I care to. And on Wednesday (my given delivery day) I come home to my groceries piled up and ready right beside my door. Screw this walking up stairs with heavy crap bullpucky! I may never go back. It seems utterly foolhardy now.)

In any case, I hardly had a moment to breathe, much less think about and plan my trip. And, subsequently, stress started to pile high in my heart. I wasn't ready. I don't even know where my universal electric plug thingy is. And doubts about my ability to handle this trip inevitably trickled into my overwrought mind.

Has this ever happened to you? So much pre-trip craziness surrounds you that you actually hit a point where you regret the trip altogether and wish you weren't going?

Well, it happened to me. A few times actually. It's been a mild bit of a roller coaster.

Thank the gods it's always been a temporary state.

Today I finally had a moment to think about my trip again, and a conversation that started with the strained-to-hide and thick reedy voice of stress ended up in giggles and squeaks of apprehensive joy.

Part of it was that I google earthed my first hotel today, just for shits and giggles. That was a lark! This is not something I was capable of doing on previous trips. Zoomed right down and stared at a three-dimensional photo of Bali Segara as if I were standing on the street right before it. What a.. digital trip. I wonder if any of you have done this? I google map lots of stuff here in my own city because I find it an excellent resource for finding a destination easily, but I'd never traipsed around a foreign land without my feet actually doing the work before. Although in doing it, I actually felt a little bit like I was cheating on my trip. One of my favourite parts of travel is the discovery of the new, and seeing my hotel prior to the moment of arrival was somehow uncomfortable and like I had robbed myself of a special experience. Am I nuts? Maybe I'm just sappy like that. :p

The point is, though, that today I felt that enlivening thrill rush through me again. The deep beat of travel sounded in my heart and I felt it be real again. I felt, I feel, genuine excitement, raw and free of the stress surrounding it.

In less than a week I will fly into Denpasar, Bali. I will discover a part of the world I have never seen before.


Musings: my love of books

I don't even need to read one. Just being close to... surrounded by... generates a certain satisfaction. And the feeling; joints and bones themselves fill rich with joy as the pads of my fingers caress the thickness of stacked paper. So decadently filled with words it sets my tongue to salvation and my teeth to anticipation. Sometimes I just want to know, and knowing is enough, that I can soak in the flavour presented before me. It's ready and ripe and waiting, the tickling expanse of thought poised to be enveloped into me.

I revel even in the presence of folded page.  Potential energy drives me, foreplay of the mind. Joy in a tightly bound bundle. The brilliant power of the silent written word.