Sipping green tea from a porcelain teacup, the morning sky glides from dark to light. From the open patio at Ketut’s I watch the driver's slow approach up the sidewalk; he arrives as discussed, precisely at 6:30. As assumed, Ubud has run its course. My spa orgy was more like a one night stand and after a soothing day of working the kinks out of my meditation bones, I decided any more would just be more. Instead I opted to spend my final day in the lush green microcosm racing through the countryside on a motorbike.
Did I venture North? Did I endeavor South? No. I went straight.
It was only my second time riding a motorbike; my first was last year on the island of Palau Weh. It was not the most pleasant of experiences. Kai and I got lost. She’s the cute British girl I volunteered with in Banda Aceh. My arms got horrifically sun burned. Monkeys surrounded us and readied an attack; the boar did nothing. I ran over the tail of a 10-foot monitor lizard and begrudgingly tied my travel towel around my neck to shield my forearms from the intense rays of the sun. Accessorized with my helmet and motorbike, I was a friggin’ super hero; I stopped and asked a teenage girl for directions and she nearly peed herself laughing. I figure it can’t get worse than this.
Ketut made the arrangements and the bike arrived the next morning. The middle aged Indonesian man grew skeptical and his warm smile crinkled into lines of confusion when I asked him how to turn it on. “This is the break, right?” filled him with even less confidence. The look he settled in my direction was an expression I’ve not seen in some time. While this may indeed indicate personal growth, it’s nice to know I still have the ability to cause a person’s face to contort in such a manner. It is a process in which the eyes take on a worried glean as a thought cloud spells out the wonderment: Oh crap, is she serious?
Once getting started and gaining confidence with turning, it was clear sailing. The bike was easy to handle and Atlas was on my side; both wheels knew where they were going. I didn’t change into my superhero garb and only a couple roosters pranced, unharmed across my path. The gorgeously green rice terraces were positively enchanting. If I weren’t still going straight when I passed them I’d have stopped to take pictures; sorry about that. I’m still in the process of drumming up photographic evidence of Wonder-Chris from last year. This valiant gesture may end in defeat but I have super-powers I haven’t told you about yet and am confident that good will triumph. But for now, it's onto my next adventure.
Gotta go. My ride’s here.
~ by Christine Fowle
 An advantageous element of blogging is knowing my mother will not hear of my escapades until after they have been accomplished. This is good.