The Big Flop

I was feeling all wound up. In extremis, you could say. I wasn’t sleeping long – or well. My eyes were glued to my laptop screen AND phone. I was having to set my alarm to remind me to go down to the kitchen and prepare / eat food. Something had to give. After a week of high-octane brain work, emailing, multi-tasking, setting up accounts on websites I’d never visited before, dealing with technical glitches ad nauseum, and ohhhh so much more, there was only one thing I wanted to do this morning: nothing.

I ditched the laptop. I turned off my phone’s volume. I donned a long flowy halter dress (when do I ever do THAT?), slipped on my sandals and in the early morning light, with only a tiny bag slung over my shoulder, I slipped quietly out of the house. In under 3 minutes, I can reach the beach. On foot. (Oh… How Blessed am I.)

Standing  at water’s edge, I stopped. I realized that everything I’d gotten worked up over this past week was, after all, much ado about nothing – or very nearly so. “In the grand scheme of things” kind of thing…

So I breathed deeply, watched the fishermen far out from shore in their conical hats bobbing up and down, the parents and young kids already bobbing around in the water, the massive inflatable floats being dragged out to sea and set to their bobbing ways too.

And then, I walked on and, like a lady of leisure (that I’ve never aspired to be), I went to the spa. I’d originally planned to get a massage a few days ago. But when I realized that it meant I’d have to take a break from that high-octane busy-ness in the middle of the afternoon, I backed out. Nope, no time. Not yet. My mind will be spiraling; what’s the point? But today, this morning, now that I could do. Must do.

I meandered over to the Aroma Spa, where I walked up to an otherwise open-air but empty reception area. There I met Komang, who offered me white flip flops with pretty little beads glued onto the straps. (“I want to get myself a pretty pair just like these!” I exclaimed to him). Then a sweet Indonesian woman named Wulan appeared, asking me to follow her inside. I walked through a set of doors into a room that featured gorgeous teal-c0lored window curtains draped to the floor. The attention to detail was apparent throughout the airy space; everything was in shades of teal, white and wood.

Wulan gave me directions; undress, use the disposable pair of undies (wrapped in plastic), place jewelry into the decorative Balinese metal box, and put on the kimono to open the door and call her back inside. When I was ready, Wulan followed me back into the room and offered to give me a foot bath. “Sorry,” I told her, “I can’t sit on a chair.” After regaining her composure (what? spoke her face), she asked me to lie on the massage table. Ahhhhh.. Which is when I did a big flop – onto my stomach, with my arms to the side and my face buried in the cushy folds of a towel through which my nose and mouth found space to breathe.

I was so flopped (and blissed) out that I didn’t want to move. I didn’t want to flip over. I didn’t want to get up, take a shower, dress again, drink ginger tea, give back those adorable flip flops, leave the premises. It felt too good, being in the care – and caress – of Wulan’s slow-moving, kneading hands. But after inhaling the natural herbal smells, and having my face massaged and taking a long and luxurious shower in the great, plant-filled outdoors, I felt a little more ready to emerge from the cocoon and face the day.

My guess is that today will go down, in the annals of history (at least in my early days of living in Sanur) as the most relaxing and clearly overdue (flip-) flop ever. Makasih bnyk semua staff di Aroma!

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