Miss Q has Returned

Miss Q has returned.   The Big Adventure has been neglected & deserves an update. 2013 was a year with high highs and even lower lows. Moving to a tropical paradise was exhilarating. It took every penny I could scrounge together with not much leftover for a cushion and when I arrived smack dab in the middle of low season there were  no tourists & no money. Low season also means rain. Lots & lots of rain. So here I was, really wet with no money. And a broken pool pump. Not as fun as it sounds.

path from Eden to the village

path from Eden to the village

I’ve gone through 6 staff. Most westerners, unless they are VERY privileged, don’t have household staff and it takes some getting used to. I have had staff go on break and not come back, I have had staff who didn’t think they had to do what I asked because of my gender (and those of you who know me can just imagine how well that went over) and I’ve fired a few lazy buggers. I now have 4 great young men: Hamzen, Heru, Adit & Bobby. They do their best, which sometimes isn’t very good, but they try & are loyal to a fault.  The environment on Gili is taking a beating so we have started a compost bin & are working on taking re usable shopping bags to the market. It’s a journey. A long, long journey. With very small steps.  In the beginning I was determined to do my own laundry (which seems like crazy talk now) and other various chores. I have gotten used to having staff quite nicely. I have coffee brought to me every morning as soon as I open my blinds, signaling I am awake (which occurs when I damn well feel like it, and not a minute sooner).  I no longer chop anything. Everything just appears all chopped and in bowls just like on the Tee Vee.   Oh, happy days.

bringing over plants from Lombok

bringing over plants from Lombok

The garden is expanding

The garden is expanding

It’s during my morning bicycle rides when I like to reflect & think about my life here. Mostly I am just so grateful that I get to live THIS life. My life. A life that I chose,  on this tiny island in the middle of the Java sea. It’s difficult to keep from smiling as I dodge chickens, cows and the ubiquitous cidomos (horse carts) as I ride through dusty (or swampy, depending on the time of year) paths into town.  I have a friend who said her family told her that while they loved hearing from her, they wished she would write something negative so they could feel better about their dreary life in the UK. She said she thought about it, and came up with, “when I lay in my hammock, the porch railing prevents an unencumbered view of the ocean”. Yes, we here are a smug bunch.

On my bike rides into town, I usually stop at Toko Ida to buy things like laundry soap, salt, coffee, LPG canisters and the various sundries required for running a small hotel. Ida delivers so I can simply pay & continue on my merry way. Next stop coffee and breakfast. Sometimes I meet a friend, sometimes I read. Sometimes I get wifi. Most days I stop off at Charlies, a produce shop owned by a 60 ish Hungarian with a pot belly, bad teeth and a 20 something girlfriend.  Charlie tells me he was a truck driver in Arizona during the eighties. He doesn’t miss it, he says. His small shop imports fresh produce from Bali and Lombok. Things like leaf lettuce, fresh mint, coriander and green beans are difficult to find here, so I tell Charlie I am a little in love with him. He doesn’t seem to hear me and just keeps perseverating about his application for more electricity  & whether or not it has been approved so he can get a couple more fridges and AC. I wish him luck with the corrupt PLN (electric company) & pedal off with one bunch of fresh basil, romaine lettuce & some yams in my bicycle basket.

It’s a simple existence, many would find it too simple, boring even, however, I find comfort in the languid rhythm of island life. I never thought I’d say it, but I love being uninformed. You see I was a news junkie. I had NPR on non stop. My alarm was set to NPR, as was my bathroom radio & car. It was doom & gloom 24/7. If something BIG happens someone will tell me, I figure. As far as the tea party and its ilk, Fox news and Obama-care, I could not care less. America survived The Great Depression & the Cold War so it stands to reason it can survive the detritus left by Gee Dubya Junior.

This is my public transportation system.I don't wait for busses or trains but the public boat to take me to Lombok for some shopping

This is my public transportation system.I don’t wait for busses or trains but  one of these public boats to take me to Lombok for some shopping (Gili Meno is to the left & Lombok is the island with the mountains)

The other thing I love about my life is that I pretty much do what I want when I want. No meetings, no alarm clocks, no Sunday night blues. There is not much need for multi tasking. There is time to do everything and devote the proper amount of time to each task.  Those of us that have chosen to live here are like minded folks and we have a community not dissimilar to a small country village. Although we are from around the globe and speak different languages, we all wear flip-flops and are never in a hurry, we look out for one another  and we know just how lucky we are.

Underwater with my dive buddy Roger

Underwater with my dive buddy Roger

Post dive bintang

Post dive bintang

My little paradise was disrupted by what I now call “The Big Kaboom”. In short, I was on a boat that exploded and was badly burned. I had third degree burns on both legs & one hand. I spent 3 weeks in the hospital, another 4 in a villa in Bali being looked after by my truly amazing friends and family. (You know who you are; you are rock stars and my heroes) It is taking much longer to recover than I have the patience for. I am still in a compression stocking, which is SUPER comfortable in the heat & humidity, but I am pretty much back to my baseline. I am diving, traveling,  bike riding and cooking.  At some point I may write about my experience of being in an Indonesian hospital but right now I am so completely sick & tired of telling that same story over & over & over again that you shall not get it here. (but I will say no one else was hospitalized and I was the most injured and it didn’t even make the Jakarta Post….. see? Boring)

This was my view for about 4 weeks.

This was my world view for about 4 weeks.

My savior, Fern, lounging poolside at Hospital Villa

My savior, Fern, lounging poolside at Hospital Villa

I have some upcoming travel plans to Vietnam & will be starting construction on a new bungalow when I return from Vietnam. One or both of those things may deserve a write up. Construction projects are fun,  exciting & stress free  in the western world so I can only imagine how fun it will be here, with a language barrier & no motorized transport or heavy equipment and unskilled labor. Yep.  Sure Sounds like Fun.

Year of the horse, bring it.


About Miss Q

I am a travel obsessed foodie, with an inexplicable love of clamato, elvis costello & the unknown
Image | This entry was posted in Gili's, indonesia, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Miss Q has Returned

  1. senna says:

    My name is Senna and I’m a nurse at OHSU in the CMICU. I just love reading your blog! I am so sorry you were injured and so grateful you were a wound care nurse. What a wonderful life you are living. Thank you so much for sharing it.

    • Miss Q says:

      Hi Senna,
      Hope all is well at OHSU. I sometimes miss “my craft” as I do love scissors, tape & glue! Please tell everyone I may know hello & that there is an open invitation to come visit Eden Cottages!

  2. Norma Lovell says:

    Hi Suzanne-love your blogs–now that we no longer travel-like to hear of others adventures–& your whole life is sort of an adventure now-so glad you are healing ! good luck w compost pile-did u know u can compost empty t paper rolls & paper towel rolls for “brown ” matter -also shredded paper & it helps if you or boys “churn” it……Keep blogging ! –cheers..Norma

    • Miss Q says:

      Hi Norma,
      Thanks for reading! Just got off an old, filthy, loud night train from Sapa to Hanoi Vietnam. hmmm, so yes, quite an adventurer, but it’s not very comfy sometimes 🙂

  3. crescent says:

    you are so funny! I can just still hear that great laugh of yours. I’m so sorry you were hurt so badly!! dear lord child…how scary. glad to hear you’re on the mend. at least you have Roger’s sexy eyes to look at. have fun in vietnam…the vets at my job didn’t like it much but i hear it’s beautiful. i love your posts so thanks for the update. love, crescent in beautiful downtown los angeles

    • Miss Q says:

      Hi Crescent,
      Thanks for reading! Vietnam is beautiful and the food is great. Its also nice to be in a cool climate for a change. (i’m actually wearing socks & long sleeves) hope all is well in the city of Angels. XOXO

  4. Mark Roark says:

    Nice to hear from you. Lana keeps in touch and we get to Ptown every so often. Glad you are happy. 10 plus years to retire. Oh well. The food scene in Seattle is changing and we’re loving the fresh mussels from Taylor shellfish. Both sets of ‘rents are well. Hugsies!

    Von meinem iPhone gesendet.


  5. Doreen says:

    So good to hear from you! I was just mentioning to Tanya if anyone had heard news. You were in all our thoughts after the “Big Kaboom” and it was comforting to know you had friends and family to help you. I envy your paradise as I am sitting here stressing over my final assignments in my Masters program, the laundry and housework that is not done! Sometimes I wonder if it is all worth it or if I too should be laying in a hammock. I hope to hear more about your new bungalow…I may need to come visit! Hakuna matata!

  6. Betsy says:

    Oh punkin as you might say…what a year you have had…I have heard much about the unfortunate hospital stay from Sharon and others and think about you soooo often as I really miss interacting with others with a highly evolved sense of the absurd. and through it all you still look maaahvolous…Betsy

    • Miss Q says:

      Hi Betsy, I miss you too! Things are way better now, I’m traveling & getting my sea legs back. will likely be in stumptown in the fall. I’ll keep you posted. xoxox

  7. vyuga0707 says:

    Hi Missy…..sooooo glad you are doing better(already heard hosp horrors from Sharon…Yikes ) Miss your highly evolved sense of the absurd as always. Oh punkin(as you might say) what a year you have had. I was extra happy to see you diving again, I was afraid you would have to wait r/t fear of some kind of necrotizing seaserpentitis. I will skip the obvious news references regarding your part of the world and just say again how glad I was to see you well and diving and blogging. (and of course you look maaahvolous). Betsy PS…. BTW…What’s up with the wacky type face and letter switching on this site?

  8. Marian says:

    I am happy you are well again. There was gasping heard here at the office to learn of your temporary set back. I have great envy but I retire in about a year. Love Marian Hart

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