Indonesian Karma…

This photo reveals the truth behind the glamour of international travel.

Oh, the dizzying visual splendour of new cultures, people, food, architecture and smells is all there. Whether I’m in Indonesia or Nigeria, Israel or Japan, it’s all jaw dropping. However, I suffer from a malady many refer to dismissively as “jet lag’.   For me, it’s death in a bag.  It’s brutal when I arrive and it’s annihilating when I get home.

I recently returned from Indonesia, a 27-hour flight complete with a 12-hour time difference. That means breakfast time here, bed time there. It takes every ounce of non existent resources that I can muster to be able to function at a 10% level. It’s not pretty.

However, what invariably happens is karma. (Karma is pretty big in Bali.) This trip, my karma manifested in the form of  a 32-year old Balinese Hindu living in tropical Jakarta, trained dancer cum World Banker, father of a stunning 6-year old, and the BEST sense of humour (next to mine) ever to exist on this planet . Satrya (in the photo above) materialized out of the karmic sphere of wherever the really cool people live purely to delight and torment me. Now remember, I’m a 53-year old Canadian mother of a teenager, trained shit disturber cum entrepreneur living in the snow capital of the world – King City. To say we are worlds apart would be a slight understatement.  And yet, there I was, 3 gazillion miles from home only to find a kindred spirit incarnated in the form of this young man.  It would be impossible to look any more different than Satrya and I. I suspect our lives are pretty different too. Yet, you’d be pretty hard pressed to find two people with more similar twisted
world views.

I gave Satrya a truckload of new material. White people are often referred to as “bule” in Indonesia, a kind of pet name for the boorish, timid, “must-have-my-tea-at-4:00″ kind of visitor. Needless to say, as the token white member of the team, Satrya gleefully christened me with this moniker, providing a steady stream of mirth at my expense. However, the best compliment I’ve ever received was at our bon voyage dinner the night before I left. During the course of dinner, I referred to myself as a bule when both Satrya and Rubin (another awesome being) simultaneously chimed, “Joanne, you are so NOT a bule…!” It appears I had travelled far in two weeks.

Satrya, by mere virtue of his existence, has taught me much: our external differences mean squat, and, in the heart of every person no matter what the address, lies a potential kindred spirit. The world is so very, very small.

One Response to “Indonesian Karma…”

  1. wiki world cup 2014 Says:

    April 9th, 2014 at 11:14 pm

    You’ve created an exceptional site! thoroughly having fun going through the different posts but also think the blog’s layout is good!! Keep on with the good work! Regards; Lauretta Poalino from Osasco

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