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Something happens when you stop being tourists and start to live in a place. For us it came just after the island hop and before the month mark.

Like most release, it was preceded by a blockage. For Julian this took the form of a need for solitude, a craving for all things Western and a back itchy with sunburn from half an hour of early morning snorkelling. For me, a strangely intense miniature flu thing and a desperate need to be heard. For us a brush with argument.

We rode the storm. Just. Julian painted a brilliant seascape. I skipped yoga and closed the mosquito net around myself. Julian found me a pill in Bintang supermarket that came in a packet with a photograph of a sepia man with a red tie and a black moustache grinning at his miracle med that made us laugh briefly. I washed it down with Storm tropical ale. Julian cooked tuna steamed in banana leaf with lime leaf, coconut, chili and lemon grass, and served it with the delicious salsa he made with bongkot and shallots. We watched a depressing film.....


And then, the next day, the blockage was gone and we were living in Bali. The colours in Julian's paintings gleamed. My body stopped aching. I had new ideas for my book. We went our separate ways - Julian to his cappucino and bun and newspaper in his urban cafe in downtown Ubud, me to my tangy tamarind cooler and green papaya salad in the Yellow Flower cafe in the rice fields.

Now there is nowhere to go. Nothing to do. We could live here for ever feeling warm and listening to the raindrops. Unfortunately we only have another nine days.

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