Traveling as Your Total Self: Bali & Hong Kong – 2 of 2 by Lisa Wallach

Printed in the Conscious Creation Journal
October 1998, Issue 2

Traveling as Your Total Self: Bali and Hong Kong (Part 2 of 2)
by Lisa Wallach

Traveling as your Total Self: Bali and Hong Kong, Part 1 of 2 appeared in the August Issue of the Conscious Creation Journal.

My friend J. and I then decided that we would take a side trip to Lombok (an island East of Bali) the next day.  Lombok has a different artistic style then Bali and we both liked it.  In addition there are all these little areas on Lombok where they specialize in woodcarving, tapestries, pottery, crafts, etc. We would be able to watch the processes of almost everything.  We both thought this was a good idea.  J. had been there for almost a month already.  I knew that he had gone there with the hope of learning some woodcarving.  On Monday night when I had dinner with Eckah I told him about J. and asked if he knew someone who could teach him carving.  He did and said he would set it up for Friday Afternoon.  At the time I didn’t know if J. had been able to study or not but I knew he would like to either way.  So when I told him that he was going carving he freaked out with happiness.  He hadn’t been able to find someone and thought that he wasn’t going to be able to do that.  His Birthday was a few days ago and I intended to pay for it as his present.

Thoughts Create Reality

I asked Eckah to drive us to the pier to catch the boat called the Mabua to Lombok.  The language barrier came into play and instead of the 2-½ hour Mabua we had to take the 4-½ hour ferry.  By the time we got there and realized that we were at the wrong place it was too late for us to catch the Mabua.  The ferry was just about to leave and some Balinese guys helped us get tickets and ran with our bag to the ferry.  They charged us 40,000 Rupiah.  J. was furious but we paid.  The ferry debarked and we realized that the tickets only cost 5,500 Rph. and we had gotten ripped off for the rest. Basically we each had to pay $5 so we figured what the hell.  He was extremely pissed off at the principal of the whole thing but I thought that there was no use getting angry – I wanted to enjoy myself.  Besides, what could we do?

If I or anyone else has an emotional experience, whatever the emotion, I feel that it is entitlement to living in the physical realm.  However, if a thought, emotion, or belief make you feel bad, or limit you, something must be done about it.  It’s OUR CHOICE about the length of time we let something bother us.  $5 wasn’t going to ruin my day. The ferry smelled and was generally filthy.  We sat upstairs and I enjoyed being on the water; I always do.

We talked about where our relationship was heading.  This is our status. We agreed from the beginning that we were going to have a friendship.  That would be the “title” for our relationship.  Now, the definition of “our friendship” is for us to decide.  That means that wherever it goes, if it goes, or anything.  We would maintain a friendship unique to our own specifications.  We don’t want to limit one another and we don’t want to limit ourselves.  We both agree on trying to create realistic expectations of each other.  I don’t think about marriage and kids.  I think about how much I enjoy being around him and about how much fun we have.  I feel good and I enjoy spending my time with him.  On the other hand, weeks could go by without us seeing or talking to one another and it doesn’t piss me off.  I know he’s living his life and so am I.  It’s nice not having someone up your ass all the time.  We like it this way, at least for now.  A lot changed in Bali.

Got off the ferry.  Tired, dirty, hungry, and in need of transportation and accommodation.  We were virtually attacked by transport drivers.  They were trying to pull our bag away.  It was mayhem and he was livid.  I wasn’t so happy myself.  We couldn’t find a taxi and not one of those drivers would take us to Singiggi for less than 40,000 Rph.  We knew the fare should be 25,000 Rph but we were screwed.  There was this little obnoxious Indonesian kid who spoke English and J. and I wanted to punch him.  None of the other drivers would take us now, only the van that the obnoxious kid was on! J. asked me what my intuition said about riding in this van.  Would we be safe?  I said we would be safe but it wasn’t going to be pleasant.  We got on the van and they put our bag in the front seat.  J. and I jumped over the seat in front of us, at the same time, and grabbed the bag.  We were sitting in the back and all these crazy people were laughing and talking about us in Indonesian.

We knew they were talking about ripping us off.  The kid was sitting in front of me right next to the door.  There were a few people smoking in the van including the driver so I went into my bag for a cigarette.  I saw this idiot looking at me and I quickly put my arms through my knapsack and clutched the bag to my chest.  He was asking us too many questions about how much we wanted to spend on a hotel.  We kept on insisting that we couldn’t afford that price.  Cheaper, cheaper.  We needed something inexpensive and we didn’t want them to know our true price range for obvious reasons.get to an intersection and the kid asked us for money for petrol.  We knew this was bullshit.  He wanted 2000 Rph. = .50 cents.  I KNEW he was going to run off the van.  I gave him the money!  J. was arguing with me not to do it but at this point I just wanted to get rid of him and I thought that the price was right.  He bolted right out of the door!  We were so relieved to be rid of that one.  All of a sudden the driver, who didn’t speak English a few minutes ago, began yelling at me for giving him money.  I played stupid and said that he was the one who made the deal!  You heard him ask me for money.  Why didn’t you say something?  We’re only going to give you the remaining 38,000 Rph!  He agreed and then began yelling at me for smoking!  My cigarette had been out for over 5 minutes. By this point, everyone else in the van was laughing like hyenas.  J. was telling the guy that I wasn’t smoking!

Meanwhile it begins to rain and quickly turns into a mini-monsoon.  The ride was about 45 minutes long and J. and I thought that we were going to wind up in a ditch.  I knew we were going to be all right I just didn’t know what would happen between now and then.  They drop us off in some fleabag hotel and we ask for a room.  They give us some outrageous price and we ask to see the room first.  They refuse to allow us to see the room because it was raining.  However, if we paid for it they would be happy to show it to us.  We’re cold and wet now and we’re semi-stranded in who knows where.  J. grabs a pen and begins to do the math so far.  When he realized that we had only spent $10 each and had been ripped off for half of that he began to calm down a bit.  Still, it was a cheap price to pay for too much aggravation.

What were we going to do?  I checked with my higher self for information and now I had a plan.  I said that we were going to ask these guys to call us a taxi.  I said it wouldn’t cost more then 4000 Rph. = $1.  Then we would find a decent hotel and instead of treating him on Friday night for his upcoming birthday we would consider the hotel as his gift.  Deal?  We get the taxi and begin to drive down the road.  We saw this huge hotel on the side of a hill.  Singiggi is very much the resort area.  It’s still pouring and I see that the hotel has a restaurant and nightclub.  Perfect!  I asked the guy to pull over and I go get a room for $70 US and we even get poolside!  J. is amazed and the taxi cost exactly 4000 Rph. Check in and, of course, now that we had a room it stops raining.  We shower and change and go eat dinner.  We went to a bar down the road for a drink and I was so beat that I had my head lying on the table.  We went back to the room and we both crashed immediately.

We’d decided that we would get up at 7 a.m. and get back to Ubud as soon as possible so he could carve and I could paint.  We got up and had the entire pool to ourselves for an hour.  We showered and ate our complimentary breakfast.  Then we went to figure out how the hell we were going to get back.  All the flights were booked up ($17). So we were going to have to leave to take the ferry again at 12 p.m. in order to, perhaps, make it back by 7 p.m.  We took a walk around the area and were accosted on several occasions by people trying to sell us tours and merchandise.  We told this one guy no and he followed us to the beach where we went to have a drink and he started up again.  I lost it!  I looked right at him and asked him if he knew what, “No, thank you” meant.  He looked like he was going to punch me.

I decided to alter our plans again, since we weren’t going to make it back in time anyway, we may as well book a driver for three hours and take the later Mabua instead of the ferry.  This way we could at least go around to the villages and look at handcrafts.  As soon as we checked out of the hotel it began to pour again!  As long as we had a room the weather was nice.  We leave and it pours!  Weird.

We wound up having a pretty nice day until we had our first disagreement.  I had borrowed a camera for the trip.  When I got to Bali it refused to work. J. had borrowed a wonderful camera from a friend of his.  I’ve wanted to learn about photography and J. allowed me to use the camera to take pictures.  I was loving it.  We began driving and I had the camera out and ready to capture the day.  He pointed out an excellent shot along the way and I happily took the photo.  We went to all these little villages and were having fun.  Hell, it beat the disgusting ferry!  We were passing by a rice field and I was on the other side of the van, in the front.  I was looking left and it was on the right.  All of a sudden he pokes me really hard on my shoulder and screams, “You wanted to take pictures and you’re missing everything!”

That was it!   The poke hurt.  He startled me.  I was about to take pictures of the other side of the road.  I had enough of rice fields anyway; we had been to a glorious one the day before.  I tossed the camera, gently, into his lap and told him that he could snap pictures of the blasted field.  We went to a pottery village next and we didn’t say one word to each other.  As we were getting in the van to leave for the Mabua I said, “Don’t ever do that again.”  He rolled his eyes as if I was insane.  We didn’t speak for the next 30 minutes; the driver must have thought we were crazy.

We got off and got our tickets from the boat.  He now asks me what the problem is; he didn’t want me to miss any pictures knowing how badly I wanted to shoot.  Well, now I told him everything that was running through my head for the past hour.  1) There was no need to poke me, it hurt and startled me.  2) I wasn’t even facing that way.  3) I had taken a shot of it earlier on the way.  4) I have an interest in photography that I want to explore.  Part of my being here is to explore my creative and artistic inclinations.  Don’t limit me by telling me what I should or shouldn’t shoot.  It wasn’t fair.  5) You were too brusque with me.  6) I pointed out how he showed me the other shot before and it was amazing.  Why couldn’t he inform me without the poke and the yelling?

Once I got to the part about creativity and art he began smiling and apologized.  Artists; What a breed.  We kissed and made up. Mabua was fun.  J. stayed in the boat and watched The Terminator.  I climbed up to the top of the boat and snapped photos of the water, the islands, the sunset, and at one point I had my feet hooked under the railing and was lying on my back in a sarong taking pictures of a crescent moon.  It was the best time I had taking pictures the whole trip.  I think I even enjoyed it more after explaining to J. (and myself) why it meant so much to me.

We got off the boat and the transport service needed three or more people to share rides for 12,000 Rph. a pop. Without three it was a flat rate of 36,000 Rph.  They said that we were the only ones going to Ubud.  J. decided to wait by the counter to hear where all the other people were going.  There was an Australian women who was going to Ubud and had just paid 36, 000 (they are always trying to scam tourists; we just told the same guy where we were going and he didn’t say a word to us or the woman).  We gave her 24,000 Rph. and the guy behind the counter was pissed off that he lost out on another 36,000 Rph. J. did some amazing creating there.

We got back to AC’s and cleaned up, went to dinner, the waitress put a white flower behind my ear, and then we went back to crash.  J. was leaving at 12pm to go to Hong Kong for a day before he went home.  I was staying on for another 2 days and then Hong Kong for 4 days.  He still had to pack, purchase a few more gifts, and he wanted to see if there was some way that he could take a carving lesson in the morning.  We had breakfast.  I shot a quick roll of Ubud.  Then I helped him to the shuttle bus, which was a mess.  Lombok had been nothing but aggravation and was made all the more stressful because it was preventing him from taking his lesson.  The reason that I feel caused all of the havoc in Lombok was (partly) due to his thoughts from the beginning.  He kept on saying that he didn’t think he was going to make it back in time.  He began saying this on the ferry the day before.  All he kept on thinking was, “I’m not going to make it back in time for my wood-carving lesson.”  I was getting pissed off because I saw him creating a reality that wasn’t even what he wanted.  He was making himself so stressed about everything that it was preventing him from enjoying himself.  When we were waiting to find out if the airplanes had room on them, he stood there saying, “There won’t be any room.”  I was saying that there would be.  Then out comes that comment and I wailed, “NO, don’t think that!”  It was too late.  He had already been working on the reality where we don’t get back in time.  Somehow it prevented my chosen probable reality where we did.

I wasn’t angry with him.  I was just on this highly powerful spiritual journey and I finally learned how to begin to apply my thoughts and choose realities.  I wanted to shake him and hug him at the same time.  I began to realize that Lombok had a lot more to do with J. then with myself.  He was busy learning some lessons of his own.  It makes sense that I was along for the ride.  He actually turned to me at one point and wanted to know why I seemed so un-bothered when he was furious.  I told him that I made a conscious decision not to let this bother me because I want to make myself feel good not bad.  I’ve had enough of making myself feel bad.  He then left he was so hurried and anxious.  The room was more expensive then we anticipated and he didn’t have enough Rupiah left to pay the entire amount.  I lent him the balance, which I couldn’t really afford to do.  As he was getting on the shuttle he said, “Nice seeing you in Bali.”  I looked at him like he was deranged.  Nice? Nice seeing me? In Bali?  He saw my face and looked at me like, “What did I do?  Oh, shit.  Wrong thing to say. Oh fuck!”

I told him not to worry about it, see you back home, safe flight, have fun in Hong Kong, etc. I summed it up to his craziness during the past 36 hours.  What an inadequate farewell.

Now I’m on my own in Bali.  After I went back to the room and composed myself I decided to do what every woman must when she’s upset.  I went shopping.  I didn’t buy that much but I felt so much better afterwards.  I went back to AC’s and showered, got ready, and went to go see some more Balinese dancing – tonight I was going to see the Kechak and Fire Dance.  It was awesome!  Instead of Gamelan music there are 100 men who chant and make sounds vocally.  They sit in a circle with a bonfire in the middle.  Young girls dance around the fire.  It is quite hypnotic.  Later on in the performance a man dressed as a horse proceeds to dance through glowing husks of some sort.  What a sight!

In the middle of the performance I was searching my bag for a clove cigarette.  I had tried several brands and there was one called Garang Garum that I particularly enjoyed. I didn’t want to take my eyes off the stage and was searching blindly.  Up until now I had been smoking my Marlboro Lights.  Then, this guy sitting adjacent from me leans over and offers me a Garang Garum.  He knew!  It was the same brand and he knew what I was searching for, exactly that.

After the performance I decided to go to Sai 2 Bar and have a drink and perhaps meet some tourists and locals.  Since this bar was my “dive” for the week everybody already knew me.  On the way to the bar from the Kechak Dance I was harassed by someone every step of the way.  There were men and boys throughout the town and most of them were calling out things to me.   The last straw was a bunch of guys on motorcycles who were following me for about 5 minutes.  By the time I got to the bar I was frazzled.  I was tearing out of frustration and disgust. What do men think when they act that way?  Like I’m going to turn to them and say, “Come back to my hotel with me.”  Idiots.  It’s flattering, but it’s not.  As I was walking I asked myself to send someone to walk me home.  Forget all these creeps, there are mongrel dogs everywhere and they bark and growl and travel in packs. It makes me very nervous.

There was this bartender there named Matik.  He had been staring at me every night that I was there.  I thought it was because of the fact that I tipped him the first night I went there.  No one tips.  I’m a bartender; I tip.  Well, Matik and Karmon (the waiter) take me inside and buy me a glass of wine.  It begins to rain a monsoon again and I knew I’d be there for awhile.  Matik asked me to sit at the bar.  He said that he had wanted to talk to me all week and that I was always with that other guy.  It turns out that he wanted to grill me about bartending in the USA.  He has one more interview to go and work for a cruise ship out of Miami and he wanted to know what to expect.  I filled him in.  (I downloaded 100 drink recipes and I’m going to send them to him.)  We were the same age and he was very good-looking but I wasn’t interested in him that way.

Then, the power went out and they brought candles out and everyone sat in the dark talking for the next hour.  We moved over to a table (Matik is the senior bartender so he has privileges) and began to talk about things.  Some guy whipped out a guitar and began playing Bob Marley and assorted rock songs.  Being “bar people” the conversation turned to drugs.  It began with my comment that I couldn’t understand how a country without marijuana could dig Bob Marley so much.  I mean Bob and pot have always worked so well together.  He began telling me that the popular drugs in Bali were XTC, heroin, and mushrooms.  I couldn’t believe they had XTC and not weed. He excused himself for a bit and came back with this big bag of mushrooms.  Now, I have never tried mushrooms before but I know many people who had and I was able to watch their behavior.  I decided to give it a try.  (Stop shaking those heads; I promise it turns out well.)  He tells me I need to eat about 20 shrooms to get an affect.  So I eat 10; nothing.  I eat another 10; nothing.  I eat about another 10-15; still nothing except a buzz from the wine.  The bar was closing and Matik has an umbrella and offers to walk me home (Inside I was thanking my Higher Self, AGAIN.  All his bar friends start making cracks and he turns to me and says, “What idiots.  They’re foolish and jealous because they wish they could take you home.  It’s not like we’re going to fuck or anything.” Cool guy.  He walks me back and we had some water and talked on my covered patio. He hugged me goodnight and left.  A gentleman!

Then I go into my room and undress for bed. It’s then that I look at myself in the mirror and realize that I am shrooming.  My eyes were huge and I was dancing and laughing my ass off at myself.  I felt great and extremely giddy.  I kept on watching myself imitate the Balinese dancing and it looked so funny on someone as pale as I am.  What a riot.  I got into bed and was lying on my back and I began to meditate.  As usual, I began talking to my Higher Self.  I was thanking them for everything that they/I had been doing for me.  All of a sudden I begin to see a slide show of all of these beautiful paintings.  One after the other and all so amazing that I began to cry.

In the midst of the paintings I was shown several stained glass sculptures of which I promised myself to remember clearly (which I have). I began asking, “Whose work is this?”  They answered “It’s yours.”  Mine?  Mine!  This art was mine!  This is one of the reasons I went to Bali.  I want to paint and I don’t even own a paintbrush or paints.  My art!  This was all inside of me.  I was so impressed with myself; what a talent.  I knew that I wouldn’t have been shown this if it wasn’t available for me to use.  It’s mine.  Wow.  I don’t know if it had anything to do with the shrooms or not.  If it did, I don’t care because I was meant to shroom and have this exact experience.  It was intense and awesome.  As I ran over this information in my mind I could hear my I/They laughing at/with me.

Grandfather left physical reality last year.  In the last years of his life he began working with stained glass and had purchased all the equipment and supplies.  My Grandmother wanted to donate it to the clubhouse but my Father refused to let her.  This was odd because he never used it.  I called my Grandmother the next day and she said I could have everything.  I can learn to sculpt with glass.  I wonder if my Grandfather threw a few of his ideas into my painting slide show.  I wouldn’t doubt it.

Back on Wednesday, J. and I had returned from a tour we had wanted to go and learn how to make Batik.  We had a flyer from tourist information but we couldn’t find it.  We had asked the driver to go down Monkey Forest Road and drop us there.  We also wanted to grab a bite and the food at Sai 2 Bar was really good.  We weren’t even paying attention when J. asked the driver to just pull over here.  We get out of the van and we are directly in front of the bar.  The batik place was adjacent to the bar.  I never noticed it before.  J. was the first to make the correlation.  We walk in to find out how much and how long it would take and the guy, Matik 2, was wearing the same sarong that I was wearing.  It wasn’t batik it was silk with a black and gold pattern.  Even he was surprised.  Inasmuch as J. and I were hungry we decided to scratch batik and to go eat and then nap.  I decided to do it on Saturday after he left. Which I did.I returned on Saturday I asked Matik 2 if he knew of anyone who could give me a Balinese-dancing lesson.  He told me that he would find out for me and let me know the next day.  It took two days to work the batik and I call it, Crude American Batik.  I laugh every time I look at it.  It is pretty awful.

It’s the eve of Ramanyananight and I am so broke.  I have almost no money and I won’t be able to get more until I reach Hong Kong.  I take my few Rupiah and opt to see another dance instead of eating.  In my mind I ask my I/They to send me someone to buy me dinner and keep me company. Oh, and someone to walk me home.  French Canadian gentleman named Pierre (of course) sat next to me.  He had just arrived in Bali from Burma where he worked for the United Nations.  I admired a bag he had with him and he admired the clove cigarettes that I was smoking.  Pierre asked me if I would mind accompanying him for a drink after the performance.  I said, “Of course!”dance began and I must say that this performance was one of my favorites.  There was this one dance with 7 angels that was wonderful.  It reminded me of the OBE I had prior to the trip.  I was enchanted.

Pierre and I went to a really cool restaurant down Ubud Main Road.  I think it was called Matti’s and it overlooked a gorge with flowers, trees, plants, and a stream. Gorgeous.  He hadn’t been in Ubud in 5 years and he wanted to eat at a nice place.  J. had taken me there earlier in the week.  Pierre wanted me to join him for dinner.  I agreed!  I ordered the same thing I had eaten before, Aleang’s chicken with mushrooms and vegetables. Pierre ordered exactly what J. had eaten, Gado Gado.  Ironic ain’t it?  We had a very nice dinner and I read Pierre’s cards for him.  He was shocked when I told him that he had three ex-wives.  When the bill came I reached into my bag to pay my share and he refused to allow me.  His driver came and took us to Sai 2 Bar where we had a drink and hung out for a bit.  He went to take care of the bill and pre-paid another drink for me.  What an angel.  It seems as if they’re everywhere; perhaps that’s why I saw thousands and thousands of them.

Then one of the other bartenders came over to join me for awhile.  When the bar closed he offered to drive me back on his motorcycle. Higher-Self, Thank you, AGAIN!

Next day, my Balinese dancing lesson came through for me.  A lesson!  I put on my sarong, pulled back my hair, and off I went.  I don’t even remember the teacher’s name.  She began to show me the basic moves.  With my ballet background and after seeing all of those performances I had some familiarity with it. She stopped the basics and began to teach me the dance.  After about 2-5 movements I realized that this was the dance with the angels that I had seen the night before.  I was having a ball!  There was an Australian couple having their breakfast (this place was a homestay) and they were watching us the entire time.  I learned the entire dance in under one hour.  It’s 7-8 minutes long.  I had wanted to do this so badly.  I didn’t want to leave without a lesson in Balinese dancing. It filled me up so much and I couldn’t help myself from feeling sour about J. not being able to do his woodcarving.  When I was done dancing the couple thanked me for the entertainment and wanted to know how long I had been in Bali studying dance.  I looked at my watch and said, “About an hour and fifteen minutes!” Then, packed and took the shuttle bus to Denpasar to go to the airport.

The ride to the airport was pretty uneventful.  I get to the check-in counter and pay my airport tax of 25,000 Rph.  That sucked because I had to go to the moneychanger again. In the check-in area I noticed this guy wearing a triangular straw hat, the kind they wear in rice fields.  It was pretty unusual because he was over six feet tall!  Then I went upstairs to the duty-free area and decided to eat something cheap.  I had some awful french fries and a coke.  I had a pleasant conversation with some Indonesian women who worked there.  I was wondering what I was going to do about getting more money.  I had tried to use the telephone but you needed to purchase a phone card that cost 100,000 Rph.  I wasn’t going to spend that much money for one phone call.

Earlier I had tried to call my friend M. who lives in Hong Kong but I was unable to reach him.  He had been travelling through Africa when I had left New York.  I left him an email with the dates that I would be in Hong Kong but other than that there was no way for me to contact him.  When I called from Bali he was in Europe.  I could have left a message or sent an email with my flight information but I thought that would be too presumptuous of me.

So I was sitting there smoking and I began to wonder what I was going to do once I got to Hong Kong.  I asked my higher self for help.  They said, “Don’t worry its already taken care of.”  I said, “Oh” and shrugged my shoulders.  I figured that I might as well just trust that because they hadn’t been wrong yet.  I decided, consciously, not to stress about it.  It would work out.  Still, I couldn’t help but feel apprehensive.  Then I got up and walked over to try to make a call again – No luck, no calling card usage, no collect calls, no nuthin’.  They really try to get tourists with this kind of thing.

I look over and the man in the straw hat was sitting there.  He asked me what the trouble was.  I sat down and bitched about the phone.  We began a conversation and discovered that we both live in New York. We were on the same flight to Hong Kong and we decided to sit together.  I asked him where he was staying and he whipped out a copy of Lonely Planet-Asia. (This was great because J. had shown me his copy and had mentioned that I should get one before I travel again.)  I had a listing of hotels in Kowloon for $65 USD a night.  He was staying at Noble Hostel in Hong Kong.  It was $45 USD per night.  I asked him if he thought they might have an extra room.  He said that he would call when we landed in Hong Kong

Got to Hong Kong and Bernard went to make the call and to see if they had his reservation.  I waited with the bags.  He came back and told me that they had booked him into a double room by mistake.  I yelled, “Alright!”  I asked him if it would be okay to split the room since it would now cost more than he had expected.  He said of course.  He purchased tickets for us on the bus; this was his fifth time in Hong Kong, and he kept on shaking his head in awe and wonder over the way events were unfolding.  I had been telling him about my adventure so far and my psychic abilities.  He kept on saying, “I can’t believe the way this is turning out.”  What a sweet guy.

Check-in, shower, change clothes, and head out to eat dinner and have a little fun.  Bernard was leaving at 7am to go to Japan.  I paid him for the room, purchased dinner to compensate for the bus, and we split the drink bill.  When I got there I had called a friend of mine and asked her to please put some money in my account for me.  So, I kept on checking my ATM card waiting for the deposit.  Nothing.  I called Citibank and they said the computers were down.  Bernard offered to lend me some money.  I told him that we should wait until morning, if it wasn’t there I would accept his kind offer.  Morning came and still no money. Bernard lent me 800 HKD, which is a little over $100 USD.  He knew that I was trying to reach my friend but in case I didn’t he wanted me to have enough to pay for the room and get out of H.K.  We exchanged information and off he went.  Another gentleman, another angel, once again.  I said “Thank you!” to my higher self.  Aren’t we amazing?!

In my mind I asked if I would be able to contact my friend.  The answer: Call at 3pm.  I went back to sleep for a few hours. I woke up and changed into a smaller room. I tried my ATM again – no money.  I went to McDonalds for some cheap food and then I decided to take the MTR (train) down to Admiralty to go to the Citibank building. (BTW, Bernard gave me his copy of Lonely Planet to use to get around Hong Kong.)  As soon as I get out of the train I see the building in which M. has his company.  It’s about 1:30pm and I’m not going to try and reach him until 3:00pm.  Remember, I’m following my higher self every step of the way.

I go to Citibank, the computer is still down and they tell me I have to wait.  Try back later.  I tried again later; still down try again later or preferably tomorrow.  I was going to be seriously fucked if I couldn’t get in touch with M.  When I had called on Monday they said that he was delayed in Europe.  I needed to purchase a phone card to call him and to phone home.  I couldn’t find a phone that would accept my calling card.  It took me over an hour to find a Hong Kong Telecom card.  When I finally found one they only had $100 HKD cards.  There were none for $50 HKD.  I debated over it for a few minutes.  I mean, it was this card or food at this point.  I chose the card.  Even if I wasn’t able to reach M. I could at least call someone at home.  I did have enough to cover the room and transport to the airport including airport tax.  If money was able to come I would be able to use my “reserve” to eat that day.

It took me another half-hour to find a phone.  Everyone in H.K. walks around holding their cell phones.  It’s the “in thing”.  I phone M. and he’s there!  I told him that I’m downstairs but I didn’t come to see him I came here to go to the Citibank building next door.  He tells me that he’ll meet me in the lobby now, we’ll find each other and go for coffee.  I began to tell him everything about my trip.  How it came about and all that. He couldn’t believe I took my rent money on vacation with me.  I got yelled at for not leaving my flight information.  He refused to believe that my three-day layover wasn’t on purpose.  He still thinks I planned the whole thing just to see him.  What is with men and their egos?  Then I go upstairs and I met the office staff and M.’s brother.

M. finished up his business for the day and he kept on looking at me and laughing.  Normally he visits me in New York yet here I was visiting him in Hong Kong!  I began to tell him about this dream I had last night in which I was at work and I was walking around.  I saw Natalia.  I tried to get my friend Ralph’s attention (I was trying to give him a high-five) but no one could see me; I was invisible.  M. interrupted me and asked me why I was telling him this.  I said, “No reason except that I want to tell you.  So shut up and let me finish.”

We went to the hostel to pick up my things and went to his place to change for dinner. The driver took us to this beautiful restaurant called The Peak.  It’s on the top of a huge hill or small mountain and it overlooks all of Hong Kong Island.  The restaurant is two (or three) huge floors.  Completely packed and very expensive.  There is a live band, oyster bar, sushi bar, and everything else you can imagine.  We had a drink at the bar and then we were seated at a table.  I was able to look through the window and admire all the lights.  What ambience! Then we went to pick out our oysters and I chose these wonderful ones that had a cucumber aftertaste.  Dinner was awesome and I couldn’t help laughing at myself.  I mean, less than 7 hours ago I was eating McDonalds and hoping to have enough money to eat.  Now, here I sat, drinking wine, eating oysters, and being chauffeured around in a Rolls Royce.  What a sense or humor my higher self has!

After dinner we went to Lon Fong Chou.  It’s a trendy American/European/Tourist nightlife area.  Lots of bars and restaurant, clubs and such.  We went to a bar and did some serious drinking.  It was so much fun to not have to drive my car.  I drank a lot through my entire vacation.  Not to the point of sickness or spinning rooms just a great chill-out.   V-A-C-A-T-I-O-N!  At midnight we called Natalia from the cell phone.  The first thing out of her mouth was “I miss you!”  The second thing was “Lisa, I saw you at work last night and so did Ralph.”  I said, “Natalia, say what you just said to me only let me put M. on.”  She told him and he handed me back the phone.  They saw me!  I saw them!  I was there in New York but I was in Hong Kong!  I began crying I was so happy and completely amazed.  Now, I know why I told M. earlier.  I explained my dream to Nat and the fact that I forced M. to listen to it earlier.  She kept on saying, “Wow.” over and over.  We were rendered speechless.  M. still doesn’t believe I’m psychic.  I wonder if he thinks that Nat and I planned that.  I did tell her the day before that I would call her at that time.  Isn’t this cool?

Full Day in Hong Kong. M. has offered me the Rolls and driver for the day so I can see Hong Kong.  We went for breakfast in Lon Fong Chou, dropped M. at the office and went to explore the city.  M. has always been telling me stories about his driver, K.  The guy is very sweet but has no idea what he is doing.  M. has said that he would fire him but K. would still show up for work the next day.  I think K.’s antics provide too much amusement for M. to get angry.  I was about to get a first hand experience in exactly what M. has been talking about.  We drove through the mountains and I got some pretty nice shots of the city. We went to the beach and I took more photos.  Then we went to Stanley, which has a flea market bazaar.  On our way to find parking K. goes the wrong way down a one-way street.  We get pulled over by a Chinese policeman who begins to yell at him in English.  At least I was able to understand.  The policeman asks K. if this is his car. He says “No”.  He asks K. if he is a professional driver.  Again he answers “No”.  Now I’m trying not to laugh aloud because he was definitely telling the truth; he was NOT A PROFESSIONAL DRIVER!  He got lucky and wasn’t issued a ticket.  Then he begins to tell me the entire story, as if I wasn’t there.  He was so proud of himself for lying about being a professional driver!

Later, I bought a copy of my name in Chinese and a drawing depicting what my name means in Chinese.  My name means: Dragon=Power, Butterfly=Beauty, Heart=Love, and Bird=Happiness.  I found this definition to be quite intriguing.  My Grandfather’s nickname for me, in Yiddish, was Shprintz.  It means butterfly.  After his death I had gone to visit this clairvoyant in Florida.  She told me that there was an old man there showing her a butterfly.  She said that the butterfly was very important to him and he wanted to make sure she told me about it.  Hmmm.

It’s now after three o’clock and I wanted to ride the Star Ferry from Hong Kong to Kowloon and to have K. pick me up on the Kowloon side.  He tells me that it’s too boring and we should go see the new airport they’re building.  I don’t want to see the new airport. When it opens I’ll fly into it.  Until such a time I couldn’t care less, I’ve seen enough airports.  He was talking about the airport the entire day and I figured what the hell; he wasn’t going to shut up until we went there. So I tell K. that I’m hungry and I want to stop for a snack before dinner.  He says that as soon as there is a place to stop he will.  After about 20 minutes we’re entering the tunnel to Kowloon and my stomach is roaring.  I ask K. to please stop for food.  He says there wasn’t any place to stop and we’ll just get something at the new airport.  I remind him that the new airport isn’t open yet.  No response.  So I sit back to enjoy the sights.

It’s now after four o’clock and we’re still driving and I am pissed off.  I ask K. how much longer to the airport.  This is when he tells me that he doesn’t know; he has never been there before!  I remind him that we have to pick up M. from the office.  He says, “No, until 6-6:30.”  I said, “No K., about 5-5:30.”  He doesn’t respond.  We finally get all the way out there and its closed.  HA HA.  I would’ve called M. much earlier but I knew he was in a meeting.  We stop at this apartment complex that is building a mini-mall.  The tiles are slippery and I’m trying to keep my balance.  There is only this grotesque place to eat and I decided to wait until dinner.  There was no toilet paper in the bathroom.  I had to walk (really far on slippery tiles) to go to a store to buy tissues.  Then I had to walk back to the bathroom.  I had sent K. to eat at the grotesque place because he hadn’t eaten since breakfast either.  I was so disappointed.  This was my only day to sightsee and look where I am.  Yuck!

So I get back to the car and I tell K. to call M. for me but before he could dial the phone rang.  K. gave me the phone and I said to M. “I know what you mean now.”  He began laughing and asked me where the hell we were.  I told him and he laughed even louder.  It seems that K. has a fascination with airplanes and he had shanghaied me there just to see it for himself.  It wasn’t right and it wasn’t fair.  I’m extremely pleased that the airport was closed.  M. was finished with work and asked how long we would be.  I said, “We should be there within 45 minutes.”  K. began waving his hands wildly as if to say, “NO, don’t tell him that!”  I didn’t care.  I knew M. was only going to laugh at K. anyway.  We finally got back and K. called M. to let him know that we were back.  M. said, “Be right down.” and slammed the phone.  K. was a nervous wreck and I was amused.. came down and we decided to go out immediately for drinks and dinner.

We went to Wan Chai to go for Mongolian Barbecue.  As we were walking down the street we saw a camera crew for CNN.  In Wan Chai there are buildings in which there are bars and restaurants on many floors.   You take the elevator to go to the place you want. We went to a floor with an Irish bar first.  We elected to have a few before dinner.  I told M. about my day.  I enjoyed the most about Hong Kong was the fact that after a year of knowing M. we finally had the opportunity to break down a lot of things and REALLY TALK.  We cut through a lot of bullshit during drinks.  He travels all over the world and I wanted to know if I was Miss New York.  Our relationship is not an intimate one but I wanted to be clear on what his intentions were.  For me it’s always friendship first. Without it you have no basis for anything else.

He said, “Cards on the table?”  I practically jumped up and down in my seat and said, “Please!  That’s what I want!”  I had told him previously that I wanted to be better friends then we were.  If you added up all the “actual time” we’ve spent in each others company it is less than two weeks.   I explained my views on relationships and sex and he was shocked at what they were. I’m VERY open-minded.  He opened up and I really enjoyed hearing about his personal life.

Then we went to the Mongolian Barbecue floor.  They give you these coins and a bowl.  You fill the bowl with what you want to eat.  You add seasonings and then they cook it for you.  It was pretty good!  After dinner we went to Joe Banana’s which is a restaurant/Nightclub.  We talked and drank and I had a much better evening then my day had been.  A lot of fun..

M. offered me several options.   1) Would I like to remain in Hong Kong and accompany him to Europe next week?  2) Would I just like to stay in Hong Kong until he went to Europe?  3) Would I like to go back to Bali, alone? I told him that I would go home tomorrow as planned.  Before you think I’m crazy let me explain my decision. A) If I were to choose any of these options I would be dependant on him for. If I wanted a drink or a cigarette I would have to ask.  B)  This was MY TRIP and MY CREATION – if I remained it would cease to be “mine”it would become something else that I’m not sure about wanting.  C) I have my cats at home as well as my financial obligations.  I am broke now and would have to ask him for money to meet MY OBLIGATIONS.  I don’t care how he is, these are MY CHALLENGES and MY RESPONSIBILITIES.  It wouldn’t be right to ask him to take care of these things.  (I didn’t explain any of this to him until recently when he asked me why I went back to New York.) The only thing I’ve accepted from him has been a telephone because mine was bad and he was annoyed every time he called at the static on my end.

The next day, went to breakfast at his Aviation Club at the airport and then went to the terminal.  We said our “Good-bye’s.” I roamed around the airport and duty-free shops.  I had 15 minutes until boarding and decided to go to the smoking area.  I walked in and there was that Israeli guy who had been on my flight to Hong Kong.  We were on the same flight home.  He called me over and said, “I saw you on television last night.”  I was shocked.  I asked him what the hell he was talking about.:”You were in Wan Chai last night.”:  “Yes.  Why didn’t you come over and say hello?”: “You were in a Rolls Royce with a driver with glasses and a tall blonde.”: “Yeah”:  “He opened the door for you and you were walking down the street with the other man.”: “I don’t get it.”:  “I was watching CNN in my hotel in Kowloon when I recognized you on the tv.”  I laughed my ass off!  CNN had filmed us and we didn’t even know it.  I remembered seeing the cameras but I didn’t see them pointed in my direction.  Honestly, I hadn’t even really paid attention.  Unbelievable!  I’m an actress and I wind up on television in Hong Kong!

The flight home was only 14 ½ hours long. I slept a lot.  Took a taxi home from JFK and got a wonderful greeting from my cats.

©1997, Lisa Wallach.  Printed in the October 1998 Issue of the Conscious Creation Journal. (Feel free to duplicate this article for personal use – please include this copyright notice.)

Lisa on Lisa : Artist, Writer, Actress, Seeker, and Reality Creator living in New York City.  Thinking:  “Live The Dream” & I can’t stand it when people say “Don’t get your hopes up.”  What are you supposed to do?  Get your hopes down?  Idiots…