“Java?” he asked, simply wanting another cup of coffee.
“Why not,” she replied and left the room to pack. “And Bali too,” she
added from the closet, from where bathing suits and sandals and sun hats
were piling up in a heap.
And so we set off on our Christmas trip 2018 for the temples Borobudur and Prambanan in Java near Yogyakarta. And now we’re lounging around in Bali.
The avocado grove has been seriously pruned and needs little attention for the next year. We’re footloose, fancy free and still able to get around—a little slower during the day perhaps; bed time is earlier and we run our checklists on the road carefully.
“Back up glasses?”
“Didn’t we just do that?”
As of this writing, we don’t need trusses, adult Kimbies, pain killers, anti-psychotics, denture adhesive, canes, walkers or braces but as we know at our age, they could be part of our lives any day now. We don’t special request a wheelchair at the gate, nor do we need advance boarding. Security checks have become easier because after age seventy-five you don’t have to remove your shoes or jackets, probably because it takes too much time to get all the stuff off and get out of the way. We have no metal replacement parts yet so special hand baton checks aren’t necessary.
Reading airport signs will be easier for me on our next trip, Richard’s birthday request, to Moscow and on to Vladivostok by train across six time zones, because I’m scheduled for cataract surgery in late January. Fortunately, Richard has excellent eyes, but four fully functioning eyes at our age will be a big bonus. I’ll be able to see clearly, in the Cyrillic alphabet, words I don’t understand, but Richard does. On the hearing front, the score currently is Richard-two operating ears, me-one. As a bonus for the hearing loss, I developed tinnitus and am celebrating my ninth year of continuous buzz, clang and hiss. Conversation goes as it did at breakfast this morning:
“Why is she asking if we want a cigar...it’s breakfast,” I say, puzzled.
Richard explains, smiling patiently, “She’s asking if you want sugar.”
Here in Indonesia, Richard is addressed as Pak and I am Ibu, terms of respect for grandparents. Not many older people were “on the road” on Java, so we found ourselves a bit of a curiosity. Kids stared. Groups asked us to pose with them and arranged and rearranged themselves in lines putting us in the middle, then on the ends. The photos were taken on five or six phones at a time.
When back in Fallbrook we’ll be using What’s App to stay connected to our new Javanese friends, adding them to the world-spanning list of wonderful folks we’ve met over the years.
Life, when at home in Fallbrook is peaceful and this year, thankfully, fire free. After a week to recover from jet lag, we’ll start seriously organizing our next adventures. We putter around the rancho between trips and to kill time we volunteer at the library and pursue our hobbies and long list of projects. Like everyone our age we approach the New Year with much resolve to divest ourselves of our junk. Maybe this year, 2019, Yearof the Pig will be our magical year of tidying up.
As we say here in Bali,
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!