SHORT-CUTS IN TRANS­LA­TION

I’M DIS­COV­ER­ING THE IN­TRI­CATE NA­TURE OF BALI AND THE QUIRK­I­NESS OF HER PEO­PLE, ONE RUNG AT A TIME

Life & Style Weekend - - TUGBOAT TALES - WORDS: ASH­LEY ROBIN­SON

Lost In Trans­la­tion was a pretty good movie back in the day and I reckon I could write a pretty good se­quel in 2019.

Over the past seven months, apart from work­ing, I have spent a fair bit of time in Bali due to a fam­ily drama that some read­ers will know about, but that’s not what this is about.

It’s about trans­la­tion and our new fam­ily friend Chock, who is a Ba­li­nese lo­cal and has been an enor­mous help to our fam­ily over this pe­riod.

I could say his English is not bad – far bet­ter than my poor ef­forts in speak­ing the lo­cal lingo – so I can’t com­plain, but some­times we have slight mis­com­mu­ni­ca­tions.

A cou­ple of week­ends ago is a prime ex­am­ple.

Now, one of Choc’s many tal­ents is that he seems to know when I need some­thing.

So, after a stress­ful week, he sug­gests we go to Nus Penida for a night with his fam­ily who have friends over there. I agree, but ask him to sug­gest some ac­com­mo­da­tion for me near the beach in my bud­get (cheap as pos­si­ble).

He as­sures me the ac­com is $80 and only 100m from the beach. You beauty. Trans­la­tion hic­cup num­ber one.

So off we go on the hour boat ride to the prom­ise of a beau­ti­ful trop­i­cal is­land that is still mostly in its orig­i­nal fish­ing vil­lage state.

The idea is that my host is go­ing to take me to this Hindu tem­ple on the other side of the is­land where he goes to med­i­tate and wash in the holy wa­ter in a nat­u­ral spring/ wa­ter­fall that is 700 steps down from the top.

It sounds won­der­ful. Trans­la­tion hic­cup num­ber two.

On ar­rival in the beau­ti­ful bay, he points out my digs which are over­look­ing the wa­ter, 100m from the bay. All good.

We go to check in but have to go by road which is a 30-minute goat track ride which I think strange as I could have hit a seven-iron from the beach onto the front lawn.

I check in, they then drop me back off in the vil­lage as there is no credit-card ac­cess so I need cash from the only ATM in town that, of course, isn’t work­ing.

So I go to walk along the beach back to my room. Prob­lem num­ber one: the tide is in, so I am told I have to walk back along the goat track or I can walk through some scrub, climb a lit­tle cliff face and ar­rive at my des­ti­na­tion.

Trans­la­tion hic­cup num­ber one: it was 100m from the beach as long as the tide wasn’t in.

I take the scrub and cliff face which, un­be­known to me, would be a good warm-up for the next day.

So the next day at the peak of the heat, we have a one-hour scooter ride to the 700 steps and nir­vana.

Beau­ti­ful ride. We get there and then get told I have to wear a sarong and Hindu head­dress to en­ter.

No drama, apart from it be­ing about 100 de­grees. Off we go, and I soon find out that in­stead of 700 steps, trans­la­tion should have been: 200 steps and 500 rungs of a lad­der down a sheer cliff face.

The whole way down, all I can think about is how the hell I am go­ing to get back.

It was out­stand­ing, but if I had known the truth, I never would have gone.

It ac­tu­ally turned out to be a bonus. Thank you, Choc.

“THE TIDE IS IN, SO I AM TOLD I HAVE TO WALK BACK ALONG THE GOAT TRACK OR I CAN WALK THROUGH SOME SCRUB, CLIMB A LIT­TLE CLIFF FACE AND AR­RIVE AT MY DES­TI­NA­TION.”

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