Benjamin Disraeli said “Fear makes us feel our humanity”
As the sun blared down, and the simple requests of ‘let’s go to the chemist’ seemed not to have the full weight of the Tennyson’s Charge of the light brigade – “All in the valley of Death, Rode the six hundred” attached to it but there wasn’t six hundred it was just me. The quiet almost rural roads of Canggu where I drove my bike gave way to the La Mons like race circuit of the local traffic. Openly there are no rules of the road, no left lane, no right lane, no stopping and most of all no giving way. There is just this Buddhist Zen approach that requires to you ‘feel’ you’re away through the traffic with a smile and a toot toot. All for the want of a hay fever pill my life flashed before me.
In the panicked compression of scootering on Bali roads. I thought it was odd that the locals were giving the normal shoulder to the shoulder ruck like crush of biking a wide berth and around the flatbed truck carrying – ‘reinforcing iron’ but what they instinctively knew (or possible because of their Zen like approach) us poor tourist seem not to assimilate – I revelling in the shoulder to shoulder freedom space I smiled to my left at the guy with the fifteen cans of petrol, piled on his scooter, knowing I would soon be making my way back to the rural utopia that is Echo beach. The car in front hit a bump and as the reinforcing iron came loose and landed on the road in front of me there seemed little option but to simply ride over it. So I did. Slightly ramped up as it clung to the tail gate of the pick-up, like of one the bikie dare devils crusty daemons I bunny hopped the last remaining hooked up sheet and landed without falling off. Apart from the small pee I did in my pants, the smile and the genuine thumbs up i got from my petrol laden biker buddy fill me with comraderic joy, if I coulda done a wheel-stand I woulda. But you can’t on a 500cc scooter!