Plane panties

You know when you are on an airplane for long enough that you just feel DONE?
Done with travel.
Done with hauling luggage all across planet earth.
Done with airplane food.
Done with timezones.
Done with the person sitting behind you.
Done with all of it.
Especially your clothes.
Yep – you have been wearing the same sweaty, wrinkled, smelly, outfit for the past 14 hours and you don’t give a sh*t anymore.
So, obviously, you go into the airplane lavatory and immediately whip off your underwear.
Then, because you are an active member of human society, you fold up your underwear neatly and wrap it carefully in paper towels to hide what you’ve done from your fellow seatmates.

After that, you are free to move onto all the other weird stuff you need to get done.
You wash your face, comb your hair, brush your teeth, try spritzing on that horrible “aroma mist” that is supplied, and find out that you forgot to pack your pills in your carry on toiletries bag.

After all that, you arrange yourself as presentable and modestly scurry back to your seat.

Sure, 15 minutes later you jump up with a start because you realize you left your carefully wrapped underwear sitting on the counter in the lavatory. But then you slowly settle back down.
You don’t want to look like a weirdo who goes back into the bathroom right away. Plus, you’re in the last row. You’d have to walk past everyone and feel the scathing judgment of all 4 flight attendants. That underwear isn’t like top tier or anything. Sure, it’s a pineapple print, but you’re so tired and you truly don’t want to see any item of the clothes you’re wearing ever again.
The black and white dress with the torn sash, the purple flats that rub your left baby toe, and those stupid pineapple print panties that could easily be considered “grannie panties”.
So you brush it out of your mind, they’re gone.
Dead to you.
Good, one less thing to carry back to N. America. One less thing to wash once you get back home. One less thing to fold and put away. One less “grannie pantie” secret shame.

Life charges forward, and you along with it.

So why did you even bother in the first place?
What is this need to dress “appropriately” when traveling via the airport?
Because your mama taught you to always wear clean underwear in case you were ever in a car accident. But in an airport?
Well, let me tell you.
In N. America, when you get patted down, it’s with a gloved back of hand lightly passing over you. Frequently accompanied by mumbled apologies from the officer. But in Indonesia, they will just straight up grab you and run their fingers right up your butt crack, pushed up close enough to feel the sweat.
That’s why. Underwear in that situation is as welcomed as water in the desert. I’ve never been so happy as to have that thin strip of extra fabric between me and that stranger’s probing finger.

But the security check was long over, and yet I had almost an entire day on a plane to endure. So long, panties!
Or so I thought.

Moments later, an overly dedicated flight attendant was barreling swiftly down the aisle. Stopping at each seat, demanding an answer to a question.
What was she asking? What could the issue be?
As the very last person in the last row, I was the last to find out.
It all became clear when she shoved the pineapple panties in my face and asked if they were mine.

Of course, they were mine. I was the only person to have used the lavatory so far on the flight.
I knew they were mine.
She knew they were mine.
And now every passenger in first and business class knew they were mine as well.
I snatched up my (no longer) secret shame and jammed them deep down into the cushions of my seat. My heart pounded, my face warmed with heat from my embarrassed blush, and my seatmate looked positively baffled.

The next seventeen hours were going to be interesting.
Or so I thought.
Little did I know 10 hours from that moment, my naked boob would fall out of my top of the whole plane to see.
I really need to start focusing more on my wardrobe choices.

So, did I bring them all the way back and dutifully wash them, fold them, and return them to the back of my drawer?
Or did I forget them jammed down between the cushions of my seat?

Well, that’s for me to know.
And you to…. never know.

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Step into my office

I bought a Groupon for a massage.
Seems normal, right? Sure – I buy Groupons all the time and they are usually totally fine.

I browsed the website for the massage spa first. Seemed like a legit establishment, decent reviews, I was excited.

I called to book the appointment but no one answered the phone.
For 3 days.

I am always a little bit wary of Groupon places – because there is a reason they are offering services at a discounted price. Yet I was undeterred. I looked up my exact Groupon and called the number listed there. A woman answered. Success!
But she answered it: “Hello, yeah?” Not success.
Either this was just some person or the least professional business of all time.

I made an appointment for my massage and also asked to add a pedicure to my appointment. She responded that they are not currently doing pedicures. First of all, it says they do pedicures on the website, and second of all, what type of garbage spa doesn’t have pedicures? That’s the most basic spa service of all. I could do a pedicure myself for god’s sake.

I asked for her to remind me of the spa’s address. She said she would text it to me with my appointment confirmation. And, of course, the address she texted me was just some house, not the spa listed on the website.

So either I was now scheduled to get the worst massage of all time in some chick’s living room. Or I was planning on waltzing into the home of a serial killer.

Though I 50% really wanted to see this horrible place and enjoy the ridiculousness of it. The other 50% of me really didn’t want to get murdered in such a dumb and obvious way. So I cancelled my questionable appointment and returned the Groupon.

Over the years I have visited many many home businesses for different reasons.

I rarely was aware in advance that the business was being run out of a private residence, and if I had… I probably would have opted to go a different route.

Let’s review:

I “won” a raffle and got a really awkward acupuncture session in some guy’s garage. Decided afterwards I really don’t like acupuncture. But that might not be entirely acupuncture’s fault.

I went to a lawyer for a quick consult and simple form to be completed, in the basement of a private home. The guy wasn’t super amazing and afterwards, I realized business card stating “LOVE” should have been a bit of a red flag that he wasn’t really the type of lawyer I was looking for.

I got my haircut in my neighbour’s basement salon forever for $10 a pop.  The price was right, but the haircut matched the price tag. I put a stop to the cycle when I was 15 years old and asked her to shave my head. All future haircuts were then effectively cancelled.

And of course, I have been tricked into going to a “party” at an acquaintance’s place – where it just turned out to be a weird wine get together while they tried to sell us really overpriced candles, Tupperware, makeup, or whatever. I drank all the free wine and passed out immediately. Never spoke to that person again.

And I know you’re thinking that I sure am up on a high horse for someone who works from home.
I hear ya.
There are loads of legit businesses with people working from home.
Online, design, crafting, editing, creating, writing, concocting.
But those don’t invite clients into the home. And I think that’s the kicker.


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The Peel

Over the past year I have gone through quite a lot.
One of the results is that I feel I have been left with sad old lady skin.
My face has aged ten year in six months.

This left me wondering what I could do about it.
Obviously the best option would be a great skin care regiment. But that means I would go out and spend a bundle on product s that I would use sporadically, at best. That would be a waste of money, skin likes routine.

So what other options were out there?
I’d has spa facials before and they aggravated my skin more than anything, causing clogged pores.
I’d heard a lot about Botox, but wanted to do some research myself.
And it looks like Botox is not for me.
I’m not some famous movie star. I don’t want injections into my face, it targets only certain areas, and it’s temporary – so that would mean committing to a series of expensive treatments.

Now that I was in research mode, I kept digging. There were so many options! Micro-needling, laser treatments, dermapens, Acupuncture, cosmetic surgery, the list was scary. I finally got caught up in the idea of a chemical peel.

A peel seemed less invasive than many other procedures, I’d heard good things, it addressed many issues, and was an affordable one-time option.

A peel is essentially the process of resurfacing the face. A specific combination of chemicals onto the skin to cause it to peel off the top layer(s) and grow fancy new young skin in its place.
It’s a good way to deal with acne, light scarring, pigmentation issues, fine lines, and texturing.
Now, I wasn’t into the idea of a deep peel, I just wanted to start out with something light.

I looked up locations in the city and found something with good reviews that didn’t look like a dump or a spa.

I then made my appointment at SKN in Yaletown for a consult.

The intake was good, they asked my concerns and discussed options with me. Since I’d never really done much before and wanted sort of mild overall treatment, they strongly recommended I start with a Vitamin A infusion Peel. Which, though called a peel – is basically the complete opposite of a peel.

Instead of burning off the top layer of skin, Vitamin A is infused deep into the skin causing the cells below to turn over faster and effectively purge the face by shedding the top layer of skin.
The procedure is extremely safe and tolerated well by all skin types. It’s used for anti-ageing, acne, rosacea, hyper-pigmentation and normalized oil production.

This procedure sounded was less intense or invasive than anything else I’d researched and I agreed to it.

The next day I waltzed in for my appointment and found an adorable lady waiting for me.

Andrea began my 45-minute appointment by addressing all my concerns and questions.
Then with candles lit, lights turned down, and soothing music playing we were almost ready to begin.
Andrea advised me to take off my shirt since the treatment is bright orange.
I didn’t realize this appointment was going to be so romantic, so I quickly opted to strip down entirely to just my socks and snuggled under the mass of soft blankets on the massage table.

The process began with a thorough face cleansing which basically was an extended face massage followed by a hot towel.
God, I love that. I wonder how much it would cost to get a towel warmer to have at home…..

Anyway, step 2 was applying a papaya serum to the face to absorb a bunch of crummy old cells or something… I’m not a skincare expert.

Then a tingly cranberry serum,  which was the most uncomfortable aspect of the process. The mild tingling was really nothing at all, but it made me nervous because I didn’t know how strong it was going to get. But it was steamed and wiped off after just a few minutes.

Then it was onto the main event. The Vitamins and boosters were slathered on and I completely relaxed until I was nearly asleep by the end of it all.

Afterwards, I would have to avoid sunlight. It being December in Vancouver, that is entirely possible to accomplish with no effort put in whatsoever. I was also told to expect a bit of redness and possible flaking or peeling for the next few days. But other than that, there was no real downtime.

It’s only been a couple days, but my skin is a bit nicer – there is bright shiny glow and it feels wildly hydrated. Like I just wiped off cold cream.

I don’t expect amazing results, but for $125, I am pretty happy with the process overall.

Hopefully, that will satiate my need to go through any other procedures in the near future.

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Since my accident (, I decided that I needed to upgrade a bit for my long haul flight back to the Northern Hemisphere.
I wasn’t asking for much when I called in to change my ticket, what I wanted was some extra legroom so I could stretch my mangled leg out slightly for the total 20 hrs of flight time I was facing. Extra legroom seats would have been a total of $200, and well worth it, in my opinion.
Unfortunately, the extra legroom options in Economy Class were only available in the exit rows, and since I have a sprained shoulder I cannot meet the responsibilities associated with those seats.
So, I was looking at the possibilities of an upgrade.
Upgrading to Business class would have been more than three times my entire fare, so I opted for the only other plausible option: Premium Economy for my longest flight.
I didn’t even ask what it offered, all I knew from observations in the past was that Premium Economy has footrests, and that’s exactly what I was hoping for.
So at $400 CAD for the upgrade I agreed it was worth it, working out to $28/hr for the 14-hour flight from HK to Van.

What else is offered in Premium Economy for Cathay Pacific long-haul flights? Now that I’m committed, I have to know.
Beyond the footrest, I can look forward to the following:

-Being seated directly behind the pods in business class, so I can feel sad and poor.
-Fast check-ins with my own attendant to check me and the other 35 Premium classers, no big line for me!
-10 lbs more allotted for each piece of luggage and a second bag free. This is great since I always go over in weight and I will be bringing back a second bag which would have cost me $100 CAD.
-Demanding a special passcard so I can use the airport lounge.
-Pre-Boarding before all the schlubs in Economy class. Eat my dust, hobos!
-A glass of champagne once I get seated and wait for the schlubs to board. I don’t drink, but ok.
-My precious footrest, 8 more inches legroom, an 8-in recline, 1-in more width, and a headrest.
-Noise cancelling headphones. Instead of those noise-increasing crackly ones you get in Economy.
-A larger table and a special teeny table for drinks. The drink table is in between the seats, so I can spill my unwanted champagne on my fellow passenger in style.
-FREE SOCKS. I’m going to ask for 3 pairs so I can also wear on my hands and ears.
-A toothbrush and toothpaste. Which seems stupid. Until you’ve travelled for 24 hours without brushing your teeth. Then you will know the true need.
-Hot towels. If you’ve ever had these, you know you can’t ever live without them. I’m going to ask for a hot towel every 15 minutes.
-The same food options that business class gets to enjoy. Hopefully, that will include a veg option for breakfast because economy does not offer that.
-Free wine! I still don’t drink. But maybe I will have changed my life choices by the 10th hour of travel.
-More movies! Good. Because I have travelled so much this year I have already seen all the Cathay Pacific movies 17 times. Fingers crossed they will have more seasons of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, so I can laugh super loud and disrupt all the other passengers while they try to sleep.
-Real plates and cutlery! No disposable, single use for me!
-Larger screens. Now I can go blind AND aggravate my concussion even faster than I originally planned!

-Plus, probably some more things I will discover during my flight. I’ll keep you posted.

All in all seems like a good deal. And online reviews say that Premium Economy gets most of the same perks as Business class for a fraction of the price. So it turns out I’m a pretty savvy traveller.
I should get into traffic accidents more often.

ummmmm….. well, I’ll probably review that option before I commit.


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The Bali Kiss

Yes, I dumped my bike at 40 km/hr (25 mi).
But I am okay, mostly due to the fact that I wearing a helmet. The whole left side of my helmet cracked in half… and I know full well that otherwise, that would have been my skull.

Was I driving beyond my ability? Acting like a stupid tourist? I don’t think so. I’m no dummy when it comes to driving, but a number of random factors contributed to my accident and here is the rundown.

I rented a bike that was not in the best shape. I complained after the third day that the front wheel wobbled, the steering was a bit wonky, and the rear brake was all but useless. I tried to exchange the bike, but they said nothing was available so I was stuck with wonky garbage bike for the day.
Then I loaded up, laptop, water, a few supplies for my friend, lunch, and whatever other random stuff ladies carry around in their purses. Bug spray, a bottle of water, and like 7 chocolate bars.
Of course.
And lastly, some guy was chasing me yelling, pulling up alongside, and SHOWING ME HIS DICK.
Seriously. How gross is that?
So, depending on who you ask, I was either chasing him and trying to kick his ass.
Or I was running away from him and being pursued as a helpless maiden.
(In reality, it was a bit of both).
And then before I knew it I was upon a sharp turn in the road and my wonky steering reared its ugly head.
As I started to veer into the oncoming lane I hit the brakes, however, only the front brake engaged and the bike slide out from under me. The next thing I knew my helmet was cracking into the asphalt.
I got out of it with road rash down the entire left side of my body. Arm, torso and leg all the way down to my shoe.
I am so grateful I was wearing a helmet, but god, do I ever wish I had also been wearing pants.
Almost everywhere I was clothed was spared any damage.

Except for my shoulder.
All the heavy bags I was carrying slung across my body pulled really hard and messed my shoulder up something bad.
With my left arm basically useless now, I have succumbed to making an appointment across the island with an osteopath and my own doctor back home as soon as possible.
If you know me at all, you know that something pretty serious has to happen for me to agree to see a doctor.
The osteo was great and diagnosed a mild concussion, a sprained AC shoulder joint, a damaged 5th rib, sternum, and collarbone.
But in about 4 weeks I should be back in fighting shape (finger crossed) but in the meantime, I look like a mummy with all my bandages and I fully expect to be a gooey scabby disgusting mess for the next few weeks.

I am not looking forward to lugging my suitcases across planet earth. But at least I have iodine and hydrogen peroxide to look forward to!

Moral of the story: wear your helmet, don’t settle for a wonky bike, travel light, and don’t get too angry if some idiot flashes you his dick.

Fucking Bali.

No pics because it’s gross.
But maybe I’ll post some in a few days when it’s even grosser.

Much love from the southern hemisphere… and for the millionth time – please wear your helmet!

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The Depths

Stress level 3000.
It’s all falling apart.
You can’t keep up.
You’re no longer coping or struggling, it can only be considered drowning.
Does this sound familiar?

We all struggle with hard times, but the trick is to know when you are in over your head. And then ask for help.
Sure it sounds simple, but few of us do it.

I found myself in the midst of a breakup, 2 fully consuming jobs, a year-long battle involving every single family member, a grandmother potentially being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, a toddler being tested for developmental speech delays, and amongst all this, a non-stop travel schedule.
It was all crumbling around me and I could no longer take it. I didn’t have time for anything, least of all myself.
And then I broke my toe.
That was the last straw.
Not only did no one believe I had broken my toe (for some puzzling reason). But I could no longer kickbox.
When dealing with ongoing stress and mental illness, exercise isn’t just a good idea. It is my one saving outlet. It keeps me not only physically fit, but mentally stable. And now that was gone.
Not to mention current events. I can’t even start with that. I’m no ostrich, but my usual mantra of “news corp, give me something to wake up for” has fallen silent for months now as my hope has slowly died out.

My last ounce of sanity had slipped away and I fluttered.
I sputtered.
I nose-dived straight into hell.

I feel like we’ve all been there. We’ve all got bad days. Bad months. Bad years.
It’s okay.

The first thing to do is to admit to yourself that you are struggling.
Write down what’s bugging you, or say it out loud.
Every problem.
Every stressor.

Then let someone else in.

Telling someone how you are feeling can be terrifying. It makes the problems even more real. And it’s scary to think people might realize you are human if you admit the truth. But it will be okay.

Will people judge you for not being a perfect mom? They had better not. Because they aren’t perfect either.
Will people understand if you say your boss is pushing you too hard? I bet they would give you at least a sympathetic nod of the head.
Will they understand if you tell them you are exhausted? That you haven’t slept for more than 3 hours a night for the past 6 weeks? They will empathize. I guarantee they are also sleep deprived.

If you aren’t comfortable letting someone in, or you don’t know where to start, call an anon helpline and just talk.
Or write your PenPal….. Does anyone over the age of 8 have a penpal? I do.
Tell your therapist. Tell your doctor. Sure, they might try to commit you, but you can politely decline that offer – just as I did.

I started admitting my situation by telling my boss and coworkers.
I told them as much as I felt comfortable with, mainly as a way to tell them I couldn’t take on more right now because my personal life was a disaster.
They were surprisingly supportive.
I then drove 3 towns over to my best friend who I never see anymore. She was beyond understanding.
Not only because she is having a hell of a time herself right now, but because she understands me. She knows my personality and the challenges that come with it.
I told a handful of other close friends and they offered amazing support. Even with small weird things, like not condemning my recent questionable life choices.
I was slowly letting people in. And with it, I started to feel better.

I found telling my family in emails or text messages to be the easiest way.
You don’t have to have a horrible conversation, everyone gets to think it over before responding. Plus, you don’t have to see their faces when you tell them you have totally fallen apart.

I had offers of all types of support flooding in, from the most unexpected sources.
And I started to get it together.

I have broken down before and not told anyone but preferred to cry quietly in the dark and teach myself guitar and alcoholism. That wasn’t as good a system. That system ends with a fall.

The first step towards climbing back up is reaching out.
Mental illness isn’t a shameful thing and it’s much easier to handle when you have a village.

I still have more secrets to tell. But at least now I know I have an army of supporters who are ready to back me.
And it feels great.

Or it will.
Once I get some sleep.

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Indonesia Travel Notes

Hi All,
I am on a trip to Indonesia!
I think a good way to document and keep you in the loop is to put up my notes right here.
Feel free to read and share at will.
I’ll add and update when I get the chance.

1 – The Flights:

Because I fly internationally so rarely, I always forget how fantastic the service is on these overseas flights.
But it is outstanding. The crew does a great job, they are courteous and kind.
You get meals. And I don’t mean you are paying $12 for a packet of un-identifiable garbage.

Free meals. Warm meals. Actual meals. Meals in which you can identify the ingredients and what the dish mean tot be — it is all made clear.
Quinoa salad. Rotini with arrabbiata. Bread and butter. Hagen Daz for dessert.
Frittata with mushrooms. A side of potatoes and beans. Warm raisin bread. Sliced watermelon.
And it’s all served with a smile. Not a sneer.

Sure, it wasn’t good. and I felt ill after the frittata. But it sure beats feeling ill after a $9 bag of expired pretzels, no?

Throughout the flight, the air waitresses cheerfully carry trays of juices, water, soups, and snacks up and down the aisle.

I am sitting in row 63 and being treated like a queen.
Yes, sixty-three.
My seat is not 1A, but I feel like it is.

Movies, headsets, bottles of water, all complimentary.
The multiple washrooms are stocked with hand cream and facial moisturizers.
Towelettes are provided at will.
Hot tea and coffee flow freely.

I was dreading this 13-hour flight to Hong Kong— the first leg of my journey to Indonesia.
But dare I say, it’s been lovely.
Except for my ass.
My tailbone has been crushed to oblivion in these garbage seats.
I guess some things will never change.

Our second flight was much more….casual.
Though we were seated in the emergency exit row, the crew didn’t bother to instruct us on emergency protocol.
And the pilot said we were to have our seatbelt fastened when seated, but he said “keeping it very loose will be good enough”.
And though I was putting up with another 4 + hr flight, I watched the film Passengers.
Seeing those people on a 120-year voyage made my 20+ hour travel day seem a lot more bearable by comparison.

#2 – Adventure Awaits:

Kim asked if I want to get an Ozone IV upon arrival to help lessen the jet lag.
I have no idea what that is and it sounds a little terrifying.

But I already promised myself I would say YES! to anything she suggests.
Not only I am there to support her, but I want to experience everything amazing and new.

Yes, going to Indonesia at all is exciting and new.
But I have been to Asia, I have been to the tropics, I have been to volcanic islands. So I need to take every opportunity to expand my experiences in life. I don’t want to be old and jaded, filled with ennui.
I want to live this wild adventure!

So I will approve all the crazy, new age, weirdo things she wants to do.
Ozone IV? Yes!
Riding motorcycles? Yes!
Selfies with wild monkeys? Yes!
Surfing in breaks way beyond my comfort level? Yes!
Testing dildos to see if they are too big? Yes!
Eating green bread? Yes!
Trying the best seafood barbecue on the island?…. Well, no.
I am up for adventure, but I am not going to completely go crazy. My anti-speciesism values still ring true and strong.

Some of these things might be a little questionable. Or even outright scary. But I am up for this memorable adventure.
Bring it on!

#3 – Hong Kong:

I must say I’d never been. And had no desire, either.
But upon arrival, I was pleasantly surprised.
Misty green mountains loomed over one side of us. While cloudy turquoise waters, bustling with freight ships, sat to our left.
It was a vision, so much prettier and tranquil looking than I imagined.
I felt a pang of disappointment for not having the time to get out and explore the city.

Although I was quickly snapped back to my usual displeasure once I began shopping about.
Prices (even for an airport) were wildly extravagant.
I wrestled to do the currency conversion in my head. For each item that caught my eye, I would do the math.
Over and over and over again. Because my calculations couldn’t be correct, could they?
$500 Canadian dollars for a jar of face cream?
$125 for a travel size perfume?
$30 for a bowl of noodles?
I broke out my phone calculator. My estimates were correct. I stormed out of each shop shaking my head.

I walked about to get my head together before diving into the task of finding something to eat.
There was no lack of interesting looking choices, but I was having troubles finding a vegetarian option….anywhere.
I spotted a place called “Salads” on the edge of one of the food courts but was quickly disappointed to find it was a shop selling only leather coin purses.

I finally settled on a place called Cafe Deco, which appeared to be a fairly modern looking restaurant with several things I could have.
Upon doing the mental calculations, the prices seemed reasonable so I ordered the Ricotta-Honey-Banana pancakes, which were acceptable, but not nearly as mouthwatering or moist as I had hoped.
My pancakes ended up costing me $38 Canadian dollars.
I tried not to gawk in confusion at the bill. But re-did my math and realized I could’ve got away with the pancakes for a mere $25 if I hadn’t ordered a coffee.

Perhaps it’s a good thing I overlooked the possibility of staying a night or two in Hong Kong.

Though, as I gazed down from the seat as my flight took off, I again was overcome with how beautiful it all was.
May we meet again.
Another time, another adventure.


#4 – Social Conduct:

I have been warned that I need to use caution as Indonesia is a Muslim country.
Why do I keep encountering this warning? It’s not as though I am some out of control wild child.
A hedonistic freak that will be so immediately offensive I’ll be removed from the country.
I am able to conduct myself according to polite society and I know how to blend in with the “normies”.

Am I truly that questionable?
Multiple ex-boyfriends would (and have) objected to my reasonable self-view. Arguing in fact that I am a little too boisterous and irrepressible to be taken out in public.

Fortunately for all involved, I am going to Bali, which is the only part of Indonesia that is not Muslim. The Hindus in the region have welcomed me with open arms.
I am a fucking delight.


#5 – Driving:

Originally, I wasn’t too sure about driving here.

First of all, they drive on the left, which I have never before encountered, let alone driven in.

Second of all, they drive like lunatics. Passing on the shoulder, speeding, driving in all lanes, 2 cars to a lane, 4 motorbikes to a lane, tight turns, constant merging. And always honking. Honking honking honking.

Upon arrival, I thought the honking was ridiculous and rude. But now I understand it is considered a courtesy. A honk is used to signal to other drivers that they are about to pass you. Or are coming around a corner. “Beep beep – don’t swerve into me, please”.

And to keep everyone in line, there are full sized cardboard cutouts of police cars propped up along the roadside. This trick doesn’t seem to be working all that well. But I suppose it’s better than nothing at all.

Alright, now that I had the basics of driving sorted. I was ready to rent a scooter. At $6/day it was an easy choice to make.

My first lesson was: “Here’s the key”, and the contract was a wave of the hand and “you pay later.”

I angled for a second driving lesson from someone else. And this second lesson was a little more in-depth and included showing me how to start the bike…. turns out that’s an important piece of the whole process.

So, now I have a bike and know how to start it, but controlling it is a whole other matter. I feel like I’m flying totally out of control. But I quickly realize that I’m accelerating when I think I’m slowing down. And I manage not to crash my bike into the bushes. Success!

The “wrong” side of the road feeling disappeared immediately.

But I do need to fill up. Because, of course, the bike I rented was totally empty. We ended up stopping at the greatest gas station of all time. An elderly man on the side of the road with several old vodka bottles full of petrol.

After a couple minutes of haggling, he agreed to fill us up. I don’t know if we won the haggle. But our bikes were filled 1/3 of the way for $2 and he helped me back onto the road with a smile.

I didn’t die and I have now ridden a scooter 4 times.

Don’t tell my mom, but the strap on my helmet is broken. And this is the replacement helmet for the first one that had a broken visor. I’ll ask for a new helmet every day until I get an acceptable one.

Fingers crossed that tomorrow is my lucky day.


#6 – Ozone

Upon arrival, we went to get an ozone therapy treatment.

This process involves the ozone being introduced via autohemotherapy, in which blood is drawn, exposed to ozone and re-injected.

Now, I’m no doctor, but this sounded ridiculous. I am also uncomfortable with needles and having blood drawn, so the idea made me uneasy.

But as you know, I promised to say YES! to all opportunities. So I decided not to pass this one up.

The entire process took half an hour and the happy doctor (working out of his home, obviously) was very attentive.

I didn’t notice anything right away, but within the hour I was awake, alert, and refreshed. And this was immediately following 25 hours of travel, so basically the equivalent to a miracle.

I was told this process would help with anything from jet lag, to allergies, to cancer to AIDS. With a particularly good effect upon diseases that are persistent and dormant – like herpes and Lyme disease

Fortunately, I only suffer from the lesser ailments – so I was there to mainly treat my jet lag and a lung issue that has persisted for several months now.

After a single treatment, I basically experienced no jet lag and was fine to work, be on schedule, and exercise heavily the very next day.

There is no actual scientific evidence to back up the claims of this treatment, but I haven’t heard many downsides, either.

Now, this practice is banned in certain countries (Australia, you are out of luck). But if you ever get the opportunity to try an ozone treatment… I say, at least consider it.

#7 – Monkeys

Everybody was so excited to hear about the monkeys, to see pictures of the monkeys, we love the monkeys!

Well, the monkeys are assholes.

The first day I arrived, I saw a treeful of monkeys just at dusk – and a local was threatening them with a stick. I thought that was uncalled for.

The second day I asked my friend what the collection of small stones on her desk was for. She pulled out a slingshot and whispered “the monkeys”. I loudly voiced my disapproval … but now I take it all back.

My second day, I walked down to Padang-Padang Beach, where smiling tourists were taking selfies – and a monkey ran by swiping at a nearby girl. He then proceeded to rape another nearby monkey. Point taken, you’re the boss and you’re a jerk.

Everywhere you look, monkeys are pawing through the trash, yelling, making a mess, throwing coconuts at you from the trees.

Monkeys are pests here. Like racoons. Only if racoons were super fast, moved in large groups, and set out to enter your home for the sole purpose of a destructive home invasion.

They are dirty, book-eating, thieves. And they can get anywhere. The third storey of a building isn’t safe. And neither is your bowl of fruit, car, pool, or leg.

I thought perhaps the issue was proximity to cities and people. But upon venturing into Ubud’s Monkey Forest….. they are just as much trouble there. Non-stop screeching and fighting. With the occasional peeling off a piece of your vehicle if you dare to park anywhere near the forest.

I’m happy I saw them. And I’m happy Hawaii and mainland N. America don’t have them.


#8 – Luwak Coffee

Luwak Kopi (coffee) is an Indonesian delicacy. You’ve probably heard of it – the one where the animal eats the coffee berry and poops out a specially flavoured bean which is then sanitized and roasted.

This was all the rage in North America a few years back and people were paying upwards of $50 a cup.

Here in Bali, it is still all the rage and locals think tourists are suckers for paying 50,000 rupiah per cup (about $5 Canadian).

Needless to say, I fell for the tourist trap marketing and I told my driver I wanted to try the Luwak coffee. He agreed and to my delight, we pulled up to a coffee plantation.

There, nestled amongst the rice paddies, I got a tour of the coffee trees, and all the other plants they used for their tea and coffee production – ginger, lemongrass, rosella, and everything in between.

We were escorted to an outdoor table overlooking the rice field, edged by lush jungle. and were treated to 14 testers of different teas and coffees, plus our two extravagant cups of Luwak coffee. This whole deal ran me about $9.

The teas and coffees we sampled were:

Rosella Tea – smooth and lovely.

Lemon Tea – bright and delicious.

Ginger Tea – bright orange and too gingery.

Lemongrass tea – bright and vibrant.

Mangosteen tea – super sweet.

Herbal tea – herbal medicine flavour mixed with armpit aromas.

Balinese coffee – strong and gritty.

Coconut coffee – a sweet coconut dream come true!

Durian coffee – who soaked their stinky feet in my coffee?

Ginger coffee – not my fav.

Ginseng coffee – also not my fav.

Vanilla coffee – amazing – the vanilla is strong and fragrant

Balinese cocoa – a cup of chocolatey heaven

Balinese mochaccino – a tasty combination.

Before this experience, in my dreamy idealistic mind, the animals run free in the jungle and locals happy collect their droppings.

But that fantasy was destroyed when I got to see a few of the civet cats. Much to my dismay, the poor creatures were kept in solitary cages.

I asked why the animals were kept apart and were told that since the animals are such fighters and biters they need to be kept separated for their own good.

Though I still don’t approve this treatment, I have to admit, the civet cat does not seem friendly or cuddly. The civet is closely related to a racoon more than a cat, and it acts accordingly. That doesn’t mean it deserves to be locked in a cage for my coffee drinking pleasure, I’m just stating a fact.

If this experience did not include sad, caged civets I would readily endorse it.

There are other plantations that have civets in a more natural setting. As well as those that don’t let you see the animals at all due to their harsh treatment.

Shop wisely!

If you find the option of supporting “ethical civet coffee” it’s well worth looking into.


For photos of my adventures (including the amazing petrol station, monkeys, and a pic of the ozone treatment), check out my Instagram page:

I also have new phone number while I’m here, hit me up at  +62 812 38425697 and if international texting is too pricey, What’s App or email are for FREEEEEEE <3


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Sugar-free sadness

Holy smokes! I have been busting my butt for these donkeys and it feels great!
This week with the help of generous souls, we unlocked the 30 Day AB Challenge.
Since I am currently in the middle of the 30 Day cardio challenge and the Sugar-free month…. I have decided to defer the AB Challenge until July.

I’ve taken on lots and I don’t want to skip out on anything simply for a lack of remembering! But I have the courageous Zoe joining me for the AB Challenge so we will keep each other motivated and accountable.

The no sugar diet is going well – more so now that I am no longer in Hawaii.
In BC, I can see junky chocolate bars at the gas station and easily resist.
But Hawaii was full of Guava Shortbread, Dragonfruit sorbet, and Haupia FrenchToast. It’s much harder to avoid exotic delicacies that I am worried I may never come across again!
… but then again I spend plenty of my time in Hawaii, so I will no doubt come across those treats again.
At least that’s what I told myself.

A large part of my success on the Sugar-free diet is that I still have loads of sugar filled goodness – like fruit. I’m just blocking out obvious dessert-like sugar. This challenge would be way harder in the middle of winter when fruit is scarce, but pies and cookies are plentiful.

If you are thinking of cutting out sugar – do it in the summer! And in Canada, so you won’t miss out on goodies like these:

Guava Shortbread Cookies

Dragonfruit Sorbet – look at that colour!


Haupia French Toast!


The 30-Day Cardio challenge is nearing the halfway point and is starting to get tricky, sweaty, and calf-burn-y. I have started adding the daily cardio challenge on to the end of my regular gym routine when I’m already miserable, so it fits into my routine more seamlessly.

I’d rather push myself for longer once a day than force myself to face it twice daily!

But it’s all worth it because I am so happy to have raised over $500 for the fundraiser and I can’t thank all the generous donors enough!

I am hoping to raise another $1000 before the end of summer… fingers crossed!

The first round of thank you gifts are almost ready to go and I’m super excited to send them out! If you would like to get a gift, make a donation, punish me with more physical challenges, request a custom challenge, or join in for the “fun” — please shoot an email to us at and we will get you all sorted.

Or just jump over here to get the details and make your donation to either (or both) of the charities now:

Tax receipts for Canadians and much love to you all <3

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