I’ve never really been that interested in Bali. A couple of times I’d made it back from some crazy country and looked scornfully on those in the Sydney Arrivals hall obviously just off the plane from Denpasar: identifiable by hair-braids, sunburns, beer guts and ridiculous amounts of luggage.
Then my girlfriend had a baby, and the prospect of six rather than 16-plus hours on a plane made it more attractive. That, and the fact that from all accounts the braids, sunburn and beer guts don’t go anymore.
So we went. A couple of days before heading over, the government issued an immediate and urgent travel warning for Indonesia, with special attention to the island formerly regarded as a vaguely Asian suburb of North-Western Australia. Like good parents anywhere would, we ignored it.
Good thing, too. Bali is beautiful and not less so for currently being without said-beer-gutted Australians. It’s crap for the island’s economy but at least you don’t feel like you’re about to get gay-bashed walking down the street.
Speaking of gays, Seminyak, the so-called gay bit of Bali where we stayed, was much more hot Euro-trash/ cute Euro-family than Adam and Steve, although we did see a pair of matching bears.
Travelling as a couple of dykes with a gorgeous one-year-old made for some surreal conversations. We invented husbands (missing us dearly of course, back in Australia) and wore our rings.
But we weren’t prepared for the intense, outrageous love of children the Balinese are famous for. As it was, we spent the days answering a repeated series of questions that went like this:
Is it a boy? How old? What is his name? He has teeth? He is number one? He is yours (directed at one of us)? How long in Bali? Where is your husband?
Variations on this series included how long did you breastfeed for (to me)? and when did you get married? and how often do you change his pants?
It was weird being semi-back-in-the-closet -“ and even weirder coming up with an answer to the breastfeeding question -“ but we just didn’t think Indonesia was ready for gay parents yet.
Anyway, we make up for it in our at-home outness. Check out the latest issue of Cosmopolitan Pregnancy if you don’t believe me.