Don’t tell anyone but we’re hiding out in Bali. Apparently a hellish brigade of ghost, spirits, demons, zombies and ogres are out there scouring the island for us. The idea is that if everyone in Bali stays hidden silently in their homes for 24 hours that diabolical horde will assume there’s nobody here and will leave the Island of the Gods alone for another year.
So there’s no chance today to go out and take photos, get material, CHASE THE STORY.
This is our first honest-to-god day off in about six weeks. In that time I’ve stayed in 18 different hotels, made 13 flights and researched seven magazine features. We’ve written in some of Indonesia’s chicest boutique hotels and resorts, filed images at 5am from a $15 bungalow in Kuta and volleyed emails over the WiFi connection of a hotel limo in Singapore. We’ve battled deadlines on one of the most luxurious trains in the world as we passed through Malaysia and from the gut-churning galley of swaying yacht in Thailand’s Phang Gna Bay. I wrote from my hammock swinging from the porch of a beach hut in Gulf of Siam and from the same hammock on the veranda of a grungy hotel in a Sea Gypsy village in Sulawesi.
In the next few weeks, assignments will take me to at least four other Indonesian islands. I’ll probably work in air-conned comfort in a couple of trendy hotels and my hammock will almost certainly be tied to the porch of a few cold-water beach-shacks too.
It’s the variety that makes this the best job in the world. Like the demons and zombies out there in the streets at least it keeps me out of trouble.
The itchy feet catch up soon and, in any case, we can’t stay hiding out here for long. Only half a bottle of gin left in the fridge – tomorrow morning we’ll be back out there. CHASING THE STORY.