holmes sweet holmes

sucking marrow and seeking more


Only a small number of things in life truly scare me now.

Moving across the world to live with people I don’t know? Exhilarating.

Hanging out 30m underwater, possibly with sharks? Bring it.

Riding on the back of a motorbike? Petrifying.

Driving my own? Ha! Never.

Except…in Bali, that’s the most common form of transport. And while driving a car isn’t impossible, it is nearly guaranteed to double your drive time. So, I put my big-girl pants on and sucked it up. No time like the present to face my largest fear. When in Rome, right?

Our first weekend here — NINE weeks ago now! –, two of the other newbies and I rented motorbikes for the month of August, received a mini-lesson on how to drive the thing, and took off.


Don’t be fooled by the false bravado. It’s all an act.

It wasn’t pretty. My shoulders were up in my ears the whole time, I practically came to a complete stop around the corners because it was TERRIFYING, and sometimes I would panic and squeeze the break and accelerate simultaneously. Somehow, I made it to the beach in one piece, pleased with myself for not dying.

But I still needed to get myself home.

A shortcut exists here in Canggu, a winding brick road cutting through gorgeous rice paddies. It gets quite narrow at one particular point, and when a car drives on it, it feels teeny tiny.


On the shortcut, looking at the rice fields

Of course, when I drove on it that night — a mere three hours after I rented the damn thing –, a minivan passed by me at that narrowest of points. I felt like it was all up on my side of the road, but other bikes made it, so there’s a slight chance that I may have overreacted. I panicked, accelerated and braked at the same time, and drove right off the road into the rice field.

It happened in slow motion, and I saw myself going over the edge and jumped ship. A bunch of locals helped me lift the bike out of the mud, checked to make sure it was still working and that I was okay, and then they laughed at me. I had to sheepishly drive by the traffic I caused to back up, covered in mud.

Don’t worry, folks, I had nothing but a bruised ego. And, unfortunately, an even greater fear of that bike for days to come. I dreaded getting on it. Now, two months later, I am more competent and confident. I can zip around on the highway, weaving in and out of traffic, at a speed I would have thought impossible when I first crawled along. (Don’t worry, I always wear my helmet. Because literally YOLO.)

And that shortcut is now my favorite part of my commute. Watching the sun kiss the rice fields each morning is absolutely breath-taking. But more importantly, I know now that I can drive into a rice field, get a little shaken and muddy, and everything will be okay. At least it wasn’t a concrete wall. 

2014-09-01 18.23.28

Returned the rental bike and purchased this baby


Single Post Navigation

One thought on “Hati-Hati

  1. Training wheels, shoulder pads, elbow pads, knee pads, leather gloves and a jacket are recommended.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: