June 13, 2017
Tuesday, my 30th birthday
The day began with coffee on the patio overlooking the landscape striped with green rice fields. A light rain fell. Eric played “Time to Say Goodbye” by Andrea Bocelli because he knows it is one of my favorites. We weren’t rushing out to do things, but taking our time and enjoying the solitude.
This is the morning dream for a solitary couple like us.
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We had brunch at Cafe Organique and shared kombucha (the first one we have found since we moved to Thailand), cappuccino, a breakfast burrito, and an attractive Bondi bowl.
We still wanted to see the beach even though it was raining, so we drove the scooter to Echo Beach because it was a short ride away. Echo beach is known as one of the best surf spots on the island. The sand was black, the skies were gray, and many surfers were waiting and watching for the storms to pass. Eric and I stood, took in the atmosphere, then hopped back on the scooter to head south to Seminyak Beach.
We came upon a restaurant I went to in 2009. I had good memories of it so I suggested we go inside. Ku De Ta is an upscale beachside restaurant. We sat in oversized lounge chairs looking at the beach. We shared a pizza and I had a cocktail, but it was all so over-priced. There were also many locals standing in the sand directly in front of us, staring, trying to get us to purchase a souvenir. It made us think and feel sad because of the recognizable separation..
After leaving Ku De Ta we drove the scooter to a few bakeries in search of a birthday cake. Part of me was sad or disappointed because I thought Eric didn’t plan anything special… I thought, “Maybe he thinks being in Bali is enough.” And it is… I’m grateful… but I wanted to feel special on my 30th birthday, especially because we were in Bali.
He wanted to take me to a nice dinner, but I didn’t feel up to it… After Ku De Ta, I was definitely not interested in going to another high-end tourist trap… It’s nice to experience places like that from time to time, but expensive, upscale, and crowded venues don’t really appeal to me.
Instead of going out we went to the store and bought pinot noir, cheese, chocolate, a fruit tart, and a layered chocolate nougat cake. We had an intimate, romantic evening on our veranda. A beautiful bouquet of flowers was left for me in a vase. Eric lit matches on the cake for me to make a wish. I love making wishes. Then he surprised me with my gift.
He said, “I was saving this to give to you at dinner.”
He handed me a red velvet pouch.. and I knew what was inside before I even opened it. The Thai gold ring was almost identical to the one I chose for myself three years ago when I came to Thailand alone, except this one was bigger. I could never wear the one I bought for myself because I accidentally bent it. Thai gold is very fragile. Out of all the styles, I couldn’t believe he chose the one I would have chosen for myself. Simple, unique, beautiful. The intricate design on the ring looks so… Thai. His gift was flawless. I love it so much, especially because it is from him.
He said, “You can wear it on your left hand ring finger if you would like to.”
We are committed. We are bound together, not by legal papers, not by an expensive wedding, but by a passionate, unwavering force of love.
I told him that rings are tricky for me, that my fingers are bigger than my body frame, and most rings fit too tightly. This one fits perfectly… Not too tight, not too loose. He said he had secretly taken one of my other rings that I wear all the time to help him find the right size. I love the size, and the cut, and the way Thai gold looks on my skin. I love that it is just for me and that no one I know has one. It’s so special. I love the story of the ring.. That it was given to me from the love of my life, in Canggu Bali, for my 30th birthday, the year we lived in Thailand.
I drank three glasses of red wine… the most I have drank since we moved. We enjoyed the evening so much just being alone and comfy. We played songs from Youtube and sang along. We danced. We laughed. We flirted. We kissed. Eric said I was his entertainment. It makes me happy that he likes listening to me sing and watching me become entranced by music, poetry, and life.
“Watch carefully, the magic that occurs when you give a person just enough room, to be themselves.” -Atticus
We made love. And we loved each other.
After three days of insomnia.. I finally fell asleep.
It was an immaculate night. We were so happy.
To me, the best memories from traveling are not from the places seen, but rather from the moments of happiness, gratitude, presence, and love.