The Good, the Bad, and the Wormy

Balinese cremation ceremony

Me and a local guy with his prize-fighting rooster

{This was written several weeks ago, before going to a Buddhist retreat in S. Thailand, and then on to Vietnam.  Because of various technical difficulties, I am only posting it now.}

So now that I’ve left India and find myself in the tropical paradise of Bali at an artist residency for the month of April—

(And by the way, here is my average day:

8-9am—Wake up and have breakfast of fresh tropical fruit, whole grain toast with homemade pineapple and papaya jam, scrambled eggs, and strong coffee, all served with a smile by the loveliest people.


10am—20-minute meditation down by the pool.  That’s right: the POOL.

Close up shot of a drawing

11am-1pm—Work on my little drawings.

1pm—Lunch, usually vegetables, fish or chicken, and rice.

Another drawing detail-- ink and stamps on rice paper

2-6pm—Work, swim.  Repeat.  Shower.

6pm—Dinner, similar to lunch.

Our digs in Bali

7-11pm—Read, internet, play cards with compadres.  Eat chocolate if I have it.

Midnight—Read, go to sleep.)

—as I say, now that I’m here in this insanely kick-ass situation, I find myself able to reflect on the good, the bad, and the ugly of this year.

I’ll start with the Bad/Ugly:

  1. Lingering Goon Symptoms.  I still have remnants of that mosquito-borne virus that we acquired, Chikungunya [pronunciation: chicken-GOON-ya].  (Jeff and I have been calling it “The Goon.”)  I continue to have painful wrist and ankle joints.  Doing a downward dog hurts in my wrists.  I still sometimes hobble when I first get up in the morning.  As I said before, symptoms can last up to a year! Or even longer!  NOOOO!!!!!!….
  2. Remember the ATM fiasco in the very first post?  How I never got the money I innocently requested from the ATM in Delhi, and how they first debited and then credited my account. Well, Citibank has gone back and reversed their previous decision (which they now say was only “provisional”) and have taken $220 out of my account!  A full 6 months later.  THEY STOLE $220 THAT I NEVER GOT IN THE FIRST PLACE FROM MY CHECKING ACCOUNT!  And my bank could do nothing to stop it, because they supposedly provided “proof” that I got the money.  I can’t even bring myself to start calling and emailing.  I started trying to write it all down in a word doc entitled “Citibank Fiasco,” and I can’t even bring myself to type anything out for fear that it’ll just upset me.  I’m really pissed.  (Any ideas out there for what to do?)
  3. Parasites, possibly worms.  (Enough said. Trust me.)
  4. Related to #1: Muscles have completely atrophied from underuse, and I don’t know how I’ll ever get in shape again.  The idea of running a single mile seems farcical and harebrained.
  5. Related to #4: I’ve lost all vanity. Though, come to think of it, this may actually be a good thing.
  6. As bad as India was at times, and as horrific as the poverty can be, every time I read the American news I get depressed about living in the US.  I don’t really know what this means.

    View of island volcano

    Medicine man's stall in local market in Bali

The Good:

On the good front, I’ve been going through my pictures of my travels, and I’ve come upon a theme: collections of colorful objects.  Here is part one of a series on COLOR.


Pink flowers yellow lemons

Pom Poms


Plastic jugs in Madurai

Pink crackers

Powder for Holi

Temple Tchatkas

Crazy plastic spaghetti in Pondicherry

Last but not least -- me and my rugs!!!!!!!

About rebeccalayton

I am an artist traveling and studying in India and Southeast Asia. You can see some of my artwork at
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to The Good, the Bad, and the Wormy

  1. Lila says:

    What wonderful travels you are having! I hope the virus and parasites leave your system soon. Thanks for sharing your exotic and colorful travels. Lila

  2. Love the color studies, your patterned rugs. Time to create and meditate BOTH in the same day? Bliss.

  3. Maya Perez says:

    So good to see the photos of Bali Purnati! What a luxury that setting and time and schedule was. And, like Julia, I, too, love the color studies. The piled colors, stacked colors, pyramided colors – and all often precariously so. A real art.

Leave a Reply

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

You are commenting using your 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