The Randy Rabbit

Having already said goodbye to our beloved pets when we left Los Angeles, I was vehemently opposed to acquiring any animals in Bali that we would inevitably fall in love with, attach to, and then have to leave – most likely, with another ex-pat family that would be looking for a new home for them in six months. This was too painful to contemplate and I was never, under any circumstances, going to put my kids or myself through that again!!!

So…..we have a dog, a chicken and a bunny. I will say that I held my ground for many, many days (about 3) but, sadly, here in Bali, most animals come with a hard luck story and ours are no exception. Our newest arrival, a small chick, was found by Allie, tangled up in a fence at Green School hysterically peeping for it’s mother who had disappeared, (naturally, it came home that day in Allie’s backpack). “Our” dog just showed up one morning and never left – quickly ingratiating herself with her extreme devotion to the kids. And, our rabbit was reported to have narrowly survived a horrific attack by dogs that took the lives of his two siblings – not to mention he was a baby bunny! Have you ever seen a baby bunny?! Did I also mention that I am not made of stone?

The dog and chick are easy. The dog pretty much walks herself. She roams the neighborhood, socializing with lots of other dogs which keeps her happy and occupied most of the day. About three o’clock, she reappears and waits on the driveway for the kids to come home from school. See?! So ingratiating! The chick contentedly lives outside, by himself, in the rabbit hutch that the rabbit outgrew. We feed him and give him water and he’s happy as a clam. Eventually, when he gets bigger, he’ll join our neighbors flock of chickens and roam our yards. And lastly, we have the rabbit who lives in Allie’s room. He is our problem child. Most of the time he stays in a cage but he needs to be let out several hours a day. This wouldn’t be a big deal except for two problems: he loves to chew and lately, his adolescent bunny hormones are wearing party hats, which makes it virtually impossible to take your eyes off him for a second when he is out of his cage.

To date, he has chewed up three lamp cords, two computer chargers, a power strip, laces on a pair of shoes and the large box for Allie’s keyboard. After destroying any electrical device he can get his bucky little teeth on, he moves on to greater mischief generally involving Allie’s stuffed animals. At first, I just thought he enjoyed jumping up on her bed and running through the pile of plush toys but, there was a more sinister motive behind his romps. Apparently, our cottontail Casanova was working to identify his fleecy target and make his move. After several incidents, the tension and fear was palpable among the animals on the bed, justifiably so, given the fact, that the aftermath usually involves one of them being plucked out of the crowd, dumped unceremoniously in the trash – never to be heard from again, while our long-eared Lothario lays panting on the ground. As Allie’s herd of animals dwindled, we were faced with a dilemma of how our family could peacefully coexist. Short of handing out tiny cans of mace or those whistles women blow to ward off unwanted advances, we needed something that addressed the real problem.

Luckily, we have found our hero. Her name is Dr. Made and she is the founder of the Bali Vet Clinic (she is also the Dr. who took care of our mange outbreak last summer). She assures me she has just the remedy for our problem. I hate to break it to our bunny but, his days of libidinous exuberance are numbered. I’m hopeful this will restore the peace in our house!

Anubis greeting the kids as they get home from school

Holidays in Bali

We’re still here!! Although our original plan was to return to the U.S. in December, we decided to extend our stay a little longer. Our new plan is to move back in July. We’re all enjoying Bali so much it seemed premature to leave especially, when the kids are so happy at Green School.

We also decided not to travel home to the U.S. for the holidays this year. This was not an easy decision. We haven’t seen our families or friends for several months and celebrating Christmas without any of them felt very strange.

That being said, there was an upside to skipping some of the less than wonderful parts of the holidays such as:

Boring office partiesno one works in an office in Bali so, no parties!!

Waiting in endless lines to mail packages at the last minute – it takes weeks to send something from Bali, what’s the point?! Online shopping only!

Crazy neighbors’ gift-tin filled with balls, so steeped in rum, the smell alone may send me over the legal limit – rum costs a fortune here, no one would be caught dead pouring it on  blobs of cake!

Last minute rush to the store for the assistant teacher that I forgot to include on the gift list – all our assistant teachers are Hindu, they don’t care about Christmas!

And last but not least:

Excruciating school holiday concert — Not exactly! Get a load of Green School’s concert to kick off the holidays!!

Usually, by Christmas day I’m so tired of Christmas music I want to scream but, since this year I heard very little of it, I actually caught myself standing in the middle of Ace Hardware gleefully singing along to We Wish you a Merry Christmas. That was a first! I think by next year, I’ll be ready to jump back into the full-on American version of Christmas, despite it’s obvious pitfalls of overspending, overindulging and being desperately over-scheduled.

Although we didn’t go home for the holidays, we did take a trip to Australia where we celebrated Christmas and New Year’s. It was a new experience since it was the middle of their summer and we loved it! More on that soon!