Hawaiian Doll ~ dog exchange!! (A.k.a. crazy Corona deliveries)
I met Nanne on Bali. Not in Hawaii, no. Bali, yes. As in, the island!? Both being surfers, we somehow connected through other friends and kind of stayed in contact. She’s the Hawaii lover, i’m the Bali lover. Or maybe we could just call it ‘island~addiction’!? ️ Once it hits you, it never lets go! That’s a promise. Both being from Europe, we stayed here and there in touch, met on Bali or just shared where we were.
Then it was my mum’s birthday coming up. She’s a big Lover of the whole ‘idea of Hawaii’ & the famous ‘Hula~dolls’! There was an idea. I knew Nanne was on the way to Hawaii sometime soon, and after that heading to Bali. So i made a plan. I asked her to kindly bring one of the amazing, real, Hawaiian Hula~dolls, from the actual island! My mum would freak out…it would travel halfway, or actually almost one time around the planet, as Nanne was going from the Netherlands to Hawaii, to Bali & i would take it from Bali to Germany! Crazy, ay!??
Being easy-going as she is, of course she said yes and picked up a very niceversion of the Hula~puppet which traveled then to Bali. We met up and Ms. Hula flew back with me to Europe a little later. She should have had her own passport by then already, but well, that’s another story!
Of course my mum dropped out of her shoes when she received it, and named her ‘Leilani’!
This was a couple of years back. Now its 2020 and tables are turned. Time for me to return the favor. Corona has rattled up our whole system (hopefully!!) and many situations are happening differently than what they would have before.
Lucky for me it turned out that during Corona, Bali provided a safe haven for me and allowed me four instead of only one months of holiday, aka living here again. In my true hearts~home! Pure Bliss!!
However…two cancelled return-journeys later, Nanne comes up with an idea. Same like most of us who have spent some time on this magical island, she adopted a Bali dog at some stage. Or maybe the dog adopted her, like it usually happens…they choose us, you know!? So i receive a message from her one the afternoon, asking me if i was able to be her flight-volunteer, to bring back her beloved Bali-dog to the Netherlands. She would have come herself to pick him up, however, due to lock-downs all over the place, this was prevented. My first reaction is: ‘Whoa! Let me check this out…’
I had my flight already booked, and it wasn’t gonna go via the place where her pooch would need to be picked up. Little did i know, that by then my return flight had already been cancelled (yet again!) and luckily i just found out by re-checking whether or not i could have adapted my journey according to her wishes. I received no email of information from the flight agent whatsoever. Crazy times.
So there it was, the Win-Win situation! Me, out of money after four months in Indonesia without an income, two lost flight tickets & no more cash to buy a new one, and her desperately wanting to be reunited with her dog finally. So we made an evil plan… (not that evil, but its just fun to say that, isn’t it!? 😉 She kindly offered to pay the whole journey, in return for ‘my volunteering’ to fly via Jakarta & the Netherlands & being involved in the doggie-return-rescue-action!! (haha!) Story goes, that of course once this whole thing was happening, two of her friends jumped on board, and wanted to bring their animals back too from Indo.
So here i am now, having arrived to Bali with less luggage than i had expected, returning with something totally unexpected! (Aren’t those the best deals anyways!?? 😉 Two dogs and one cat…of which the cat has slightly taken a sick turn & unsure to travel or not, but since the motto is: ‘The more the merrier!’, the agent asked me if i would agree to bring another dog along, who has been waiting in the kennel for a long time too, due to current circumstances. I laughed to myself & was like: ‘Yeah, why not! Let’s go for it…what’s the difference between three or four animals anyways!?? I am getting to be the ‘Happiness~deliverer!!’ Seeing all those wet, happy eyes at the international arrival terminal, when they are reunited with their four-legged fur friends…i can smell the Awesomeness of it already!!
That’s not where it ends though. (Yes, really!) On the journey to Bali, i met two other German girls on the airport & we ended up chatting and sitting together for the rest of the trip, as the planes were more than half-empty anyways. That was just the beginning of Corona though. One of them had to return earlier back to ‘good old Germany’, but Ronja and i remained in Bali with similar departure dates. When those were both cancelled, and she saw herself faced with not being able to return to her job as nurse on the intensive station in time, it was time for action.
You must know, in Indonesia the tourist visa is only 30 days long, unless you pay for an extension directly at the airport when you arrive. Which we didn’t, of course…since the journey wasn’t supposed to be longer than 30 days (this time). It meant we needed to make sure if and how we could stay on longer, without having to pay fines.
Long (and very funny, twisted, crazy & totally unexpected) story short…two trips to immigration on the other side of the island later, we knew that we were granted an ‘Emergency permit’ to stay, until further notice. That was solved. But not the return journey.
Everything was uncertain, flights would be cancelled from one to the next day. Repatriation flights were sent and those who decided to stay, would have to face a couple of months of more crazy stuff happening for sure! At this stage it didn’t make much sense to me to return to Germany, since statistics of new cases were much higher there than in Indonesia at that poi and i mean! What the heck!! It only happens ONCE IN A LIFETIME that you (literally) ‘get invited to stay for free’ in Bali! So, i thought…i’m just gonna take this the calm road, and see how this is turning out.
Ronja however booked another (one way!!!) flight for 1700 Euros, which was cancelled the next day. Yes, for real. She did get the money back though, since it was a cancellation within 24 hours. Eventually she decided to head ‘back home’ (the non-island home) with one of the repatriation flights. And this is where i come in.
Just before Nanne approached me with her idea of being a flight volunteer, Ronja had asked me if it was perhaps possible to bring back her beloved surfboard with me, since she wasn’t allowed to bring it along on the emergency flight. That was already an interesting situation! I’ve never flown with a surfboard (even though i’m a surfer, yes!) and since my flight was already booked, we both started searching for info, whether or not it was possible to add a board somehow, or if it was just accepted into the ‘total luggage allowance’. There the adventure had started already. Suddenly i was flying with a surfboard, which i then needed to bring along to my friend in Frankfurt, whom i was going to visit upon arrival in the EU (once i get there) AND it needs to fit into the car, which is going to pick me up from Frankfurt.
That’s not even where it ends also. Picture this. Now, if everything does go according to schedule, it’s going to be me at the airport, hand luggage, Ukulele, Laptop, suitcase, surfboard + 3 dogs and possibly the kitty if she makes it! Pheewww!! To make it even better, i’m not heading directly to Frankfurt anymore, obviously, but am instead flying to the Netherlands first, for dog-delivery. One good thing though, at least the poor surfboard (and me) won’t be getting the total culture shock of leaving behind beautiful Bali beaches to directly be falling into the city with all it’s noises. At least now we have a ‘soft arrival’, first to the beaches of the Netherlands. Even though FOR SURE there’s NO BIKINI SURFING there…
I think this Story really deserves to be told! As, for me at least, it’s quite an unusual thought to be traveling with boards, cats & co. from one country to the other, delivering animals on way! 😉 perhaps i should consider starting an export/import business for adopted doggies and deserted surfboards!?? Kidding. I am quite curious though, how this journey will turn out. And what’s coming after. Exciting, uncertain times are lying ahead. Life holds so many secrets, surprises…and somewhere within there, it can happen that you exchange a Hawaiian hula doll for a Balinese beach dog! Well, if that’s not crazy~amazing, then i don’t know what is!?
Giving & taking, ay!? The Balance of Life.
From Hawaii & Bali to you. Hope you enjoyed the Story.