High over the Pacific on my way from Singapore to Hong Kong, then on to San Francisco and Sonoma County.

A terrific time celebrating Taft Street alum Andy Bartlett’s birthday. Fond memories –

  • Despite a huge growth in population and tourism, Bali retains its magic. Warm weather tempered by trade winds, mellow people, great landscape (flowers, fruits, rice paddies), and the varied and exciting cuisine.
  • We had a kitchen staff at the compound, and they were led by Andy’s wife Roz (a graduate of Cordon Bleu and the California Culinary Academy) and a crack Indonesian cook. As a result we enjoyed an ever changing array of Balinese dishes – Nasi and Bami Goreng, Beef Rendang, spicy tempeh, various sambals, Gado Gado . . . and much, much more.
  • One of the treats of the holiday was listening to the stories of Andy and his mates about life in Southeast Asia back in the days before tourism. In the 1960’s, for example, there were but three flights a week arriving in a Bali without hotels. How times have changed.
  • To top off visits to beaches, temples, museums, markets, music and dance presentations – every night at the convenient hour of 10 pm – live World Cup on the telly!

All in all, a stellar vacation. And the future is not too shabby either. I’ll soon be back in Taft Street country.

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