Traveling to Indonesia to pick up our daughter made me realise how much I’ve missed connecting to other cultures in covid times. I hardly travelled the past three years like most of you.
Asking the receptionist of our hotel what kept him so busy deep at night, he told me that he was learning. ‘Learning for what?’ ‘When I’m here in the hotel, I’m a receptionist. But when I’m home, I’m a spiritual man. And I need to learn to become a better spiritual man.’ ‘Okay, like a priest? I replied?’ ‘Nooo, I’m just a small grain of sand compared to a priest. Just a simple spiritual man in our family temple. I prayed every night for your daughter that she will get better. And that she will be happy again soon.’ ‘Then you were very successful: I’m going to pick her up tomorrow morning. She will be released from the hospital. Thank you for that.’ Het gets tears in his eyes and is thankful himself. ‘We can pray tomorrow morning together, my temple is just opposite of the hotel.’ I’ve never talked to him before. As far as I know.
Sitting in the lobby waiting for the driver the wife of our sons friend approaches us. ‘I feel for you,’ she says. She is kneeling next to my wife and lays her hand on my wife’s knee. Both of us get tears in our eyes for the first time in a week. Her presence and energy bring so much love and connection that we’re deeply touched. We sit there another 10 minutes before the driver arrives to ride us to Gianyar in the middle of the night. He must have been sleeping already.
The masseuse and waitress from the hotel wait for 2 hours in our daughters’ room in the hospital. Claire isn’t there yet. She gets her treatment on another floor. We were able from the Netherlands to get her in the hospital but didn’t arrive yet. We’re happy that SOS could arrange tickets at such short notice but it means that it takes us 32 hours to reach the other side of the world. Both ladies from the hotel want to keep her company. It’s not good to be alone in a hospital room far away from home. It doesn’t matter that she isn’t there. They wait.