It was December 1992, but I still remember it clearly.
It was the end of my academic program in Bali, while still a college student. We’d all completed our independent research projects, as well as our class presentations. Before heading for home, we took a group beach vacation to the Bali resort town of Amed.
It is a gorgeous spot, as you can imagine, along the eastern tip of the island.
I think there were about 18-20 of us in the group. Our first night there, we had a big feast. I mostly remember the fried bananas! I also remember an abundance of flies. They were all over our food.
That night, everyone got sick. Well, everyone but me. I shared a room with the only other men in the program, Brian and Ollie.
Brian wretched and vomited all night. He seemed the hardest hit in the group. Her girlfriend was puking too, but she came over to comfort him.
I must be the sickest guy in all of Bali, he kept saying between his wretching.
Probably, she said.
We were there for several days, and everyone was sick the whole time. Except me. I went snorkelling all day, every day, and feasted at night. Everyone turned green just watching me eat the fried bananas.
In my mind, it was all a question of balance. I was in complete harmony with my life in Bali, and knew I could overcome this obstacle. Everyone else was sick, in my mind, because they hadn’t grown through the experience with the right sense of balance, didn’t embrace what life was offering them in Bali. Their sickness was the result of growing pains, and a lack of connectedness with the lives before them.
I was in Bali for months at that point, and in touch with my own mystical self. I was at one.