Jewish Journal

Busted in Bali

by Lisa Ellen Niver

August 20, 2012 | 6:52 am


I keep saying. “RELAX and see what happens!”— but when my laptop busted in Bali I was so not calm. I actually felt ill and really thought I might throw up.  I knew that taking so many different kinds of electronics in a backpack on a trip with so many islands could pose problems. I knew to buy an external harddrive. I investigated cloud drive back-ups. I thought I was prepared.

On Day Five of my one-year adventure, I was not in any way prepared for my Macbook Air to break down. I turned it on and it should have worked, especially since this was the first week of our journey.  We were at the Lovina Bali Beach Cottage, a steal at $38 USD, in Lovina, a sleepy town. The breakfast by the pool was relaxing and they gave us hard-boiled eggs instead of scrambled, and nasi puti (white rice) instead of toast. I love the sliced fruit and rest of my favorites: watermelon and pineapple.  I even ate the papaya. I had great books on my Kindle and was enjoying relaxing by the pool reading. We strolled on the beach, found great places to eat, and listened to live music. How could it happen that the laptop would just die so quietly!

I felt greedy. We did not have free wi-fi at this hotel so I got inspired to get a USB hub modem. A shop in Kuta had a global one but we did not want to return there. One shop in Lovina had an Indonesian model and the other shop (this is a small one-street town) only had a used one that was international but the owner did not really know how to use it. His friend came to the shop to help and teh device still did not work. I was lazy and did not uninstall the hardware and then turned off the laptop. Later, it only showed the “gray-screen” with its spinning wheel of death.

If only I had left it alone, maybe it would still work. We tried several ideas. George looked up help for me on the Internet on his iPhone. I tried to restart, I tried to SMC and PRAM all to no aval. I freaked out. We went back to the shop and put the USB drive back in to see if the laptop would pull itself out of its zombie mode. Sadly, I wanted to cry because maybe I had ruined my biggest toy so early on in our travels.

I emailed a few tech-savy friends for help. I appreciated everyone who took the time to email me suggestions. I Tweeted and I Facebook’d; I was appalled. What would I do now? I read a lot of books and got lost in them to try to calm myself down. A friend sent the email of her emergency mac consultant who promptly wrote back to me and said, “You need to go to a shop.” I thought, “An apple store? There is not even a supermarket here, let alone an apple store.” As we left Lovina, we stopped in Sinaraja, a larger place and went into an internet café and a computer sales shop that sold mainly HP. The nice man told me, “You need the Apple store. There is one in Denpasar.” I felt better that at least there was one on the island even if that store was nearly five hours away by car. I had thought I might have to wait for Bangkok, Thailand but now I had hope that someone somewhere on this island would resurrect my laptop like a Phoenix it would rise from its zombie ashes.

We had a great tour on the way to Tulamben. It was about $6 more to go by private car than take the group bus and we got to see the Beji Rice Temple and Air Sante (a natural cold water spring)—-and we stopped to check on the laptop.

So I relaxed somewhat. We spent five days in Tulamben where we snorkeled the USA T Liberty, Drop off and Pinnacles. We stayed at the Paradise Palm Beach Hotel –see our video of what a $17 hotel on agoda.com looks like!! I did not appreciate the day that ants ate my vitamins—on our last trip,  rats ate had been the main critters to gobble them. Maybe that is a sign, not sure of what.

I lived without my laptop but hoped it would work again. George played two nights with the band, T WRECK (see the video!), which was great. I have posted one video so far of the band playing but have more videos in the wings. We made a website and video for the incredible Puri Madha Beach Hotel. I really enjoyed my time in Tulamben.

I think I may have actually needed the break from the laptop and the website. It was a mad rush before we left the USA. I had two weeks from the last day of school until we got on the plane. In that time, we moved out of three school sites (one for me and two for George), sold both cars (thanks Doran), fixed up our condo for our new tenant, moved out of our condo (for the fourth time in about as many years), packed and re-packed our backpacks and said a few more good-byes.

I found a savior to fix my laptop but will tell all the details next time. Suffice to say—I am BACK!

July 21, 2012

More Indonesia tales at www.WeSaidGoTravel.com

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Lisa Ellen Niver, M.A. Education, is a passionate writer, educator, social media ninja, speaker and global citizen, who has traveled to over one hundred countries and six...

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