There I Was With Almost No Clothes…

“I didn’t know you had cactus in Bali.”
I had never seen anything like it. I looked down at my bleeding calf. It had almost torn a hole in my only pair of shorts.
I hadn’t meant to walk into it, but I swear, you step off the sidewalk in Bali and you’re in the jungle.
I live in Florida but this was different. It was plants on top of plants. The thickest, densest green I have ever seen. When you’re in it, you know you’re on the other side of the world.
And here I was almost without any clothes.

I Almost Fell Over Backwards…

“This is a cananga flower…” Westi picked one off of the small tree behind his shop.
“That looks like ilang-ilang (ylang-ylang).”
“Yes. It is from the same tree family. Smell… it’s very fragrant.”
I took some of the yellowish green petals from Westi. “That’s beautiful.”
“The ilang-ilang tree is very tall. Cananga is small, so I can have one here by the shop. Lelir will use the flower to make Jamu.”
Jamu is the name for the ancient group of natural cures and medicines they use in Bali.
The Balinese don’t like pharmaceuticals, and don’t really trust Western-type medicine. So they…