Here I am at Bali airport, on my way to Paris and excited as a kid on Christmas morning. My excitement was a bit tempered by the immigration officer who turned less smiley when he found out I overstayed my visa for two days and sent me to the immigration office. Despite my best smile and some cleavage, I was still fined 400,000rp for overstaying.
Soon enough I am on the plane to Singapore, cheerful to board so I start talking to my neighbour, a girl about my age on her own. She is from Germany, has been in vacation for 3 weeks in Bali touring the island and on her way home. After my couple of questions she fires back asking if I am going home too, so I explain that I live here and I am just off to France for a couple of weeks. And she says "yeah, I sorted of guessed that you live here." Reading surprise on my face she thinks I am offended and apologizes, saying the way I look is giving it away. Mmm. So I self inspect myself from head to toes and here is the result (for those of you who don't know this yet, aircon is one of my least favorite thing in the world: dry, freezing, always high chance of me getting a cold after a long haul, I hate it).
- sun bleached hair that clearly looks like it hasn't seen a pair of scissors for quite a while (or a hairdryer even)
- tanned all over
- not a gram of make-up, unlike my seat neighbor
- while most tourists are in shorts, flipflops and t-shirt, I am wearing Chucks that one day were white, jeans, a long hoody made of wool and a huge scarf. (Bloody aircon!!)
- my bag looks like it could fall apart any time soon and probably smells of seaweed and salt
- ultimate clue: I am carrying a packed nasi campur that I bought on the way
There you go, this is what you need to look like if you are living on the beach.
Now, how to magically transform in 48 hours into a decent guest to my brother's wedding? Weirdly enough, I did remember how to wear a pair of these below, got a haircut, put on a proper dress and tadaaaaaa just like magic I looked just like any other guest (well, the tan and the bleached hair did give it away a little bit....)