Early morning I was eager to get up to meet up with Billy. Louise and I headed to the Lobby to wait for Billy. Then I got this sms. It was from Billy saying he was on the way and probably would reach here at 8:45am. He hoped it was not too early. I was a little puzzled as it was 9:05am when I got this sms. He could have gotten caught in the traffic, I reckoned. Then another sms got in. It's Billy too. He said he just realized his first sms was delayed and was waiting for me to alert him if I had gotten up from bed. So I called this guy and assured him we were up and running for breakfast.
He sure is a busy businessman. I saw this guy coming in and talking in his phone. He looked familiar but I wasn't too sure. And this man seemed a bit 'big' in size. Ha. While talking on the phone, he gestured to me 'John?' silently and I did the same thing 'Billy?" The two of us are equally good in reading lips. No kidding. Good enough to spy anyone talking from a distance.
Billy definitely changed a lot, from a boy to a man and with career flying high, a man with confidence and responsibility. The big warm smile and sense of humor were the same.
I introduced Billy to Louise and we sat down for breakfast. I, having to wait for 30 minutes, was already quite hungry and therefore waited no time to get something to eat. Billy had probably taken something 'cause he only asked for coffee. It's definitely a happy feeling to see Billy again to know the changes we have gone through. Both of us have certainly changed a little in the past 13 years. Oh, he mentioned Wooi Kheong. I wonder too how this guy is doing. Should do some searching to look for this guy.
The three of us talked about how he didn't want to go to USA to study and how his parents tricked him into visiting Berry in USA before making any decision, things about the sunglasses industry as Louise is also involved in sunglasses, though of different categories and about his plan to move to Jakarta for a new company he just joined…
He blamed me for not letting him know in advance about my visit and threatened me to do so next time as he loves to be troubled and bothered when friends visit him. Sure, I said, not knowing when I would visit Indonesia again.
Time passed so fast and we were gently reminded the breakfast was about to be over and the bar was putting things away. We said goodbye to each other and Louise and I invited Billy to come to Kuala Lumpur for Formula 1 competition in March. Then again, the Singaporean night match in September seems to be more appealing.
We then went back to hotel room to pack things up for the flight back home. At 1pm we checked out and had our stuff left at storage. We took the shuttle bus provided by Bali Collection to head to Nusa Dua. We were told Nusa Dua is a very exclusive neighborhood with 5-star hotels and convention facilities. I noticed also a talk on global energy was going on then. The impression we had was right. Nusa Dua is quiet, exclusive and I suppose, more expensive too. The landscaping is of different class with broader roads and deeper depth of view. All these are giving the place a unique feel unlike any other places. And the beach we saw had fewer people.
Part of the Bali Collection is owned by Sogo retails and it feels exclusive, especially when all other players are of smaller ones. Entering the compound needs tight security checking, quite similar to custom checking. Certain places set up security checks to deter terrorists, I suppose. And it must have gotten tightened up because of Legian/Kuta bombing in October 2002, Bali.
Flight back home was uneventful except people didn't seem to bother with proper queuing at the boarding room. Since AirAsia uses free seating for all the tickets, people are usually lining up much earlier before the gates open for boarding, just to make sure to get better seats. And some just care less about civilized rules. Things like this happen everywhere, some less, some more. We can't be bothered too much but it certainly poses a nuisance.
Louise and I enjoyed the trip very much. People we've met are warm and friendly. Smile is a culture in Bali. People who have forgotten how to smile should come to Bali to relearn the art of smiling. Louise and I did a few things together for the first time, memory of which will certainly be with us for a long long time. And meeting Billy again for such a long time brings great feeling. It’s always comforting to know someone you know is doing well, happy and healthy.