PCS Bali Style

Permanent Change of Station. Lord knows we’ve all done it, right?

You spend three weeks of after-hours time boxing up a bunch of stuff you haven’t seen since you unpacked from the last move. Moving day is also the day the ship comes out of the yards, of course, so your spouse gets to manage THAT evolution alone. The guilt you feel over leaving her hanging is at war with the queasy feeling that you’re going to PAY that debt, somehow.

But that’s nothing compared to moving-IN day. Because by that point your household goods have been on the road for a week longer than promised… which means you’re at sea again and your four dependents have spent a week stewing in a hotel room that feels tight for two.

Your moving allowance will show up eventually. Right? Meanwhile, you’re praying for another tax refund, a meritorious promotion, and maybe a war at sea.

Let’s not even talk about house-hunting.

On the other side of the world, the Russian and I just moved. Our lease was up over the weekend and it was time to move on.

Things change so fast here that it’s pointless to look for new housing until a week or two before moving day. We started looking two weeks out and found a beautiful new place with six days to spare. Big breezy open space, three air-conditioned bedrooms (suitable as offices if you like), swimming pool, twice-a-week cleaning & pool guy included: $840/month.

Ayu showed up the afternoon before moving day to help the Russian pack (I’m not allowed). The nomadic lifestyle encourages minimalism, so three hours of cheerful elbow grease got us packed up completely and cost $14. That’s as much as Ayu makes in a day at her full-time office job… PLUS a tip!

Two movers arrived promptly the next morning and loaded us up into sort of a glorified pickup. The new place was only 10 min away, so by the time they unloaded us (every item to its room) we owed them another $14. Lucky we weren’t an hour away! That would have taken the total up to $20. We got there anyway with a tip.

What’s my point? Put those numbers within the context of a military pension or a remote contracting gig. If the last year has taught us anything, it’s that there are worse things in life than finding an absurdly large gecko behind your refrigerator. Might as well be rich. 😁

If you choose to experiment with life on Bali, let us know! We’ll help you get sorted out.

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