We had lunch at Batan Waru for Bob's eighty-first birthday. We've been going to this well known Ubud eatery since it opened nearly twenty years ago. I chose it because there are no stairs and the toilet is easy to get to - very important criteria for my husband these days.
Bob's face lit up when he saw me as Gusti and Ketut, his caregivers, directed him in. After a big hug and kiss I quickly ordered one of his favorite Bali drinks, Ginger Lemongrass Fizz, since he has little patience for waiting. If someone else at the table is served first it's fair game for Bob and if other food or drink looks more interesting than his, he'll reach for a sip or a taste. I just give in and let him have it.
Our friend, Alan, came to join us, "Hey man, Happy Birthday!" Bob was surprised it was his birthday even though I'd gushed over him just minutes before. Still his face read 'Pleased' to be getting this attention.
Seafood wonton, an appetizer, was the first dish to arrive. It came with a dipping sauce but Bob dipped his last one in his glass of water. I had to turn away I was chuckling so much! He dips food in various drinks in a way no one else would think to do. It tickles me.
Next came his favorite Chicken Curry which I ordered, knowing he can no longer focus or remember enough to read a menu. Trying to second guess food that won't be too complicated or too messy to eat is a challenge that I often fail at. This time was a success with no calamity befalling the table.
We had a nice time. He joked a bit and Alan tried to draw him out, although much of his conversation was unintelligible.
Bob glowed when the staff came out with a cake and candle, singing happy birthday. They'd written 'Happy Birthday Mr. Bob' in frosting around the plate and decorated their famous black bottomed tart with a maraschino cherry, whipped cream and mint leaves, and the candle I'd given them. They didn't charge us for the dessert and they seemed genuinely happy to do this for their long term customer.
Then it was time to take my husband home. The boys drove us back to his cottage where I gave him his birthday presents - two new ball caps and some chocolate. Alan came about twenty minutes later bearing strawberry and chocolate gelato to go with brownies I'd baked for the four of us. The Ice Cream King was in heaven with this second dessert, while Daschound Daisy danced all around us, her long toe nails taping out the beat.
It was a good birthday and while Bob won't remember it, he was happy in the moment. What more can we ask for than happy moments?
|Susan, Gusti, Ketut and Bob|