Seven Things I Learned About Mrs Woog In Bali.

Jo Thornely is my travel companion and a very good friend of mine. She was recently described in The Daily Telegraph as Australia’s 13th most interesting person on Twitter. You can follow her HERE.

Meanwhile she is blogging for me today. About my favourite topic.


This is Jo

This is Jo

Mrs Woog and I have been friends for a while, but as they say, you never truly know a person until you travel with them. There’s something about confined spaces, beautiful scenery, many many many cocktails and the creation of your own little humid kaftan climate that really brings out the distilled guts of people. In a non-farting way, I mean. Which brings me to the first thing I learned about Mrs Woog in Bali.

1. Mrs Woog Is A Benevolent And Generous Farter.

Air travel and exotic food has led us to nickname our (very gorgeous) hotel room ‘The Tuba Ensemble’. I can confidently say that despite being very tuneful and robust, Mrs Woog’s farts are completely odourless. Ninety percent of the time. Eighty-six percent.

2. Mrs Woog Knows Her Food

I was a size six when I got here. Well, that’s what I told the Americans in the lift on the way to the breakfast buffet. Mrs Woog knows exactly where to eat, how to get there in one of the (almost always) excellent Balinese ‘taksis’, and what to order once you’re there. We’ve eaten our way around the island, pausing briefly to acknowledge sunsets and beaches and the like.

3. Mrs Woog Does Not Get Ripped Off

I get a bit shy when it come to things like bartering, hailing cabs in strange locations, or telling people they’re full of shit. With Mrs Woog at the helm of activities, all of these things have been done with aplomb, ensuring we’ve paid the right price for everything. A couple of times, she’s said a firm but elegant “NO!” and walked out of a shop, leaving me to smile and whisper “ok bye” before slinking out in her blingy wake. It’s marvellous.

4. Mrs Woog Is Vicariously Addicted To Tinder

I like being on Tinder – it’s like playing a computer game with people’s hearts – and it turns out there’s nothing Mrs Woog likes more than watching me over my shoulder as I swipe left and right with the local ex-pats. Sometimes I even give her my phone and get her to pick people for me, which leads to sudden questions like “How do you feel about the Irish?” and “Could you do a 28-year-old?”.

5. Mrs Woog Won’t Let You Miss Anything

I’ve been taken to sunset at the beach, hole-in-the-wall laundries, fifteen thousand different places to order Bintang, cliff-top infinity pools, terrifying pubs full of Australian bogans, stunning ritzy eateries and cool beachside havens, bustling and cacophonous markets and quiet, sophisticated emporia. I’ve had triple the experience I would have had with anyone else, unless they had severe ADHD and a good map.

6. Mrs Woog Likes Her White Sheet Time

In the heat and busyness of a Bali holiday, ‘white sheet time’ – that forty minutes or so in between activities where you crank the air conditioning, lie out on your hotel bed and vegetate yourself into a temporary soup – is utterly essential. In fact, we’re overdue for the next one, so in closing:

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7. Mrs Woog Will Make Sure You Come Home With A Cow Skull

I’ve always wanted a carved Balinese cow skull – they’re intricate, beautiful, and a tiny little bit punk rock. Driving past a skull wholesaler in a cab, Mrs Woog yelled “STOP!!” and jumped out, saying “You’ll kick yourself if you don’t get one!” and within ten minutes I’d paid a bargain price and arranged delivery to the hotel. We have named him Sandra Bullock. He is about to experience his first international flight.

Anything else you would like to know about her, just ask.