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Happy Bali-ween

The sacred story of Sara's treasured Candy Corn

Do you think I need teeth whitener?

This photo is a throwback to my Bali days, goodness how time flies. With Halloween only a day away, which is one of my favorite days of the year, not for reasons most would think, but because it's my husbands Birthday (we'll be celebrating his 40th tomorrow). I thought this would be an appropriate time to share the following tale, for it was Halloween 2013, when my childhood Candy Corn dreams finally came to fruition. This is a true story, based on my recollection of my pre-tween years, it's not scary, I'm just bringing it to light in hopes that this never happens to you.

Candy corn. I once received a package of these magical kernels trick or treating as a kid (I once trick or treated as an adult for candy too, but that's another story). The way it usually went down was this, after hitting up as many homes for free sugar as possible, dragging a pillowcase around to collect these well earned goods, my siblings and I would arrange our score on our beds upon arriving home, thus setting the scene for our annual candy swap.

I was the fourth of five kids, extremely sensitive and gullible, I believed that it would be done fairly, every year (it may have actually only been one year, but who's counting, I'm old already). This particular Halloween, I put in a lot of hard work, pounding the pavement like a door to door salesperson in hopes of gathering the most amount of candy I'd ever collected. And I did, I think. I recall laying out my haul, and specifically, MY Candy Corn. I remember staring at it in amazement, fantasizing about its pending glory, salivating like Pavlov's dog, having never EVER seen this kind of candy before. But one thing I knew for sure that night, was that this mystical item would not be up for grabs, no matter what offer was on the table, I mean bed.

(This goody would be safely and securely hidden for future enjoyment. I don't know about you, but I was the type of kid that would sock everything away, practicing tremendous amounts of restraint. I often still had candy remaining in December, mostly yellow suckers, but hey, it was still candy and I was a sugar junky.)

Anyway, I should point out here that as a child I was also a slave to a very small/weak bladder, so without thinking, I quickly left my "post" to relieve myself. That was the stupidest and most amateur move ever! Because upon returning to my inventory, I instantly discovered that my Candy Corn - the only thing I actually wanted out of everything in that tattered pillowcase - well aside from all the chocolate bars and chips - was GONE! Vanished, disappeared...forever a mystery to me, and my tastebuds. Never to be seen again, no matter how many more years I went out in costume. Knowing who I was then, I'm sure I cried, but I likely pacified myself with a sweet or salty replacement, and sniffled my way into slumber. As for the culprit(s)/ghost/trading post "shoplifter", that being was never caught. And so the case of the missing Candy Corn soon became a cold case UNfiled file.

Life went on. Year after year, costume after costume, house after house, I secretly hoped that I'd see another bag of these again. I even went as far as asking other kids what they tasted like, to which no one could ever describe, because no one had ever received then, much less heard about Candy Corn, at least in my neck of the woods.

Fast forward to 2012/13 where I shared this tragic, albeit pathetic, sob story with my dear friends Mary Joe (MJ) and Dana while living in Bali, who found it laughable, to say the very least. Living as an expat in S.E. Asia, I quickly cultivated friendships like sisterhoods, thus entrusting fast friends with old stories as a way of connecting, and expressing my authentic being. Perhaps that's sort of "la-la" or "woo-woo" to some, but I found this to be healing on many levels. As an aside, I miss these ladies a lot, but I'm happy that we shared so many silly and enriching times together. But I digress. Anyway, one year MJ went to America to visit family for a few weeks, during that time, I went off to sit another 10-days in technology disconnected meditative silence. Upon returning "down island" as I liked to call it, I was met with a very enthusiastic Facebook message instructing me to swing by the villa to pick up a gift bag from her travels to the states. 

Feeling peaceful, but obviously thrilled, I hopped on my scooter, and made my way on the crazy roads of Bali, through lush rice fields, to her stunning home by the Indian ocean. (Sorry for the divine tropical imagery. Not sorry.) After a quick hello to her and Dana, hugs and likely a giggle or two, MJ presented me with an orange colored cloth bag. Like a giddy school girl, I excitedly opened the first item, only to discover a tube of American toothpaste, confused but grateful, I thanked her, laughed and then proceeded to stuff my hand back into the sack. Up next, I found myself unwrapping an odd shaped item, which made a crinkly sound in my hands. Feverishly I ripped the tissue paper apart, mostly for effect, and then my eyes were trying to absorb what they saw. I took a deep breath, and found that I was at a complete loss for words, just then the tears began to flow, as I silently stared at a bag of ... Candy Corn.

So many memories of my childhood in Canada came flooding in, and my mouth instantly started watering. I wondered to myself, do I eat them or put them on an alter and treasure them? This experience was unexpected and totally insane. I started calculating in my head, mind you I'm rather bad at math, but I think I figured it out, I had waited twenty some odd years for this very moment to arrive ... breathe Sara, B-R-E-A-T-H-E ...

Without further ado, I tore open the bag with my teeth, shoved in my hand, and fiendishly tossed a handful of this yellow and orange colored gold into my mouth. Eyes now closed, one or two chews felt like eternity as I awaited to feel that rush of unbridled joy that only sugar could deliver. But instead, I was met with an overwhelming feeling of nausea, as my tastebuds immediately revolted and determined that these so called treats actually tasted like crap! Boo-urns, I was tricked! I panicked, and quickly spat them out into a napkin (at least I hope it was a napkin and not the table, it's all a blur now), I'm sure I made a vile but hilarious face, right in front of my two North American sisters, that was their treat. They laughed, probably belly laughed, while I nearly "died". Pfft! nice friends. Humph! ;-)

After the shock and laughter subsided, strangely enough, I was left with a feeling of gratitude. I'm weird, I know, deal with it. Because of that experience, I learned a very important lesson, one that I was just beginning to grasp after years of meditation. And so here it is, may it help you too.

Building things up in the mind, writing stories and outcomes that may or may not happen, will almost always leave a bad taste in your mouth. So I say, do yourself a favor and live in the moment, it's the greatest gift of all. "Savor the Flavor of Now" (because the alternative could be "Candy Corn").

P.S. The toothpaste did come in very handy, as it quickly erased that memory from my mouth and tastebud memories. Yes, tastebuds have memories, I know, I'm weird, deal with it.

Yup, that's a carved out papaya in lieu of a pumpkin.

Because that's how I rolled in Bali.

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