Art, Culture, and Ocean Conservation . . .

Posts tagged ‘bali’

Bali

Misty mornings layered with the waking roosters, wafting incense, and the distinct and whimsical sound of gamelan-floating village to village, east to west.

Every morning we are greeted with towering plates of fruit and amazing eggs and incredible pancakes (stuffed with banana and coated with fresh coconut and palm syrup) are brought to our garden porch overlooking the teracotta rooftops, house temples, and neighboring family stays. I watch the neighbors bring their offerings to each temple within their compound. The woman don their Kabaya and the men their sarongs and cool little hats, and pray and splash holy water with the little flowers they use in their offerings. Each day I shake the sugar bowl three times and the lil sugar ants run in a frenzy up and out of the dish and you know this would never happen back home and thankfully start to munch away on this amazing homemade gourmet breakfast.

Walking down the street in Ubud I’m constantly thinking-oh a temple! Only to realize, no, this elaborate stone work, carving, and flowers are another garden-likely harboring a “home temple” but not the full on complex. The Balinese believe that each pillar, each item, each piece of existence has a soul and is honored as thus throughout the day through intricate offerings. There are special days they honor the spirit of the machine and when we come outside there are offerings on our motorbike. 😉

People here are so lovely! They are so kind-even when you obviously don’t know what you are doing in certain religious and ceremonial situations. People here are inclusive, even when you don’t belong. It’s quite refreshing. they give impeccable directions through visual hand symbols even though you
Don’t speak their language and the food is cheap and so so so good!! Lots of vegetarian options, the home of Tempe, you can get it cooked everyway imaginable, fresh corn on the cob on the side of the street and nasi campur! Yum! One day when hiking through the rice paddies to the deep and misty river valley we found this amazing hobotech style man carrying around this blue box on his bicycle that was hooked up to a gas can he filled with water and converted into a steamer. We eagerly watched him put green rice flour into a little piece of PVC pipe, then some brown palm syrup, then more green rice-next he placed the PVC on the steamer and soon a whistle blew! Like a tea kettle! THen he wrapped up 8 lil rolls-kind of like sushi rolls into wax paper and handed them over for 2000 rupiah (about 20 cents) and Justin and I were happily surprised!!! It’s the best snack I’ve tasted my entire time here. Warm and sweet and light. Yum!!!

Driving in Bali is fucking wild. There’s no speed limit, no stop signs, no helmet law, and apparently no maximum occupancy for how many people you can fit on a moped or motorcycle. It is quite common to see the lil babies on the front, griping the mirrors standing infront of dad, and 1-2 children squished between mom
And dad, or side saddling moms thighs on the back-one on each leg if they are too big to fit between, many times the children are sleeping with their legs thrown whichever way lol. The lanes or direction of traffic in those lanes appears arbitrary and it’s always a surprise to watch two lanes of traffic magically merge into five within the same space. It is wild. There are places where the road itself has fallen away from it’s foundation leaving a gaping whole twenty feet deep, hairpin curves, steep ass hills and when it rains parts of the road wash away completely. But, somehow, it all works. You can never let your guard down though-you just never know when a dog or a chicken with it’s neck stuck way out is going to dart across the road or if when you turn the corner if there’s going to be a semi truck in your lane dodging the potholes on the other side. so we always drive “hati-hati” with caution.

It is a beautiful island though surrounded by the Indian ocean, complete with volcanoes, lakes, and temples. Full of geckos, chickens, bats, dogs, and ceremony. Accented with daily flower offerings at every doorstep, arch, and pillar. Ornate with ancient architecture, a light with modern art and classic styles and beaming with a vibrancy I’ve never seen anywhere else on earth.

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Travel Time-Flux Capacitor Style


Travel Time-Flux Capacitor Style

Well the 4 flights it took to arrive on the other side of the world was moderately treacherous. I think it was the 7 hour layover in Doha that did us in. . . which p.s. Did not exist when I purchased the ticket- however 2 weeks before our flight I was sent an updated itienary from the airline. Doha is one of the younger and richest capitols in the world-capital of Qatar the Arabian peninsula in the middle east. The architecture of the city looks incredible built around a vibrant blue bay but only viewable by photos and Internet for everytime we inquired about leaving the airport we were met with the phrase, “Not Possible” although we hear the city is quite safe.

So we hung out in the most deluxe duty-free of all time selling cameras, Lap tops, and yes, luxury cars. At one point I went to the bathroom and it has this dressing room style mirrored corridor and about 30 Qatar stewardesses were all sitting on the counters with their burgundy hats, burgundy blouses, burgundy ascots, doing their charcoal make-up and all giggling like girls in high school. I wanted to take their photo so bad-but when I asked they said they are not allowed to be photographed in uniform-so may my mental photo serve you well.They were so cute!

We flew from
Doha to Singapore (and man oh man do I wish my layover was there instead). If you are ever flying on this part of the world I highly encourage you to spend some time at the Singapore Chaingi airport. Free leg massages, butterfly garden, cactus garden, movie theater, game station, Internet stations and if you have a layover longer then 5 hours they will even take you on a free tour of Singapore!! Sadly our 3 hour layover was shortened to a 30 minute layover on our updated itinerary but I hope we get some extra time there on our return flight.

From Singapore to Indonesia the flight is only 2.5 hours and we landed in the middle of an epic sunset onto the magickal island of Bali. Airport procedures went smoothly and Justin and I negotiated a cheap cab outside of the airport walls to Ubud-our final destination for the day. Initially we were to arrive at 1pm but that unexpected change in flight put us here at 7pm so by the time we got out of the airport it was already dark. Even then the city of Depensar was alight with totems, sculptures, and fountains as motor bikes came racing past us. The drive took a long time-like an hour and a half? Justin and I were both drifting in and out of sleep from our grand time zone tour and I barely even noticed it was pouring rain. Next time I opened my eyes there was moss and roots hanging from high off branches dripping with rain as we made twists and turns through this mountainous pass. Monkey pillars and hand laid brick roads were noted. We didn’t have a place to stay worked out but also thought we’d have daylight to deal with it- and neither of us expected to be so out of it-so we eventually just had the taxi driver pull over and started to look for a room. Each guest house had a sign, accompanied by a small alleyway that led deep back behind the street with gardens and ponds and frogs and sculptures and masks. I’ve had my fair share of turning up in cities in the middle of the night and it usually proves to be a pretty sketchy scenario- but. . . not here. The city had an ancient wisdom with it’s 2 ft tall curbs and sidewalks, and immediately, even in the dark and the rain, an intricate beauty seeped from every archway. Elegant details were etched in every stone. The second place we stopped at was good enough for me. I was so exhausted I didn’t even rally for dinner or a trip to the store for water and goods. Laying horizontal was my prime objective. Successful, i passed out cold and have now awoken in the middle of the night-which has allowed me to share this detailed account with you all* 😉 I have no idea what time it is but knowing me and my 6 hour sleep cycle I’m assuming it’s about 3 am. I stepped outside onto our huge porch overlooking hand made roof tiles that slide down to a beautiful water garden amongst an orchestra of frogs, gekos, bats, crickets, and dogs. Every now and them I hear a rooster, but know it must be confused. A bug dive bombed me when I walked outside and I quickly and delightfully realized it was a dragonfly-which happens to be my spirit animal and I always take as a sign that I’m in the right place and it has sat above me this whole time while I type this 😉 -I never really see them at night either-so today-it’s extra special. 😉

Okay well thanks for reading and I look forward to enchanting you with stories to come.