Well, kids, we did it! We have officially made it to Bali.
Getting off the plane, we were met by the vultures (otherwise known as airport cabbies) who all desperately wanted to give us a lift to our Legian located hotel – for double the price of a regular fare, of course. Trying our best to not look like suckers, we dangled around searching for a place to exchange our money into Rupiah and came up with our negotiating game plan: make an offer they couldn’t refuse.
The plan folded. We never had a chance.
But like the great Rihanna once said when explaining the meaning behind her rib tattoo – “every failure is a lesson”. And the lesson learned is: know your shit before the conversation even starts. We didn’t do research on how much that cab ride should have cost, making it super easy to get taken advantage of. Now we know to LOOK THINGS UP (and we haven’t been ripped off since. seriously.)
The first night was spent drinking Bintangs on the beach at the first spot we encountered – Joe’s Bar. Joe was an overweight Balinese man who was most definitely not named Joe at birth, but he was sweet and his bar was everything we needed it to be. There were chairs planted in the sand facing the massive Indian ocean, and the smooth sounds of Bon Jovi played quietly in the background. Ever watched the ocean waves while listening to Wanted, Dead or Alive? Well, it’s heaven.
On Day 2 we beached it. We rented some lounges, read our books and made friends with our lounge rental guy who had the greatest dreads and the nicest attitude. I never got a photo of him and it’s a true tragedy because this dude was a total character. Instead here’s Stevo approaching the ocean:
(Time Out: My milky white skin only slightly burned after swimming in the ocean waters, which is seriously the biggest win ever – shout out to my pale posse! I still have no hint of a tan. Time In)
After a beachy morning we hit up the Bintang Supermarket for some essentials – mainly nail polish, so that the ladies here offering pedicures got off my back about me NEEDING one – and then lunched at Warung Etnik where I ate my first ever nasi goreng. Fried rice, egg, chicken and shrimp with a spicy soy sauce that is scrumptious in every way.
Day 3 and 4 we spent in Seminyak at a dope coffee bar called Revolver, opened by a couple of Australians (did I mention the Aussies are everywhere here?). We ate their delicious foods and sipped on fresh fruit drinks and coffees. In fact, that’s where I started this blog post – in a cool outdoor cafe, sitting on some floor pillows, sweating. Always sweating. But loving life.
Legian/Kuta has treated us well, but next week we hit Canggu. It’s apparently the Queen West (read: annoyingly hip) region of Bali that offers some fantastic surfing and a chilled out vibe. We’ll be there for 2 weeks and I’m super excited to change it up.
Gotta go watch a beach sunset. WHAT IS LIFE?
Talk soon xo
Things I’ve learned:
– Kuta is basically like Cancun – all the old people are out during the day (us included) while the youngsters party all night and nurse hangovers until 7pm
– Asians LOVE their late 80s soft rock. Bryan Adams for the WIN ya’ll
– Homeless people seem to not exist here and the homeless dogs that roam the streets look well fed and shockingly clean
– You will be approached and hustled by everyone (market vendors, restaurant hosts, taxi drivers) BUT you won’t really mind as the Balinese are super sweet people. Always smiling and laughing
– Evidence of Hinduism is everywhere – temples, canang sari (the picture at the top of this post) in front of every storefront, people praying both morning and night to idols on the street corners – it’s beautiful
– Got fair skin? Prepare to have conversations about this fact with every local you encounter