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.