It’s hard to know where to start with a Bali tale since we have been here long enough that there are plenty of tales to tell, but where to begin.
Sometimes I ask myself why it’s me here and not someone else given that I prefer high elevation and we are at sea level, I prefer dry air and ours is always nearly saturated, I prefer cool weather and hot and humid best describes this climate. Why am I here in a place with gorgeous beaches, surf, snorkeling and diving when I am indifferent to water, swimming and being at the beach? I guess the answer lies in the fact that this little island has so much variation with mountains and forests and volcanoes and glorious vistas added to its famous “tropical paradise” image.
This is our first experience with Indonesia but it isn’t our first time living in a different country. Our two-year stays in both Turkey and Ecuador followed later by a year in Azerbaijan has us well aware of how this whole thing goes. There is a huge exhilaration that comes with trying out a strange new place; along with it comes times of utter frustration when things don’t work the way you are used to or think they should. There’s plenty of each of those.
Let’s start with getting settled into our apartment: the kitchen is tiny with two plates and forks and a small two-burner cooktop and a refrigerator like the kind usually found in motel rooms. But it’s air conditioned with giant comfortable beds and a clean swimming pool surrounded by a lush tropical garden. The place is situated down a narrow lane branching off another narrow lane; where is anything? It was impossible to follow the way we were taxied in from the “by-pass” and the way to the main street, Danau Tamblingan, was passable only on foot or on motorbike because of a couple of very narrow and tight corners. Gotta memorize every step if you’re gonna get back home.
Suffering massive jet lag, travel fatigue, excessive heat and culture shock makes you question your sanity. But adaptation sets in and after a bit you really want to explore the place, first on foot and with a bit of propping up from the school then on to larger areas. Fortunately getting around on a rented bicycle or motorbike is easy and cheap to arrange. I let you in on driving in Bali in a later post.