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HOME - an amazingly beautiful wake up wall to what our planet is facing

HOME - an amazingly beautiful wake up wall to what our planet is facing

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Bali! - Chinese New Year 2015

Though most people who read this blog have already seen our Bali photos, I thought a short write-up on what all we experienced was in order.

Looking back on it a month later, the trip feels a bit surreal. I find this true for all travel, because it plucks you out of everyday routine, which allows for more wiggle room in terms of who you are and how you are in the world. Of course, the exotic locale (an obvious change in climate/scenery/food/language, etc.) only added to the surreal feeling. Same for my head cold, which had really bloomed into full-blown status by the time we finally got out of our taxi after an hour of intense traffic along Bali’s congested highway from the airport. Still, I was determined to make the most of our holiday (and I hope didn’t whine too much about being sick ;)

Bali really is a dream – the nature is just so vibrant and lush. Ubud has a palpable sense of art interwoven with spirit and we ate and lived like kings, because it’s so affordable – much higher quality for your money compared to Taiwan. The food was fresh, mostly local, often organic and always delicious. We stayed at Swasti Eco Cottages (highly recommend) in a bungalow and then moved to a gorgeous Javanese house (actually deconstructed in Java, transported to Bali, restored and rebuilt there by our super-nice Air BnB host and artist Made).

Because the climate is tropical year-round, dwellings just need to provide shelter and our first one didn’t have any glass in the windows – just shutters for light and privacy. Nature really comes to you – both of our places were visited by some small animals (cats? lizards?) who apparently wanted to leave us the gift of their poop. Ha. Nothing too gross and certainly better than finding big spiders.

We saw lots of monkeys, which was always entertaining. The Monkey Forest in the middle of Ubud is their sanctuary and handlers/caretakers casually stroll around, some egging on tourists to get a monkey to climb on them by offering a bit of food. They do seem insatiably voracious and mischievous. One was gnawing on a business card that a young Chinese couple somehow lost to its grip. Another grabbed someone’s water bottle and was dousing passers-by from a high perch. Another was grabbing and chewing on a guy’s T-shirt. Our favorite was the monkey that climbed on a girl’s head to get a banana she was holding and then just sprawled on its belly, still on top of the girl’s head, to munch the fruit like it was the most natural thing in the world. I should have taken more photos.
It’s the end of the wet season and we got poured on big-time on several days. Again, it’s warm, so not that big of a deal, but we waited it out a few times, watching the torrents literally engulf the downhill roads in a foot or so of water. We also bought a double-person raincoat for riding the scooter. It’s our romantic souvenir – two hoods on a single poncho. <3 o:p="">

All in all, I can see why everyone falls in love with Bali. I’m glad we were in Ubud at the end of the low season, as it must be a zoo during the tourist rush. I hope we get to go back with more time on our hands to explore the rest of Bali and I wish everyone the same. Thank you again to my sweet love Rich for this fantabulous 10-year-anniversary gift. What a sweetie, that guy!

Here is the full photo album:
Bali!! CNY 2015

P.S. – amusement is in the details –
Our flight back was with Philippines Air and I just wanted to share some strange, (archaic-colonial?) use of English from the crew announcements and airport signs:

“Please accomplish your landing cards.” à fill out
“Passengers may avail themselves of the free shuttle to Terminal 2.”
“You must divest yourself of electronics prior to going through the security check.”

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