For quite a while I couldn't really describe what I was feeling. Or rather, I couldn't really find the reason why I was feeling the way I was. I merely summed it up as 'Ubud was too touristy'. But Seminyak was equally or if not more touristy than Ubud but I enjoyed Seminyak so much more. So that was not it. What was it?
It was until I read Garance Dore's blog post on Bali, was when I finally realised the reason why my experience in Bali was the way it was. She is my current absolute favourite by the way, the coolest person I know online. She had just recently been to Bali and felt exactly the way I was. She couldn't have explained the whole experience better. She mentioned:
So fucking bored!
So bored I checked my emails."
"Ubud, the city where I was staying, is the city where Eat, Pray, Love takes place.
I didn’t know that! But I was soon to understand the impact the movie had on the city.
EVERYTHING REMINDS YOU OF IT. Everybody talks about it. Everybody was an extra in the movie. Ugh. Sorry I made the stupid eat, pray, love jokes before I went.
This is serious.
Of course, I’d seen the movie. I’d find it entertaining. No more, no less.
Well, but here is the thing: It seems to have brought to the island an interesting breed of tourism. Women, alone, walking around with notebooks and pens.
Reminds you of something? Someone?"
"Because in Bali, whatever you do, you have to keep in mind the three T’s:
Tourists. Tourists are everywhere**, and women with a notebook may be the most aesthetic and pleasant of the bunch. There are a lot of French people (isn’t it annoying when you’re in faraway country and you hear people speaking your language every 5 seconds?) (answer: OUI), Australian surfers, who are extremely sweet on the eyes but very loud, a lot of Chinese tourists and, oh well you get it: the world decided to meet in Bali AND IT’S VERY ANNOYING TO NOT HAVE BEEN THE FIRST ONE TO HAVE THE IDEA OF COMING HERE.
Traffic. There is a lot of traffic and it’s totally eating up your vacation time***. Please give yourself three hours to get anywhere. Get some good music.
Trade. Ok, I mean shops but shops doesn’t have a “T” so Trade. Shops, shops, shops, millions of shops everywhere! You will feel absolutely dizzy if you don’t have a serious idea of where and what you want to shop for. Luckily, I had Bella and Cisco’s city guide (tested a lot of her addresses and they are really great) or else I would never have been able to figure out my way through the… Oh well, let’s say it: the crap.
And it would have been too bad because there is a lot of wonderful art, antiques and obviously, sa-sa-sarongs to buy."
BUT at the same time Bali gave me something only Bali could give. This feeling I had.
"Ew, I hear you saying. I’d never want to go there!
DON’T SAY THAT. You would be missing the point.
Bali is magic."
"It’s going to be hard to describe to you that deep feeling of happiness that followed me all through my Bali journey. As soon as you get away from the busy touristic centers, Bali is amazing, Bali is grand and beautiful and yes, Bali is mystical."
"It’s watching them live that will make your heart sing (is that too cheesy an expression? Ok, that will lift your heart.)
Praying multiple times a day, as if they were (I think they are) instant messaging with the gods. Working hard but also hanging out a lot, sitting in their cool “bales,” sort of meeting places where they sit and talk for hours.
Seeing good and evil as two forces that complete each other and make the world go round.
Impossible not to fall in love with it."
So there you have it. Exactly in Garance's words.
If you can sift through the touristy things and people and focus only on Bali, the real Bali, you will find treasure.
This the day we landed and the following day, the two days I enjoyed the most.
|little shops in Seminyak selling art|
|we just found the beach in Uluwatu!|
|these are actually two different beaches in Uluwatu. we found both by chance!|
|we found a little shack warung and decided to have lunch there|
|the little warung was hanging over the beach, awesome!|
|the view from the warung, yeap, lucky fellas|
|the next beach we found! it required a little walk down the hill though|
|it was very green and pretty, dotted by little B&Bs. prettiness makes me silly /:|
|probably also coz' I was having too much Coca-Cola|
|all sorts of different chalets and whatnot, very surfer/hippy.|
|(right) surf board in the making, also with magnificent view of the sea (see below)|
|not sure if you can see the little surfers (black dots) out at sea, surfing|
|my favourite place in Bali|
|the beaches of Uluwatu are quite rocky and the waves are quite rough. better for surfing. but it makes an excellent backdrop|
|after our little dip in very rough waters, decided to camwhore before we left ):|
|my staples for Bali - indian bangles and my Nixon watch|
|and layers of Gold necklaces|
|more Indian bangles, and Aztec nails!|
|one of the B&Bs. I was so thirsty I bought another bottle of Coca-Cola|
|another beach further down South in Uluwatu|
|sunset in Uluwatu|
|back in Seminyak, we had dinner at Sea Circus, highly recommended by the way|
|Bintang beer was all we had for all meals - lunch, dinner, supper... maybe except breakfast|
|grilled garlic butter prawns with crusty bread, so good!|
|definite MUST TRY at the sea circus, baked parmesan dip with wild mushrooms, shallots, rocket and toasted sourdough. totally awesome!|
|they had a really cute restroom too|
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