Sunday, December 20, 2009

Things I didn't know then but do now....

Part 1 : Bali

So I'm sitting here today hating the heat and swatting away the endless swarm of flies and I had a revelation.

There are NO flies in Bali.

Well none that bothered us anyway. We had a bee who tried to drink our coke, ants that bit and heaps of bats. No flies. Which is astounding considering the amount of rubbish piled up here, there and everywhere. Maybe that's it, the rubbish is so plentiful they have no need to bug people. One thing is for sure the heat is bearable when you're not spitting flies.

So to revelation number 2, Bali does not have an organised waste disposal system. Apparently rubbish is chucked out the front door, in front of your stall or on the vacant lot next door, and then every now and then you'll put a match to it. Hotels and restaurants are the only places you can find a bin.

Bali is not Pram friendly. Kerbs can be anything from knee height to ankle high. If there is a hole in the path , put a piece of ply over it. My kids had to climb the steps to the shopping mall, they were so tall. Needless to say we carried the pram alot.

Along with a lack of building code seems to come a lack of road rules. Our driver tried to explain the road rules to us, but it pretty much sounded as if they were optional. As long as you beep first anything goes. As for scooters you can carry as much as you can hold! That includes a few chickens in a cage, a broom and a bag of clothes plus your infant child! Helmet if there's room!
People always told me, the Balinese love kids. LIARS! The Balinese are obsessed with children. Quite often we'd be held up for minutes at a time while a group of women would pinch the cheeks, and rub the hair, and exclaim how handsome our children were. Jack learnt very fast to hide behind one of us when groups of ladies approached. Even men would hi five the boys, and comment to Shaun how lucky he was. A few times we'd stop at a market to browse look up and find Trent 3 stalls up, being passed around and adored by a group. Freaky!!

You can buy Bintang beer everywhere. At the mini mart, the safari park, the waterbom park, the zoo, at the cafes in the mall or the ice cream shop. At the mini mart you can also buy ciders, and vodka mixes. So cheap! $2 aus will buy you a 750ml Beer or a 375ml Smirnoff. (I often wondered what would happen if I got Ebony to buy the beer.)

Macdonalds delivers 24/7. (with bintang if you so wish!)

Monkeys are dirty , horrible nasty creatures!
The monkeys are located near Ubud, which is an amazing town in the mountains. Here you'll find artisans converging from the smaller towns in the mountains. Women with baskets on their heads and men with weird deformities and growths we never suffer from because obviously of our proximity to modern medicine. It also has the biggest market place rubbish pile ever!

And in amongst all the chaos, and dirt, and jaw dropping sights there is the beauty. The absolutely stunning shrines in every home, the massive roundabout art and the guardians that stand out the front of hotels. Watching bats steal fruit from your balcony, or a Ulysses butterfly alight upon the Bougainvillea, the beaming smiles of the people and the stunning tropical forest. The WOWS certainly outweigh the ewws!

I really can't wait to go back. Without the kids, so I can explore further, spend more time getting pampered and shopping. Mmmmm, Mojito anyone??

1 comment:

Rochelle said...

Lovely post Vikki, Bali has a distinct smell doesnt it! must be all that rubbish. I also remember from Bali the smell of their cigarettes, i thought it was yummy a bit like cloves