Well! It's September 6th, 2012. I finally got to an internet cafe in Ubud to hook up a hardrive and get my pictures off my camera cards. The reason I can't do this with my travel buddy's tablet is because it doesn't have a usb port. Useless!! Oh wells tho. We will survive haha. This has been an awesome 4 days. feels like longer...
The flights getting here weren't too bad. Kind of an awkward feeling when night never comes.. I left Ottawa around 12pm thanks to my good pals Megan and Ashley who picked me up and drove me to the Airport. Good thing too. As per my usual before having to do anything, I was way behind. I was up till about 3am packing and trying to finish a poster for "Domestic Workers", in Kerala, India. I did get it done luckilly.about half an hour before I had to leave haha. Always rockin the last minute. In my dillusional state I somehow thought I would be able to go to the Daily Grind Cafe in Ottawa and hang up artwork. Hopefully my roomate reads this and does it for me ;) *nudge nudge*.
My first flight was an hour to Toronto, then I waited about an hour or so and Flew from Toronto to Hong Kong. About a 14 hour flight. I just happened to be sitting beside like the only other white girl within visual range. and we didn't have anyone between. I've been lucking with long flights so far to have to site with 2 other people. She was traveling to Australia to see her brother. And even used to live in Ottawa up till 6 months ago. The world is incredibly small it seems. I've learned to take all this as fated circumstances. Not that we are soul friends for life or anything. but just accepting that I meet who I meet at the right times. On the flight I watched "Confucius" with Chow Young Fat. With Subtitles. I didn't even know he did this movie! He was really amazing. Also Watched a Bruce Lee Documentary. A Little different then "Bruce Lee: Dragon" haha. Way Better. I didn't know he was a Cha Cha Champion. And that he tought so many celebrities "Jeet Kune Do" at his house. Or that All of the movies he did had so much of his real life in them. He really was an incredible person. Never playing a part. Even when Acting, he never put on a face for the "role" was the same on screen as off screen. An important lesson he brought to the world. But he went beyond that. His every move, every step, and every word, was an expression of his true and genuine self. He didn't just fight, he expressed every part of his being with every movement. I'm prolly babeling now, but it's something important I too have learned to do with my art, and am always working on with my life. When I draw a picture, I somehow express everything that I am in that moment, with the lines. You may ask how this is possible? or you may not. I believe it stems from my personal honesty. Something that has been very hard to find in a world where your told what to be and how to fix yourself from an external perspective at every turn. All I had to do was find the right lines to express myself, carving the way for everything from within myself to pour forward, no easy feet. But afterwords you see how simple it is.
The last flight was only 4 hours. I couldn't choose from a big list of movies, it was an older plane. I watched what was on, I ended up watching Matrix 1. Always a good choice.. I got in around 1am. Originally steph told me that she was going to be there a day before me. But she emailed me while I was in air so I never knew, that she got the date wrong and was getting in the same night as me. So I'm looking all over the place, being followed by cabbies trying to give me a ride, no sign of steph waiting, I didn't write down where we were staying so I couldn't even just go there to find her!! hahah Bad news bears moment. Then I saw her!! This tall blue angel hah. Blue dress, and matching blue pack, leave it to the ladies to co-ordinate while backpacking :P
We got in a cab, but it didn't have a meter, and my friend Rio told me I shouldn't get into cabs without a meter. He wouldn't give us his taxi certification either, so we got out and got our bags and went and found another driver, We got over charged to, like 5 dollars. We found a cab for 80,000 Rupea, which is 8 dollars. instead of 100 000. We should have only paid 50, 000. But what can u do. everyone gets ripped off now and then, and It's not that big of a deal.
We got to the " Matahari Guest House" in Kuta around 2 am. It Took me a few hours to fall asleep getting used to the 12 hour time change. We both woke up around 2pm. Steph hadn't slept much her last week in Seoul. I've bounced back pretty well. All those late nights and random hours I keep already prepared me pretty well for traveling lol.
We didn't get much done on day one, as we were organizing gear and then we had to find some food. we walked and waaaalked and ended up on the beach. then we found out where this place called "Warung Madè". got some balinese and Indonesian foods.OH YES! On our way to dinner a lizard fell on Stephanie's head. more like aimed for it jumping off a building. hahah She freaked right out. Too funny. Then we walked around for a bit more. We ended up back on the beach I think that night, and we just watched the waves. We stood in the water for a bit and felt the tide go in and out, until a big tide came in and soaked our bottoms haha. Awesome!! My first time standing in an ocean!! Ireland was my first time touching an Ocean. The moon was still full that night. I never saw it blue... but I left on the blue moon.There were a few stars out. I haven't seen a lot of stars tho still. We sat on beach trying to dry our wet bums and just chilled, it was a warm night. There was actually a lot of people just sitting on the beach watching the waves. I thought that this light was mars when got on the beach.. low and behold it was definitly a plane.. I'm gunna ask for mercy with the fact I didn't have my glasses on :P.
The Headed out Tuesday with the Mission to learn to surf! We were gunna pay 45USD each to learn for a couple hours with a company, but it was actually Euros that the price was in, and we didn't bring enough. so then eventually our good pal Cassam who we had been getting all our tour advice from told us there are guys on the beach who would teach us for 150, 000 Rupea. each. which is 30USD for both. instead of like 114Us.
Me and Steph went swimming first before doing any surfing. I finally got the nerve to test my small digital camera's waterproof ability. It went really well! The instructors were just fine. Spoke enough english and had a ball laughing at us and us at ourselves, and cheering us on when we caught a wave I could only hack an hour of it. It's incredibly exhausting!! and I have no muscles or abs. But I did pretty good. I could do it everyday actually. wont be my last time surfing that's for sure. Afterwords we de-salted ourselves, which was good cuz I swollowed so much salt water. haha. I'm still to this day getting sand out of my ears hahah.
We got invited to hang with some Australians drinking with the local surfer guys. Apparently my surf teachers name is Ducky haha. or that's what she called him anyway.
The Australians gave us a turtle ticket. Apparently Every now and then in Kuta they do this massive baby turtle release! My first apalling moment was because they were messing with the natural hatch and journey to the Ocean that I had been taught about in Documentaries, but then I found out that because of the lights from the town, the turtles get confused at night when they hatch and head toward the city instead of the water. My 2nd appalling moment was because civilization had gotten so big that the natural order of nature really was gone.. But it is what it is, and they are doing what they can to continue the process in its current circumstances. So we each got a turtle in a plastic container. some ppl named theirs. I just named mine "Turtle Power"- for u Nathan. Steph named hers Crush. And this guy near me named his Dave (Australian). And we just watched them make their way to sea. It was a race of sorts. For a while mine and stephs were buddy buddy, journeying together, d'awww. I watched some get stepped on by tourists trying to get to the side to take a picture... a little ridiculous... Respect yo?
We went home and got changed and then made our way to our last dinner in Kuta. So many weird gimmicky places to eat at. Nothing by western style music all around, or live bands performing western music. Their is even a place called Bubbe-Gump-Shrimp.. Your prolly thinking.. Forest Gump. But their is no way they would make a restaurant like that after the movie.. out front.. is a bench .. with a box of cholates and a ceramic pair of shoes.. yup.. theee shoes...
We found a place finally with some balinese food. It was an Indian place, so we just got some yummy Dal, and Chick peas, butter chicken, and 3 big naan breads. Tried a naan with dried fruit!! Delicious! and Yogourt Smoothies!! Num Num! Then we headed back to the cafe near our hotel to find a place to stay the next day! We also weren't sure where we wanted to go. I know I wanted to get out of our 15 dollar a night hotel and find a cheaper place like a hostel.
we ended up not finding anything so we just took a shuttle van to Ubud and figured we'd find something when we got there. They didn't have enough seats on the bus for me or steph. So steph ended up sitting on the floor!! hahah And one one woman got on the wrong bus and our driver got super annoyed having to turn around to drop her off after she was shouting, "WHERE ARE YOU TAKING ME!!" But with an Australian accent. I sat next to a couple from the Netherlands. Their is quite a good mixture of people from all over here. And all the locals or vendors just ask, "Where you from?" I find it is for another reason then just wanting to know. These people have a way more connected knowing then people may thinking..
When We got to Ubud, a man named Ketut asked us if we had a place to stay and we didn't so we followed him haha *Warning flags* His hotel is called "Tunjung- bungalowes" and its this Orange palace of a place with balconies and en-suite bathrooms, and plants everywhere. also a koy fish pond. And his brother took us straight to room number 5, the 5 is on an orange ball.. Idk about you, but this place was our destiny haha. we share a bed, which is fine. We don't care, we have our silk liners we sleep in. and its only 7.50 a night each. pretty amazing, plus we have a drying rack for our clothes. We picked up some laundry powder today from COCO supermarket to clean our clothes. I've been using my soap bar up to this point to scrub the travel sweat away haha.
Our first night in Ubud and we saw a "Barong and Keris" Dance. Similar to the one I saw at the Indonesian Embassy in Ottawa. But so much more. The story it told seemed to be that of a retelling of the history of humanity, and the struggle between "Dharma," and "Adarma" or good and evil I think. We had to rush to go back to NanJung to get more money for dinner since we spent it on the tickets!! We ate at this lovely restaurant with lots of tasty health foods and pro-biotic smoothes, we've eaten there for all our meals so far in Ubud!! It has pillows you can sit on and cool meditation art. A lot of yogi's come here to eat. The whole place is filled with Incense and calming music... Plus pillows this is a recipe for nap tie. which I almost do everytime I go there haha.
Our first full day here in Ubud was September 5th. We were just gunna walk to the elephant cave Temple but our Hotel owner Ketut said it was too far, so we decided to pay him to be our prive driver for the day for 170,000 rupea each. about 35 dollars. Little cheaper then a tour, and we got to take our time and no worries of our tour group leaving us behind. Much better! We spent like 2 hours at the elephant cave. which should have only taken us about 30 mins, but we walked on these paths and went to these other temples that weren't part of the elephant cave package, so we payed 20 rupea to go further on the path, some guy tried to be our guide, until he told us he wanted 10 dollars which we didn't really care to pay him so we just walked it ourselves. Went across this shifty bamboo bridge. chilled at these abandoned temples built in the bottom of this cliff. amazingly gorgeous sites. and water.... apparently we could of gone swimming there, but we didn't know.oh wells!
After the Elephant caves we went to a temple with Rice paddies! Never seen a rice paddie before. I still have to find out what rice looks like when it's pulled out of the water. Their was a ceremony going on at the Temple that day. Ketut said that it was for family's getting blessings I believe. The intense music they play is called "Trance" music (not like rave music in Canada, but spiritual tripping without the drugs) . And it really is. Tho you know those beatles in Canada that make that loud screeching sound on hot days? You should of heard them at the elephant caves. I felt all the energy in my body seemingly uplifting from my feet to my head and beyond. Keeping our great mother Terra in high spirits me suspects. Who needs drugs when nature is a drug all its own, and all around you. Tho we were offered mushrooms randomly. Its like duck duck goose, but instead of duck its 'Taxi', and instead of goose its mushroooms? and you have go to a higher octave when u say mushroOMS. haha
After The Elephant cave we went to the Stone Temple. We ended up buying sarongs, which were scarves, not sarongs, but we wore them as sarongs for a few days. The worst thing is the cost at all these temples. It adds up. We were "late" we thought to see the ceremony, but it was pretty ongoing, and it was a family receiving blessings from the priests. But they had the band playing trance music for it. and lots of inscents burning. It was called the Stone temple because it was built into the side of a rock, and it was surrounded by rice paddies.
They had these 3 huge half pyramids carved into the stone.
We headed back to the car, and went on to a view of Mount Batur, and Lake Batur. You could see the path from the Eruption in December 1999 I think. Ketut said he was here watching it erupt. You can see the lava path below where its all black and scorched, and where it's still green. I got bombarded by women trying to get me to buy some of their fruit. They just cut it and make you try it then charge you if u buy it. The best one was so expensive. I saw ketut laughing from inside his truck at me surrounded.. Steph was inside using the bathroom.. hahah I had no backup!! Their is a reason why women are usually selling and not men. Women can get the job done with their subtle pushyness haha.
We saw some mandarine trees on our way down. Ketut was trying to get deal on them for the Kuningan ceremony. We headed back to the hotel and then out to dinner. We keep going to this place "Atmans". With Organic and tasty tasty food. Fell asleep basically waiting for it. And they have really speedy service, I was just bombed. I think we were in bed by like 9pm that night haha. We are up everyday by 8 or sooner.
Who knew I would have to go to the other-side of the world to finally operate on a normal time schedule. Its settled, I was born on the wrong side of the world... I have always been oddly drawn to Asia, that MUST be why ;)