I landed in Bali in the afternoon after spending the night at the bangkok airport. I tried to sleep at various places in various positions at the airport but was not very successful. First I tried in the lounge on a sofa, which was ok until the staff woke me up saying they have to close it around 2am and they reopened at 5:30am so I walked around the terminal and in the corner few people were sleeping on the empty chairs and I joined them for the next few hours.
Immigration was surprisingly quick but immigration officer was confused when my turn came and he asked me to follow to the office on the side of the building, I was confused and had little energy to ask what is going on. In the office he asked something to his colleague and they were talking in indonesian and I had no clue what is going on, then the other office starts flipping my passport and points to something on the screen and talks with the officer who brought me there and after a while I asked Is everything ok? and officer was like Sorry sir, some technical problem. I think the officer was new anyways I was out of the airport pretty soon.
Bali was not that hot compared to Philippines or may be I was acclimatized. I had arranged pick up from the hostel as I knew I will have no energy to bargain and handle the taxi drivers after the long layover.
First things I noticed about Bali on the way to hostel was Kites, saw so many kites, really big ones too in the sky after a long time. I used to fly one too and it took me back to my kite flying days when the challenge was to cut your friend’s kite and get the good string.
Hostel was nice near the beach, I went there after keeping my bag in the room and walk around then food hunt and slept in early. Next morning I added meaning to my life again, yes, you guessed it right, rented a scooter and wandered around. Whole area was very tourist centric, tons of tourist all around the streets and fancy shops and that was not what I was expecting of Bali. When I was lost, I asked a local for directions back to the hostel and after telling me the directions he asked me where I am from? Everyone asks me that maybe they have not seen many people in turban and I have made a rule now, anyone who asks me first where I am from? I ask them to guess, what do you think? and have got some funny answers but he guessed it right and then asked me about my religion and he was confused. I just spell out Sikh to him and told him to google it later.
First thing I learn about any new place is to say thank you in the local language, it goes a long way. People are delighted when I say that. I had trouble saying it here let me explain. Thank you in indonesian is ‘Terima kasih’ pronounced as ‘Teri Mkya See’ and it’s not really polite in hindi especially the first part.
I discovered a restaurant near the hostel which served Indonesian-Indian fusion food in curry style and surprisingly it was good in taste and learned about the national drink of Malaysia Teh-Tarik or special chai if order it in India.
I was sharing my hostel room with two british kids who finished high school and were travelling around south east asia and came from Vietnam so I asked one of the kids about places to go in Vietnam and he said “Oh man, you should definitely go to this place (I don’t remember the name) it was great, all we did there was smoke weed and relaxed” Later that day another german kid (S) joined the room who thought I was Arab when I asked her to guess where I am from.
I started my aimless wander as usual on the scooter the next day and saw the kid walking on the street and asked her if she needs a ride. I asked if she has driven a scooter before and she said no, then I was do you want to try? it is pretty simple and by end of the day she got meaning of life. We went to one of the temples about 30 minutes away from hostel to watch the sunset. It was unfortunately cloudy and surprisingly crowded when we reached. It was still beautiful, temple was on the beach and part in the ocean on a rock.
Next day I wanted to go to the another temple south from the hostel and I stupidly asked the hostel staff if I can take the scooter and they said no, its only for the nearby area so I just wandered around the beach and hung out at a cafe and ate the at the same fusion lunch place and later in the evening I found this restaurant in the tourist area which had butter chicken and anda paratha on the menu and I was ecstatic. Taste was much above my expectations. It just made my day.
After spending few days near Kuta, I was googling about stuff to do nearby and stumbled upon one blog which talked about healers in Bali and I made few reservations and was off to Ubud the next day to see some healers and experience some time around rice fields.