Day 1 In Bali – Sensory Overload

School kids from Java

I slept nicely my first night in Bali, the fan on full blast to keep me cool and swoosh away any pesky mosquitoes. I washed up in my private bathroom, a much-needed change from the communal hostel showers where I’d have time-release controls, or be subject to hearing guys hawk loogies in stereo (seriously gross habit!). My fancy bungalow even had warm water.

I had read The Lonely Planet on the way to Bali, yet I didn’t manage to put one bit of its advice into practice on my first day. Everyone comes to Kuta to make money from the tourists, and it took the first day for me to realize a few things (which again, The Lonely Planet clearly outlined):

  • Don’t look in a cheap shop if you have no intention to buy something. In fact, don’t even make eye contact with the guy sitting outside of it. And when he calls to you “hey boss” or gestures to you, don’t slow down! Heck, don’t even say “no thank you” or turn your neck – it’ll wear you out by day’s end.
  • There are far too many people trying to offer “transport” in cars, taxis and on motorbikes. Haggling for transport, like a lot in Bali, is expected so brush up on your skills and be ready to walk away.
  • It’s really, really, really hot during the day, so take it slow. Even slower. No one will care if you don’t move more than 100-feet in a day. Just check out the locals – they’re all sitting around too.

Bungalow pool

  • If you go to the beach, expect garbage to wash up during the rainy season (which includes my time here in February). If your accommodation has a pool, use it instead of the ocean. Walk past the area with palms where all the hawkers will try to sell you stuff. If you buy something from one, say a small pineapple, then you’ll soon be surrounded by people trying to sell you everything from a drink, to wooden Buddha sculptures, cheap blow guns, hand-carved chess boards, and massages. It gets annoying fast, so head closer to the water where it seems they’re not allowed.
  • School kids on break from Java will have assignments to practice their English with the tourists. It made me feel like a rock star – being asked for my signature, photo, and interviewed about where I’m from, etc.
  • Everything is as cheap as I was lead to believe – sweet as!

Fettucine with crab in white wine sauce

My first Balinese meal was at an upper-scale restaurant across from Kuta Beach. I had fettucine with crab in a white wine sauce as my main, and white chocolate creme brulee for desert, along with tea. The meal totaled about $15, easily half the cost of what I’d have to pay in a Western restaurant for food of the same quality!

I struck up a conversation with a couple of Swedish girls in the bungalow next to me, inviting them over for a beer (Bintang beer really is $1 a bottle!). The next time I saw them they were in the pool as evening set in, and I had to join them. A few bats were flying overhead, however we otherwise had the place to ourselves.

Swedish girls

We went out to dinner after the swim, and I ordered Nasi Goreng for the first time. It was love at first bite! It’s a traditional Indonesian rice dish served in various ways (such as with seafood or chicken).

Comments

  1. says

    Live and learn day one of many, good for you I would have been too shy to invite 1 let alone 2 beautiful Swedish women over for a beer much props!! keep smiling your living the dream…

  2. says

    Live and learn day one of many, good for you I would have been too shy to invite 1 let alone 2 beautiful Swedish women over for a beer much props!! keep smiling your living the dream…

  3. Anand says

    Great Advice!!

    your blog gets better and better! We (me and the wife!) are going to be doing a wrold trip pretty soon, and are i hte planning stages. the detailed stuff you have put on the blog has been a god send!

    One thing that people might find useful, and i think we will do this when we go away also, is a detailed list of where you have stayed. As long as it isnt family or a close personal contact, it might be that people would like to stay in these places also, and contact details, and prices etc would be really valuable!

    Enjoy the continuation of your trip!

  4. Anand says

    Great Advice!!

    your blog gets better and better! We (me and the wife!) are going to be doing a wrold trip pretty soon, and are i hte planning stages. the detailed stuff you have put on the blog has been a god send!

    One thing that people might find useful, and i think we will do this when we go away also, is a detailed list of where you have stayed. As long as it isnt family or a close personal contact, it might be that people would like to stay in these places also, and contact details, and prices etc would be really valuable!

    Enjoy the continuation of your trip!

  5. says

    We went out to dinner after the swim, and I ordered Nasi Goreng for the first time. It was love at first bite

    Yep, those Hitlerdudes were mean buggers, but they sure could cook!

    Enjoy that Swedish vibe :wink:

  6. Overland Travel says

    We went out to dinner after the swim, and I ordered Nasi Goreng for the first time. It was love at first bite

    Yep, those Hitlerdudes were mean buggers, but they sure could cook!

    Enjoy that Swedish vibe :wink:

  7. Kango Suz says

    ***runs off to do a Google search on Nasi Goreng***

    Wow… ok… MAJOR props for being so outgoing with the chikas!!! You’re getting postively outgoing, look at you..

    • says

      Yeah, I find it far easier to be outgoing while traveling, which is one of the reasons I wanted to travel for so long all at once. I had no doubt when I left that I’d come back a changed person, and I’m starting to see where those changes in my personality are occurring. Very cool feeling to sense yourself growing, maturing, pushing social/physical/emotional boundaries.

  8. Kango Suz says

    ***runs off to do a Google search on Nasi Goreng***

    Wow… ok… MAJOR props for being so outgoing with the chikas!!! You’re getting postively outgoing, look at you..

    • says

      Yeah, I find it far easier to be outgoing while traveling, which is one of the reasons I wanted to travel for so long all at once. I had no doubt when I left that I’d come back a changed person, and I’m starting to see where those changes in my personality are occurring. Very cool feeling to sense yourself growing, maturing, pushing social/physical/emotional boundaries.

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