We started with pool pictures, and I guess we are ending with pool pictures too.
We started with pool pictures, and I guess we are ending with pool pictures too.
Day Fifteen – Grocery Shopping
Dec 14, 2013
We waited for two hours, but we were in the right place at the right time when it finally happened. It only lasted for about 15 minutes, but it was worth the wait. It was like a scene out of a Cecil B. DeMille Bible movie where Charlton Heston was about to show up from climbing down from the mountain after talking to God. What’s amazing is when you realize this is not some show put on for tourists, it is authentic, Bali life.
You won’t be able to get photos like these unless you go to another village, catch them on the right day, or wait another 15 years. On the other hand, our driver told us, Balinese people are always celebrating something. Keep your white outfits handy.
We leave tomorrow for Singapore, so we must bid farewell for now to this colorful, enchanting corner of the world. It does seem like a page out of some bygone era, and I hope this place does not lose its charm as time marches on.
December 12, 2013
Later that night, we went to see the real Legong dancers. The music is haunting and strange, consisting of drums and gongs, and several gamelan, an instrument that looks like a xylophone. The notes do not match our piano scale, and stranger still is that each note is tuned differently on each gamelan. One player’s note is slightly sharp, another player’s is slightly flat, so when the same note is played, there is a twangy sound when the sharp and flat tones are combined. (Sorry if I lost any of you non-musical people on that explanation), but it explains some of the strange sounds from their music.
You’ll have to wait and see my video to see the dancing because it’s just the strangest, wierdest, and most unusual dance if you have never seen it. Fingers and hands bend and twist, graceful yet bizarre, the head tilts left and right, and eyes dart left and right, all timed with the accents of the music. The dances are all part of Bali’s history and mythology combined together to tell ancient stories.
This dancing is just amazing, beautiful, strange, exotic, and outrageous. It was so good, we went twice.
Those of you who emailed, thank you for your thoughts. We love hearing from you.
If you’re into shopping, Bali is a great place for that. There are several blocks of stores in Seminyak, where we are staying, along with lots of restaurants and night clubs with live music for dancing. They certainly cater to a young crowd ready to party the night away.
We went to Kuta today, another beachfront town about 20 minutes by taxi ($5) which is a little more bustling and busy. Shopping goes for blocks and blocks in severa l directions and seems endless. Girls could keep very busy here! The majority of it is inexpensive beach trinkets, similar to what you might find in Lahaina, Hawaii. There are also familiar mall stores like Ralph Lauren and Billabong, along with a lot of good restaurants. If you like a little more action in your surroundings, Kuta would be a good place to stay. This is a major destination for the Australians who come here to surf all day, and late night party.
Its pretty easy to see how one (me) could mistake a house for a temple. Everyone has to have a least 3 temples in their yard, one each for the gods of fire, water, and flowers, the three gods they believe rule the world and keep it in balance. The bigger your family, the more temples you have to have. Balinese families could have as many as 10 children, but after 1985, the government limited families to two children. When the do the twice daily offerings, there are always flowers, lit incense (fire), topped with a sprinkling of holy water.
A typical yard must have at least 3 of these altar temples. (This time I stayed outside the fence – lol!
Dec 9, 2013
They say Bali is the land of 1000 temples, and it is so true. There’s one every few blocks. Our driver, who is Balinese Hindu, tells us that there is no day of worship like Saturday or Sunday as there is in the Christian or Jewish faith. Instead worship is a daily event at altars that are built in everyone’s home, on every few blocks, or in public squares. There’s even an altar in our rental villa. Twice daily, offerings are laid at the foot of statues and in front of stores containing rice, flowers, and sometimes money, once in the morning, again at lunchtime. They have large, public ceremonies twice a year in these temples, which are uniquely Balinese. The rest of Indonesia doesn’t have them because they are Moslem.
Entrance gate to Pura Puseh Temple – no entrance without covering your legs. Built in the 10th century. Warrior guards protect against evil spirits.
What is seen in these outdoor temples is mimicked in people’s houses. I passed by a house, and could see these black fibrous tops of altars sticking up above the fence line.. I didn’t realize that people may have multiples of these in their own backyards. I thought it was another temple. The gate was open, I tiptoed in, only to discover that it was actually someone’s house. The clue was the big screen tv that was outside on, what was apparently, the porch. No one has grass in their yards. The courtyards are aggregate concrete decorated with Hindu statues, and the houses have adorned walls like the temples, and altars.
As you approach the forest, all these monkeys are running all along the ground, the walls, and in the trees above. They are all different sizes…babies are so cute and small, moms are in between, and then there are the much bigger, very aggressive, and dominant older males. They are all scampering in all directions, so it makes taking photos difficult. They don’t sit still very long, and if you don’t have food, they aren’t interested in you.
So I reach in my pocket to get a little banana, and before I am even prepared, a monkey will be running up my body to grab it out of your hand. They tell us “hold your hand up high with the banana. That gives you a little more time.” If you have food, they are super aggressive, very fast, and once they start grabbing at you, you’d best give it to them whether you’re ready to or not.
Dec 6, 2013
Write down this name….if you’re ever in Seminyak, and looking for a great place to stay, be sure to check out the Lakshmi Villas. This recommendation came from our neighbor in Maui who comes here for business often. Twenty taxi drivers at the airport had no idea of where this place was, and our driver had to call to verify the location once we got in the neighborhood. It got us a bit worried about where we had booked and what had we gotten ourselves into. It’s very small complex, only 4 villas in total…3 have two bedrooms each, and one villa has one bedroom, which is where we are staying. Once you open your gate, you’re in your very own living space with it’s own private pool. The kitchen, living room, and bathroom are all indoor/outdoor living with roofs, but no walls, wrapped in lush tropical foliage surrounding on all sides. It’s tempting to never venture out of this place, especially at $250 a night! So lovely!!! Come through your front door to enter your suite… Complete with private pool
The bedroom is all enclosed and air conditioned.
We’re going to enjoy our stay here!!
Love, Chuck & Monie
Dec 4, 2013
We’re on the road again, sharing our adventure with our friends and family.
We left at 1.30pm and arrived 47 hours later, including the 16 hour time change (we lost 2 days!!) in transit from San Francisco>Hong Kong>Singapore> Bali, Indonesia. Wow, this was a long travel day!
It was 56 degrees when we left SF, and it is 87° here and very hot, sticky, and humid with dense, heavy, thick air, and this is their winter! There are basically only two seasons in Bali…hot, and hotter. Whew!
Just a word about the Singapore airport…has to be one of the most beautiful airports in the world…modern, super clean, lots of glass, with waterfalls, kinetic sculptures, and all decked out right now, for Christmas. There is so much shopping, you’d think you were in a very high end shopping mall.
Just for fun, I went into a Gucci store. A tote bag trimmed in braided pink leather trim and tassels immediately caught my eye. I asked the price and the sales lady said “it’s one-seventy-five.” I’m thinking to myself, “well that certainly affordable…maybe I’ll buy it on the way home.” After looking around a bit, I repeated to her again a few minutes later, “It’s one-seventy-five?” to confirm, and she said, “Yes, that’s $1,750.” Yikes! I’m not typically a Gucci girl, but I have to say, that handbag was pretty darn cute. I’m happy to stick with my Lesportsac backpack…lots of willpower to walk away.
Heading to the hotel to check in. More once we get settled. We’re tired, but happy to almost be there.