Friday, September 1st, 2017

In Seattle, I loved walking to coffee shops to write. In Bali, I walk to pools or beaches. A $1.50 cup of coffee is admission to their pool. Here is my setting today.

Yesterday, I hopped in the car with Paul and Stacey to head to the South end of the Island. Our first stop was Immigrations to begin the process of extending my Visa. It’s strange going from days full of beaches, pools, and scooter rides, to standing in a government building with a bunch of other foreigners waiting for their numbers to be called. It’s the kind of place where even though I was doing nothing wrong, I felt like a government official was going to walk up to me and say, “You can’t be here anymore! We are deporting you!” Thankfully, I wasn’t deported. I completed the first step of extending my Visa and we were back on the road.

We made a few stops along the way and it allowed me to see a new side of Bali. I hadn’t been to the other large, touristy cities yet, other than Ubud. Amed is like the Edmonds waterfront and these cities we visited were like downtown Seattle. I was blown away by all the scooters. There are more scooters on the road than there are cars or pedestrians.

I love watching them all ride. They all move around each other with such ease and no one gets angry. Road rage just doesn’t exist here. They get so close to each other and even if someone cuts another person off, they just keep riding. I’ve never seen anyone shout or give a look of anger. They all just flow. When we’re stuck in traffic, it just is what it is. In America, I’d be frustrated along with everyone beside me and we’d all fight to not let anyone get in front of us. Here, they’re calm and sort of have this odd working-together mentality.

There really isn’t a speed limit here, either. 80 mph was relatively normal on the highway. And if anyone was going really slow, riders and drivers just wait until they can pass. No annoyance or shouting, “Uuuuugh! Hurry up!” It’s been a strange, but wonderful difference.

Along the way, we stopped at the place to stop for one of the Balinese’s favorite meals: Babi Guling. Eating it felt like a Balinese Rite of Passage.

Best part? You ditch the fork and spoon and EAT WITH YOUR HANDS. Hell yes. It was delicious (enak) and a little over $2 (adding it to my “Things Cheaper Than a Starbucks Tall White Mocha”).

Then the highlight of the day. Pura Tanah Lot.

This temple is one of the most famous and sacred temples on Bali. Tanah Lot means “Land in the Sea” and it sits on top of a huge rock formation that’s been shaped over the years by the ocean tide. Karma was on our side – we happened to visit the temple during low tide, so we could actually walk to it.

At the base, there is a cave you can walk up to and get blessed. I gave them my donation and was sprinkled with holy water, had rice placed on my forehead, and was adorned with a plumeria. The rice is supposed to bring out the positive energy within you. I’d say it worked… Thank you to Paul for capturing a very special moment for me!

Such an amazing experience.

Then to top off the epic road trip, we had dinner at Paul and Stacey’s favorite Mexican restaurant (they heard I was missing Mexican food). For a moment, I forgot I was in Bali! Incredible burrito with a coconut pineapple margarita…all for about $11. Happiness.

Oh, and the latest item on my “Things Cheaper Than a Starbucks White Mocha” list is this beautiful beaded wallet. $2.

Alright, time to go jump in the pool!


  1. Oh Mo! What an incredible experience you are having. I am so enjoying reading your posts, and I have to admit, a teensy bit jealous. Enjoy every single second! Elaine and Michael.


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