So I made it to Bali in one piece…I arrived at 11ish at night and was to be picked up by a driver named Ketut. I was pretty excited about this because in the movie Eat Pray Love with Julia Roberts, she meets a shaman named Ketut too. Well, Pak (Mr.) Ketut was nowhere to be found, and my cell phone was not co-operating. I went to the information desk and another driver hassled me, saying he could take me to Gianyar for cheap. I said no no I am waiting for a driver who is picking me up. Paged Pak Ketut from the Informasi Desk. 30 minutes….still no Ketut. Shit.
The other driver noticed the concern on my face, and was joking, saying that my driver was not going to show up. In the end he was kind enough to use his own cell phone (because the lady at the information desk said she could not make outgoing calls to cell phones- what!?) to get in touch with Ketut. He was like “Yah, so many named Ketut here!”. This guy was actually pretty awesome to have helped me out.
Finally Ketut shows up! Relief. He was adorably short and very smiley, and loved to chat. He kept apologizing for the mix up with where he was supposed to pick me up…I did not care, I made it to Bali. Ketut spoke English well enough for us to understand each other. After chatting up a storm, he turned on his ipod shuffle and played a Rihanna song, among other American pop hits, and started singing his little heart out. I loved it! Made it to my new home, where I walked past a really nice garden in the center of the home (took the picture of it the next day when there was light). It is really beautiful here.
So I started nesting as soon as I got all my stuff into my room. It was about 12:30am, and I did not go to bed until 3am- I was WAY to excited for the next day, to meet my housemates and co-workers, and to start discovering Bali. Woke up to the ridiculously loud rooster crowing outside my window (my window overlooks a rice paddy field). It was 6am when the “alarm” went off, and I couldn’t do anything to turn it off (the roosters). On my street there are several stray dogs roaming around, and of course the roosters, and Indonesian women in rice hats hacking away at rice, while a guy pulls on a string to make clanking noises with cans to scare birds away from the rice crop. Everything is so interesting to look at… stimulus overload!
I woke up one of my Indonesian housemates, hopped on a scooter to head to the villa complex where we would have a nicely prepared breakfast and get to work! The diversity of my new work environment is fantastic, and everyone has been very welcoming. Getting used to pressured water attachments instead of toilet paper. It’s not bad, actually seems cleaner, and better for the environment. No more details needed here.
Sunday went to Kuta/Seminyak area to hit up the beach. Some of my colleagues wanted to go surfing, and I thought about it. Instead, I chose to relax on the beach and drink some Bintang (local Indonesian pilsner). Did a little window shopping in town with two of the European gals, and one of my Indonesian housemates, then went to the W hotel to watch the sunset. Sitting on over sized bean bag chairs at this gorgeous resort, staring at beach and Seminyak waves as the sun went down.
There are too many mini stories to share: Getting lost at the beach, Driving a Scooter for the first time in Bali and getting a flat tire, stomach problems, having a temporary stray 3-4 week old kitten, getting my ass kicked in crossfit, taking a 30 minute run through a field of rice, buying Korean body wash at a local side street store, searching for insulin from one pharmacy to another (where you don’t need a prescription to purchase), going to a traditional Indonesian wedding, eating sushi from a rotating belt, working through language barriers, huge kick ass stone sculptures, the giant canal lizzards that basically look like small alligators, swimming in the ocean whenever I want, the little colorful Hindu offerings with incense everywhere, the surrounding tropical plants/flowers…this is paradise!