The most common thing I've heard up landing in Bali is, "Are you Japanese?" I guess I look Japanese? It's funny because before I left I had a conversation with my grandpa about how everyone in Korea thought I was Japanese and would say "Konichiwa" or American and simply say "Hello." Very few times did anyone ever say "ahnyounghaseyo." Well for those who don't know...Soy un platano loco! Just kidding I'm an American born to Korean immigrant parents from South Korea and Argentina, but that's another story.
We got here on Thursday the 16th of April after completing 33 hours of traveling. To say the least that was the longest I've ever spent consecutively in the air. Talk about having a sore butt. The flight from Singapore to Denpasar was actually really smooth and Garuda Airlines is now one of my favorite! All non-American airline companies are just way better in service than anything I've ever experienced flying American airline companies. Step your game up Murica'!
Landing in the Ngurah Rai International Airport and seeing Bali up close was very cool. The entrance to airport greets you with the traditional Balinese Gates that were painted orange brick pastel or maybe that's just color of their mud. By the entrance our driver was waiting to pick us up. We were lucky enough to have a driver arranged for us by Robin's childhood friend who lives in Bali. By the pick up area waits these "luggage handlers" that will grab your bag and carry it for you to your driver's car or taxi for a fee of course after the fact.. Luckily for me I had read beforehand and knew just to carry my own bags even though the handler tried to grab my bag. Unfortunately for Robin she didn't realize this until I had already done it.
Our driver, Ketut - the same name as the medicine man in Eat Pray Love, took us to meet Robin's childhood friend, Ingela, in Sanur. So for the first time in over 20 years Robin and Ingela would be seeing each other since they were kids in Sweden. Ingela, currently works as a Norwegian college adventure coordinator and a yoga instructor here in Bali. Soon she'll be starting her own adventure company with her local Balinese guide she met 16 years ago. After a little catching up with Ingela, Robin and I headed to our Villa in Ubud called Santra Putra Guest House.
The villa that we are currently staying at is absolutely incredible. All for about $30US. As a photographer I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.
So far we've done a little exploring around the area and ran into a lot of cool sights by chance. However, I tend to wander about myself and on one of my walks I saw an amazing rice field that just rolls into the hills. It was simply beautiful. Honestly rice fields in itself are nothing special, but the way they transform the hillsides and make it so green is what makes it incredible. I'm sure there will be more of that, as I do have a lot of time here still.
There is a Yoga studio here called Intuitive Flow which has an upstairs studio that gives an amazing panoramic view of the hills. We met up Ingela there our second day for her class and afterwards met up another one of Ingela's Swedish friends living here. I'm surrounded by Swedish women speaking Swedish and feel completely lost in translation. Later that evening we went to a "dance party" at a the more popular Yoga studio here in Bali, The Yoga Barn. Now I'm a bboy and I know how to dance, so I was a little excited to get down. When we get there all I see are a bunch of Aussies and "free spirits" doing their "dance." There's a video on YouTube about the Russian hippie dancers in the woods. Well that was it. It was definitely something I can check off my list of things I've done, but something I probably won't do again.
So far these couple days here have been incredible. The food is amazing! Everything is so dam cheap! It's great to be Murican' because our currency is strong over here. Scooters are everywhere and I actually rented one, yay! Super fun to ride around and such a great and easy way to explore the island. Oh, and the coconut water back home in the states is absolute garbage!!!! Here a fresh coconut is $0.80 and it's the most refreshing thing I've had. Screw that overpriced packaged crap back home. Those dam marketers screwing us over for $4.00 10oz packages of old coconut water. Well I'm here now writing this in a beautiful called Clear next to a temple. I'll leave you with some pictures so far.