Bali – March 2013 – Part 1

Abundance is the word that comes to me when I think of Bali now
Abundance of smiles
Abundance of time
Abundance of good hearts

It is hot and sticky,  it is humid and there is abundance of people, cars and traffic

We are staying in the wood carving village of Mas
Gusde and his wife Putri as well as Gusde’s right hand Wayan, they are all great people

The family compound also include Gusde’s mother and father, as well as 2 of their children

Rich culture, Rich creativity, everywhere you look in Bali

Bali, one of the islands of the 17,000 islands! that constitute Indonesia

Day 1-2 (March 16th- March 18th)

5:00am Hawaii
Wake up and give the house the last cleaning touches for Sarah and Lawrence.
Lisa comes to pick us up
She is full of joy and smiles,
Nicole appears with a spray bottle full of “germ fighting goodness” and a beauty-full card with a humpback whale.

She can barely make it up the stairs, still on her pj’s still but she is full of love and goodness herself.

Sarah and Lawrence are just perfectly sweet and caring.
We leave our house and kitties in good hands.

Driving to Hilo
Where is the file with the air tickets?Can’t remember if I put it  in my suitcase…
I panic and breath…I keep thinking… what else was in the file?
I said “Stop, Stop!! I need to find the file! The passports are in there! …

Lisa jumped out of of car, I followed, Daniel followed….
Lisa opened the trunk and proceed to open the suitcase in a rush!
She didn’t know what the file looks like but she was determined!

I reached my Computer bag … I peaked … It was there! The file, the passport….!  Ahhh…. What a release! We all laugh… I’m greeted with compassion as Lisa says “ I’ve been there,, I understand”

9:30am We board the flight. Less than an hour later we are in Honolulu

Next flight will be 10.5 hours in duration to South Korea! We are surrounded by Koreans.

People wearing respiratory protective masks and I wondered…what are they protecting themselves from ?

I would be a great topic for a documentary…
is it a cultural thing?
Or are they taught to hide their emotions? Their voice?
Their voice-throat chakra ? is it religious? are they paranoid about germs?
Or are they sick and want to protect others?

Humm… great material I think,

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The airplane is huge. We watch a movie “The life of Pi” ,
entertaining enough not to focus on the turbulence!.

I get up to ask for water. Immediately I had two flight attendants almost pinned me down  to my seat! Their Korean Accent saying  “Turbulence – Seat” –

I say “Uh???

they repeat themselves as I, with a confused expression say
“ I just want water”
She takes my empty bottles from my hands and ask “Trash”?
I respond: NO, I just want WATER!

She rushes and got what I needed while she insisted I need to stay seated..
Oh my..

The energy is a little like a modern, tasteful concentration camp. They dressed with an uniform that seems like is made of white leather or suede , they use a scarf that looks like it was soaked in starch and ironed so well that it would crack and break like a crunchy cracker!

There are tons of flight attendants ! Like hard workers ants!

I finally get up and stretched… my ass hurts!

It’s been 5.5 hours and I’m starting to feel pain and discomfort…

I brought my salad but I forgot my dressings!
Not the first time it happens … what’s up with that?
I beat up myself for that until I can’t take it any longer.

Then I forgive myself and enjoy the natural taste of Mustard greens, Chard, lettuces, Kale, Artichokes and Oilves… All is well and in divine order !
I’m just too hard on myself and I’m learning to hear these internal dialogues now… AND I catch them, digest them and dispose them faster than ever before! Yes!

All is well

I  spray Nicole’s magic spray now and then and remember to breath, stretch and embrace this moment as impermanent  as it is.

11 hours later

At Incheon International Airport in South Korea.

From the airplane window you can see the mountains hiding in the fog.
Beautiful scenery if it wasn’t for the incredibly develop skirts of the mountains.

It is grey and brown, no colors.

It is about 6pm, 40 degreed Fahrenheit, no snow.

The airport is big with as many fluorescent lights I’ve ever seen! Bright, super bright.

The most expensive brands are sold here in the Duty Free Chanel,Tiffany. Huge windows and there are so many people buying things!

Only one place to eat and the food looks like plastic.We opted for the only other option: Smoothies with “banana flavor”. Ha!

I rested my head on Daniel’s lap and vanished in a 20 min nap.

Next flight was a little empty so we were able to take 2 sits each ..YEs!We lay horizontally and sleep for 6 hours straight.

I had decided to opt for vegetarian dishes when I bought the tickets, knowing I didn’t want to eat meat in places like Korea.The vegetarian dishes were more like food for diabetics in a hospital: no salt, no seasoning….I guess better than eating meat…

—–

For Breakfast: Pizza!
It was funny. We were so confused when they gave us this container that looked like a toothpaste !

The flight attendant kept saying: Pizza!
and we didn’t know if she was joking or something…

We had a bite only. We need some real food.

We arrived to Bali at 2:20am.

Caleb, Daniel’s friend has sent a driver to pick us up. His name was Wayan! There are many Wayans in Bali. Traditionally, the first son of a normal family here is Bali is always named “Wayan”

He took us to Mas Village where we were going to stay.
I thought I could access my email from anywhere in Bali to get the directions from my email but that wasn’t the case. I didn’t even have the B&B’s phone number !
and even worst, I realized that we booked for March 18th, and today was March 18th  but it was 3am ! the check in time for the 18th was 2pm!

We went around Ubud trying to find a place with Free Wifi that I could get close enough to get signal and get my emails…

Nothing worked.

Finally, we called Caleb at 4am and asked him to access my Airbnb account  to get the phone number. Wayan went to a store and bought some credit on his phone so that we could make the phone calls. I was humbled and feeling so disappointed at myself for not getting this worked out from the beginning. Daniel was so lay back, no judgements, sweet and loving.We finally called the B&B, found the place and were lucky enough they didn’t have guest the night before!

They welcomed us at 4:30am with Orange juice and a smile.
The place is ok. It is dark now so I go to bed.
We took a shower, turn the air conditioning off to hear the crickets,
snuggle up, love each other up and slept for a couple of hours.

As I write I’m sitting out in the small lanai.
There are so many birds! So many!
I can see a few of them playing on the sugar cane 5 feet away from me collecting little parts of the dry leaves for their nests.It seems as if they are just cleaning up the debris, the dead leaves from the sugar cane. They are small and no so fearful. They hang out pretty close.

The crickets and the rooster don’t stop singing.

It is a glorious morning.

The rice paddies are teeming with life and I can see a Bread Fruit tree across the field as well as dozens of coconuts palms.

I’m hungry still and tired. Waiting a little longer for Dan to wake up. Can’t wait to have a nice meal!

OUR HOME FOR THE NEXT 12 DAYS

The doves sing from their cages. Tiny cages. This is the Balinese way.
The rooster sings a weird song. The cage is smaller than him.
He can’t stretch…It breaks my heart but I respect their ways
The place is beautiful, very traditional house of talented woodcarvers.

Wayan is our driver from the family compound.
He takes to Ubud, to a restaurant Doris recommended: Bali Buda
Great Veggie pizza, smoothies, juices, salads, excellent place Great atmosphere !

We see many things but we buy nothing yet. We’ll have time for that.

Wayan picked us up from Ubud at the end of our journey.
He takes us to get a new phone and a few other things we needed to get set.

On the way,  traffic was very intense.
A cremation ceremony was taken place.

Wayan says “go see it, I’ll catch up with you guys”.
We get out of the car and started walking towards to ritual.
It was going too fast. Kids were running towards it, we started running too.
It was incredible, very colorful, the music was intense… everything was so intense it was a little scary at times. I was so grateful for being there at that moment.

There were some men that looked at me strange and stare. Later on, Gusde explained that normally for the intensity of this kind of ceremony, it is believe that the man carrying the death person is possessed by strong spirits and sometimes they look intense.

—-

Back at home we called 2 massage therapist to come to our place.
We get both a Traditional Balinese Massage at the same time.
When the women arrived I didn’t see a massage table. I only see a bag with massage supplies and a stick! They said, “no massage table when coming to see you, massage table only at the Spa. We do it in the bed”.
I questioned how were they going to do it in bed, both at the same time. They put these beautiful sarongs on top of the bed and we both lay down next to each other and got one of the best massages ever! Really really good.

A wonderful salad from Bali Buddha take out followed.

It’s been a fantastic day. Amazing. Enticing. Magical day.

Last night we went to bed at 9pm, woke up at 4am. Sweet pillow talk with my beloved.

Granola with the best Soy Milk I’ve tasted (Non-GMO from Australia) followed by Black tea & a home made Nasi Goreng (fried rice).

Food here is soooo good! I’m afraid I’ll gain a few pounds..

While having breakfast, Wayan came over and brought a scooter for us to rent. It is so scary to ride scooters here but we are doing it! There are TONS of scooters on the streets, nobody respect transit rules and we have to drive on the left side of the road!. You become so keen, so sharp, there are so many things we have to be aware at the same time…

(March 19th – Day 2)

Riding the scooter here is fun! Yoga class at 10am at Yoga Barn. The place is stunning. Hatha Yoga was really good and challenging. Then, lunch at the LITTLE KAFE, the restaurant inside Yoga Barn. Oh my! The Pumpkin Curry with Red rice and Cucumber Rita! Scrumptious! Seriously! I guess being in Puna is so limited with food… there are no chefs, no good restaurants.. I’m enjoying the feast for sure… I’ll lose those pounds when I get home. Now, we move and eat.

2

MONKEY FOREST IN UBUD

After a while we started feeling really tired. Jet Lag is hitting us. Rode back home, took a shower and lay down for a bit. It is hot and sticky here!

6pm we were at Yoga Barn again for the Bali Spirit Fest opening. They screened a documentary called “Kazume” that was pretty good. After that, Q&A with the director, some Indian food and music.

We left early, even though there was a lot of people. We didn’t feel like we fit there. We had our judgments and stuff..Oh, well, I guess we are humans. Maybe we were just too tired.

Home by 9:30

———

Day 3 – March 19th

Chilling morning…blogging, reading, eating.
Great breakfast, as always.
It is just good being served and giving a rest to my routines back at home.

At night, we rode our motor bike to a Spa in Ubud.

On our way, it started raining. It was a little overwhelming and stressful. When Parking, my pants got tangled in the scooter and I felt down on the ground so hard my wrist was hurting. It was a little frustrating finding the Spa.

Getting directions to places here on the phone is very challenging. 
Most Ubudiands speak a little English but giving directions is something they are not too good at. Doris recommended the Spa: Urung Spa. Not as inexpensive as Doris said, we couldn’t get the therapists that she recommended. I left the place feeling a little disappointed. The massage was done fast, not paying attention to my breath and not a question of what I needed.  It felt rushed.

Hum 😦

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Day 4-5 ( March 20th – March 21st)

We did the Couple’s Dialogue this morning. It was so helpful. Thank God for these tools! There was some stuff to clear and they clear now. We are back to our true selves with more love, understanding and compassion now.

11am took a YIN Yoga at Radiantly Alive with Daniel.
Great studio, great teacher, great class.

We went to the get tickets for a Traditional Balinese Performance that’s happening tonight. I’m so enjoying the smily faces here. It is so delightful. Almost everybody welcomes you with a gorgeous smile.

Kids were practicing their music at the Community Hall

So far we had only not-so-fine experience here in Bali,  I think hilarious:

We parked our scooter in a street like everybody else. No signs that we could read that said otherwise. When leaving, a Parking agent came to us and said, it is 1,000 Rupiahs… that’s like 1 cents. No big deal except that we only have a RP 50,000 ($5) bill. We gave the bill to the guy and got s upset! He asked us “you have no coins?”, we said “No”,

He started cursing in his dialect while walking away to a store to change the bill.  Then he said, I’ll buy water for you. We said, “No, we have water” – he cursed even more! and went back in the store to later come back with a couple of Vitamin C tablets (one for HIM! and one for us…)  and change.  I said, this is not ok! Kinda claiming my truth but also kinda joking… He said “it’s only money”.. it’s ok… 🙂

..this is kind of things that happen only on these countries… It’s funny…just like Venezuela. In fact, Wayan at our B&B said that if we were stopped by a police without a bike license, we just had to give the police $5 and he would let us go…

Funny stuff

——

SOMA RESTAURANT – ONE OF OUR FAVORITES

We needed to be in nature
we decided we take this hike that Wayan recommended in the rice fields.
It was just what we needed…
It was hot and humid, and today is the Equinox so the sun was shinning strong…
It was a peaceful hike, on the jungle and then to the rice paddies. We found a couple of Bali painters, a silver jewelrer and a humble coconut station… tons! and tons! of butterflies, ducks, insects, dragonflies … all helpers of the rice polinization.

It felt good…

NIGHT TIME AT THE PALACE FOR A BALINESE DANCE

Day 6 & 7 ( March 23rd & 24th)

Gusde’s wife introduced me to Taman Hati, a real Balinese place for yoga
The teacher, I Ketut Bandiastra, the forth son of a Balinese priest is just great.
Amazing class for the Spirit, Body and Mind.

My whole body was vibrating after the class., I felt altered in my cells.
His philosophy is that of smiling and realizing self as the Universe, as creators. Blessing the body, mind and spirit. Saying” I love you “ to every thought we have, saying I love to every organ, to all people, to everything.

“I” being God, then LOVE, then YOU which is everything and anything.
Gong bath at the end was the cherry on top!

Later, dentist office with Dan. Wayan drove us to Sukawati Market and we got some sarongs and pants for me and Dan. Bargain is the rule here. 50%. And we did. Sarongs at $2, pants at $4… really good deals.

Dentist was fast and easy. Dan’s teeth are all good except one. We has to get surgery, gum opening, deep cleaning, take away some gum and saw back. All $200. In Hawaii, the same thing was going to be over $2,000 since they wanted to do regeneration of the bone and follow ups.

Wayan took us to Bali Pesto, Gusde’s restaurant, on the way back.
I had Pumpkin Soup and Balinese fetuccini with Chicken and Prawns.

Back at home we watched an excellent documentary called “ Sacred Science”, all about Medicinal Plants in the Amazon, Ayahuasca & San Pedro. Very interesting.

We are sleeping good

We are starting to realized that a lot of the “cooked” food we are eating, including the amazing complimentary breakfasts might have “MSG”
My feet are swollen
We’ll keep observing

Traffic Rules in Bali

  1. On one way streets you can choose the direction you want the traffic to follow, depending on your convenience.
  2. You must honk your horn at least every five minutes
  3. You can park anywhere, any time, no problem
  4. Kids, dogs, families, long poles & material constructions they can all fit together in a scooter.
  5. Do not stick your hand. arm, or knees out, unless you don’t want them anymore.
  6. You do not need to wear helmets, if you don’t want.
  7. Kind and courteous are not qualities to observe when you are driving. Laughing is a must.
  8. You need not to follow any rules and all rules.

Ha!

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LA RUDANA MUSEUM AND ART GALLERY

3 floors of Traditional & Modern Balinese Art / One main gallery / Huge painting that tell a lot the history and evolution of Bali

We spend about 3 hours here. Not too many pictures as it is not completely ok to do so. Beautiful place in the heart of Mas Village.


Today, it feels like the wedding needs to be postponed.  We are going to Council about it. Get our thoughts straight. I had a vision before I came here but we haven’t really seen a beautiful place in nature yet. Rice paddies are nice but you can’t get married in the rice paddies. Is all wet and muddy.

Hummm….(sighs) I just envisioned more nature, more peace. It’s been great and interesting but also very sticky, a lot of smog, very busy…not the ideal place for a peaceful ceremony so far…

I took Dan to Taman Hati for a 5pm Yoga next day.
He LOVED IT too. It was a bit different this time. Same teacher but bigger class,
mostly Balinese people so the class was mostly in Balinese language. It was great anyways.

The Yoga place has a bird that talks. It is not a parrot but a bird and it’s so beautiful!.

Now we are home waiting for Dinner “Bali Buda” delivery. Yum!

Lizard here are huge! They are about 12” long and fat! They don’t come inside.. at least not yet…. We see them at night on the glass window catching bugs… Huge! Oh my gosh!

Daniel plays guitar while I write (smiles, smiles)

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