Tag Archives: Bali

Back in Paris—-for now

Oui, I am back in Paris and happy to be out of an economy seat on a crowded airplane.  Bali was easier from Paris than it would be from Houston, but it was still an hour to Amsterdam, (wait around), 12 hours to Singapore (wait around) and 2 hours to Bali (stumble through a crowded airport, stand in line to pay to enter, stand in line to show passport, follow hotel guy a half mile through throngs of people to waiting car, take a deep breath and smile).  The saving grace was that both ways we flew at night, which made sleeping a tad easier.  But it was still an endurance contest that I was happy to survive.

As I indicated in my posts from there, I didn’t exactly cover a lot of the island, or see many any cultural sites.  I chose to enjoy the beach and my books and chillin’ with my loved ones.  But I did get some sweet pictures and make a few observations to share with you.

I was surprised by the swarms of motorcycles in Bali.  None of them were as large as the behemoths that are all over Paris, but they were bigger than Vespas.  They would ride three deep on the narrow shoulders of the roads, and of course would also drive in between the lanes of cars and up on the sidewalks when necessary.  There appeared to be a helmet requirement, but no minimum age for the passengers.  I saw babies on those motorbikes that would still be facing backwards in their car seats at home.  We also saw people carrying all sorts of things on their bikes, including a tall ladder.  The pollution and traffic were really bad, which was another impediment to our leaving the resort (beyond our own laziness).  We noticed that no one was walking or riding bikes, and that was probably because the motorcycles occupied every bit of space on the sides of the roads.

We loved the food and the local beer, but I cannot recommend the red wine served at restaurants on the island.  Stick with the foo foo drinks and the beer.  We ate a lot of sea food and delicious rice and noodle dishes.  It was such a nice change to be able to enjoy food with some spice!

It was interesting to be one of  only a few Americans at a vacation resort.  There were many Australians, Russians, and Asians, and a few English and French.  I visited with a woman from Melbourne who said that they go to Bali frequently for vacation, as it is affordable and only 6 hours from Melbourne, which is in the southern part of Australia.  I guess Bali is for them what Mexico is for us Texans.

Here is a slide show for your viewing enjoyment.  I’m sorry I am not technologically savvy enough to have “Bali Ha’i” piped in as you watch it, but feel free to hum it as you watch.  You know how the song goes.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

More crazy travel to follow, but nothing as exotic as Bali.  Stay tuned for more details.

7 Comments

Filed under travel

Bali Calling

Yes, it’s me again, your Bali correspondent.  I was so hoping to share amazing pictures of a volcano and a market and a temple, but alas, I cannot do so.  Why not, you ask?  Because we haven’t seen any of that stuff yet.  For yet another day, we did not leave this spot.

I know it is a bad reflection on us and shows a total lack of cultural curiosity, but so far all we have done is read and sleep and play in the surf.  As of this afternoon, my daughter  has read Bossypants and half of The Spellman Files.  I have read Wild (a memoir of a woman who tackles the Pacific Crest Trail with boots that are too small and a pack that is too big) and most of my daughter’s copy of Bossypants (Tina Fey’s hilarious story of her successful career on NBC. I am so thankful that Mlle Cordon-Bleu turned me onto Thirty Rock before I read it.)  Even my husband has gotten into the reading thing.  So far, my Bali trip can serve as the platform for several book reviews but no real source of information about this lovely island.  I’m so sorry to be disappointing you.  Here is what I’ve got.

How can you really expect me to leave my beach bed when they bring me things like this?

I can report that the Balinese people I have met have been ever so nice, and more earnest than any people I can remember meeting.  It’s like they really CARE how your dinner was, or your beer, or whatever.  This guy works in the lobby bar at our hotel, and he is very interested in learning “our language”.  By “our language” he means French (but he calls it “France’s”) , because we told him we are living in Paris.  He asked us how to say several things (all of them pretty basic, thank God) and he actually wrote them down for future reference.  If he only knew how funny that was to us for so many reasons.

So I can’t tell you much about Bali as a culture or an island, but I can tell you that the beach here at my hotel is lovely, the water is warm, the drinks are cool, and the waiters are precious.

Check back tomorrow or the next day for more deep insights into this island called Bali.

10 Comments

Filed under travel

Eat,Pray, LOVE

I am going on vacation Friday.  You must watch this video to see whither I goest.  Or you can read the video title and flatly refuse.  It’s totally up to you.

Why do I suspect that some of you didn’t watch the entire video?  Yes, we fly 17 hours to Bali for a week of sun and humidity.  Some have  asked why we would endure such a horrendous flight when we have all of Europe at our doorstep.  The answer is that our daughter is already in Bali with her school’s Habitat For Humanity, so we are meeting her for the second week of her Spring Break.  I know.  I can’t BALIve it, myself.  Whose life am I living, anyway?  Too late- you can’t have it back.  At least until things hit the fan, which could happen at any moment, as we all know.

I will try to send a special edition of Mais Oui Bali, but am not sure what the internet will be like, so you will just have to sit patiently by your computers and wait and see.  At least you can hum Bali Ha’i to yourself while you sit there, because you know that song is going to be stuck in  your head for at least that long.  You’re welcome.

This is me in Bali.  I mean, this is Julia Roberts in Bali in Eat, Pray, Love.  I get us confused a lot.

This is me in Bali. I mean, this is Julia Roberts in Bali in Eat, Pray, Love. I get us confused a lot.

PS- And let me just get it out there right now that I loved Eat, Pray, Love- both the book and the movie.  I know- I hear the choruses of groaning and gasps of disbelief, but I refuse to be shamed by any of you for it, so don’t even try!

13 Comments

Filed under travel, Uncategorized