I went to Bali, Indonesia for five days with a personal charter service to get around the area.
The Balinese guide spoke very little English, but his Japanese was top-notch. The driver was Balinese as well but he never said anything. This was a two day service that we paid for, useful for up to 12 hours per day. Well worth the money.
Here are some things that I found interesting:
- The street vendors are desperate for your money. They put their arm around you and call you buddy, boss, pal, amigo
- You see families of three riding on scooters, e.g., husband in front, wife in the back, and newborn in the middle. There is heavy bike traffic in Bali. The scooter bikes outnumber cars at least 10:1. The way people drove had me anticipating an accident, but luckily I didn’t see any, even when scooters took 90 degree turns at 60 km/h.
- The locals are laid back and spend a lot of time just sitting around outside on the streets and on the steps in front of buildings. It’s just like back home! I liked this. In Japan, things are so busy and nobody has anytime.
- The women have dark and natural skin (no makeup). Their eyes are warm and happy. They have slim bodies and dress casually.
- There are temples and stone sculptures everywhere. If you’re interested in sightseeing ruins, Bali is great. The beaches are beautiful but crowded with Australians. That’s not a bad thing, but it was quite surprising for me.
- Everything is cheap. This was amplified by the fact that I was coming from Japan. Japan is the type of place where people pay $6 for a cup of coffee, where watermelon is $40. In Bali, you can get a fresh coconut filled with different kinds of natural fruit juice for $1.
- Wild monkeys steal stuff from people’s bags in the parks. Perhaps they were trained to do so.
- My hotel was 30 seconds from the terrorist attack site of 2002-10-12 which over 90 Australians and 100 locals were killed. The monument here, like most monuments, draws loiterers. It’s a great place to sit down and chat because it’s next to a busy street with lots of people passing by and things to see.