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Bali Part 1

March 12, 2010

I’ve been back for awhile but am just getting around to posting due to lack of internet and momentum. I’m dividing the post into two parts since Matt arranged two hotels on opposite sides of the island during our ten day stay.

After a long but uneventful flight, Matt and I arrived in Bali to spend the first five days in an all inclusive resort in Nusa Dua, the southern tip of the island. The temperature itself wasn’t all that high but the humidity was a bit more than overwhelming. Getting to the resort revealed an overcrowded traffic system exacerbated by the fact that the scooters that occupied most of the roads had anywhere from one to five passengers (the extra passengers usually being children and babies).

Also, they drive on the left here

 Now, one would think that being covered in tiny lizards, geckos and a an especially frisky praying mantis would preclude a hotel from being relaxing, beautiful, pleasant but no. The hotel was all that we could ask for and more. 

What do Indonesian people think of Maryland I wonder..

Our first night, we went to a buffet restaurant and encountered a strange dish whose name suggested familiarity despite its bizarre ingredients. Perhaps I’ve been culinary ignorant all these years, but what on earth is Chicken Maryland?  I’m from Maryland and, while we Marylanders love chicken, I don’t think that any Maryland kitchen is known for a fried breadedchicken breast topped with bacon and, wait for it……a banana. So I looked into this a bit wikipedia style – turns out that fried chicken and gravy are a part of the traditional Chicken Maryland dish but as you get further away geographically from the state more unusual ingrediants are added to the dish such as hush puppies, peas, and bananas. Ok, fine whatever. I ate around the banana and it was pretty tasty.

After dinner, Matt and I went to a cabaret show that for some reason involved a Balinese reenactment of Madonna’s Frozen music video and oiled up dancers in over-coordinated cowhide costumes. I even recall a dance lesson that involved entire families, older couples and …myself. It was fun.

Oh Tanah Lot

The next couple of days we spent relxaing and going on some mini adventures while getting sunburned. We went to the touristy, shopping mecca Kuta which was noisy and somehow hotter than Nusa Dua. We were offered everything from tattoos to flip flops to drugs to dolphin tours. No, thanks. We then went to Tanah Lot, a fairly large temple on a remote-ish beach to explore the area near the ocean while watching the sunset. Being a bit obsessed with marine life, I had a fabulous time watching the small fish, crabs, shell fish and unidentified animals scurrying about the rocky, black sand beach…which turnedout to also be on a bat cave.

Now, I’m not one of the people who freak out over bats but that’s probably because where I’m from in the US has small bats. Were I to have grown up in Bali however, I would indeed fear bats. Balinese bats are not espcially large but they do tend to get rather close to eat the insects hovering by tourists’ faces.

Eventually we left and our taxi plunged into traffic-laden darkness on windy, dirt roads to get us home.  I did find myself silently cursing the lack of traffic lights but a clear view of the night sky was well worth it.

I can’t remember the day but at some point we did Karaoke with a German and Slovenian family…where we beat them SAVAGELY. We were later challenged by the German family to a couple games of pool that turned out 2-2 but we all know who really won… 😉

At another point, Matt and I tried windsurfing which after about 100 falls, 7 or so bruises and a couple head injuries, turned out to be pretty cool.

The End for now. Part 2 will come soon enough.

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