Bali is not what I expected it to be! What an eye-opening adventure. I love traveling out of the country and seeing that there is more to life than the US. Simple things like the Rupia (omg, is this currency confusing too, 100,000 rupia is $10-what the heck!) or Euro and not just the American dollar.
I am humbled by the kindness and generosity of this culture, they are so complimentary and they mean it, they aren’t just looking for your business or money, they want to share their heart with you and they do!! I love having in-depth conversations and I have it with the person making my smoothie or the massage therapist. And by the way, the Balinese massages are like no other, they know just what to do and when to do it. I feel so spoiled. I have met people that have touched my heart and feel like I will cry when I leave, I will miss them. They have offered me a lot, I have learned a lot about life from people I have met here, not only Balinese but Australians and other Europeans, there are not many Americans here so needless to say, I get a lot of attention and sometimes I wonder if that’s good or not. It is emphasized there that love and grace are far more valuable than a fancy house or car or even a good job, that is not emphasized in the US.
Yesterday a driver (no one rents cars here, they are NO DRIVING RULES, and yet hardly any car accidents, go figure that one out, I am still am pondering that one!) The people here love what they do and do it with a smile and energy I have not seen before, I see them doing these jobs that are so manual and tedious and the working conditions are terrible, it’s hot, humid beyond belief and they get no breaks and work 9-10 hours, some get an hour lunch, some don’t. I visited a jewelry store yesterday, it was huge and I had an escort, my immediate thought was “yah, she has to escort me because of the fear of stealing” but my driver told me differently. He said that they just want to serve you, she held my purse, my water, and the basket so I could see all the jewelry I wanted, she even took the jewelry on and off and walked me out to find the driver and expected no tip, who does that??
I went to a traditional restaurant where the food was amazing, you sit on fancy pillows on the ground and the views were amazing!
I then went to a coffee plantation, you know me and my coffee, they had amazing views and I learned how they made coffee, so labor-intensive! This darling man showed me a coffee that is super special but no one on the island can afford it, it was $60 per bag and the bag was 10 cups. He told me that he lives with 7 people and that he makes $10 per day and has to support them, he also works in the rice fields to make extra money. They have no medical insurance here so when people get sick, they have to pay cash and most don’t have it so they don’t get treated. I observed that many look older than their age, they don’t use sunscreen and work very hard so it is taxing on them. Ugh. I also met this darling hostess at the restaurant, she makes $5 per day and has to help her family with that, none of that money is for her. She is 19 and wants to go to the University but barely anyone here goes, no one can afford it, in fact, no one even knew how much it is as its just not an option for them here. There are no loans and most don’t have a credit card. This young girl never touched a computer and she may come to my hotel one day so I can teach her.
I love Bali.
The food is out of this world, the views and scenery blow Hawaii and other tropical places I have been to.
I really don’t want to leave, but I have another week and I will come back here. That’s for sure!