Bali, a place to be! Home of surfers, backpackers, yogis and also people looking for a luxurious holiday for a cheap price. Besides all of its crowdedness, still worth to visit! To not to be a typical tourist, I tried it in a local way .)
If you come to Bali, you ‘re probably going to stay in hotel or hostel. Of course, hostels are great, you stay for a cheap price, meet other travelers and you ‘ll go explore the foreign together. I love hostels, they ‘re so much fun but they won’t show you the real life of the locals. When I was backpacking other countries, I stayed in hostels, still meeting locals and spending lots of time with them. I thought, wow, I learned so much about these people but comparing to this experience, it was so not enough! This time, in Indonesia I stayed living with two Indonesian guys, directly in their house, following their way of living and eventually realizing how much do the hotels and hostels keep you in your own bubble. If I stayed in a hostel, I would never notice things like these ones:
Their house is an experience itself. People living in very simple conditions and still living a cool, and happy life. If you come from the luxury of home, from the house with a big modern kitchen, two showers with hot water, FullHD TVs, big windows with lots of light in the rooms, air conditioning, heating, etc…. from the common modern house, you may encounter yourself in a little shock. Haha. Just like me. I have to admit, when I arrived here, I wasn’t feeling like the happiest person in the world. I wasn’t expecting any luxury of course. But this, from the first impression, was just disappointing. The house was small, super dark, old and extremely simple. House with no kitchen, no air conditioning, and no shower. I thought I was crazy that I traveled so far to live like this. The weirdest thing though was the shower.
After my long travel to Indonesia, I needed some serious shower. This was the thing I was looking forward the most that time. When I entered the only bathroom that was in the house, I couldn’t find any. I asked my host: “Bram, so, where do I like, ehm, shower?” He started to laugh and took me to the bathroom. He said: “Here”. I was looking once again at the same bathroom that I just entered a minute ago. I saw a Turkish toilet, a big bucket and something like a little well right next to it. But still, no shower! After he saw my creepy look he had a big laugh again ( that s how Indonesians treat European dummies like me). Finally, he showed me how it worked.
Apparently, all you have to do is just put the water from that little well to the bucket and then only pour it all on yourself. They had only cold water of course. First time I tried it, I couldn’t stop laughing. It felt so cold and weird to do something like this. However, few days passed, and I’m in love with this shower. It so refreshing, you pour the water in your own pace, and you waste much less water than in the regular one (with no flood afterward). Plus, it’s so simple, nothing can break or go wrong. After all, I really loved the luxury of the simplicity in this house. It was juust soo dirtylicious!
I guess there is no Indonesian in Bali that wouldn’t own a scooter. The scooter traffic in all Bali is just crazy. Everybody mixing trough each other and passing the roads as they like. In addition to this, with no pavement for the pedestrians (especially in Canggu). Almost every time I was walking on the road I thought a scooter would run over me. Fortunately, it didn’t. Well, obviously, the scooters are just the most practical and cheapest option. That’s why after a while spent here, I decided to ride it too. (which wasn’t the best decision haha)
Obviously, the one thing for what Bali and especially Canggu (where I stay) is known for is surfing. Besides all the travelers that come to Bali to surf, you can find heaps of Indonesians enjoying riding the waves on their surfboards too. Just like my host. On the left, you can see tons of his surfboards. Although, the wooden one is mine!
I reckon it’s in all Asia that everybody eats outside. Good quality local food, a big dish for lunch will cost you only around 10000 IDR (0,66e). Obviously cooking the food home would cost you even more here than getting it outside. The only bad thing about Indonesian local food is that it is not very healthy (as most of it is fried and with no fresh veggies aside) but you can still balance it with fresh coconut water or fresh fruit smoothies on the beach. Watch out with the beer! I spent the most of my money for the beer as Indonesians pay high taxes for the alcohol. Also, due to Muslims being a part of the population in Bali, sometimes you won’t even find alcohol in supermarkets which was a huge surprise for me. Overall, I looove rice, fruits, coconuts, tofu, seafood so there s no tastier kitchen for me than the Indonesian one.
Although sometimes it seems that in Bali are more tourist than the locals, I still managed to experience it in a very local way and I’m grateful for that.
Thank you for reading, and please if you have any similar experience, don’t hesitate to share! I’ll be happy to read it.
Happy travels! xx