Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Bali ~ some thoughts







I took it all in. I tried to understand their culture. And after five days, I was still pretty blank.
These are just some random journalled thoughts...

~~~

Just after dusk, touching down in Bali.
First glimpse is lights twinkling over the ocean.
Incredibly blessed, and thankful for a safe flight.
We disembark on the tarmac. It is humid, sticky. I can literally see the moisture in the air, thick around the spotlights shining onto the runway.
My toes in my sandals are almost immediately wet and slippery.
We are jostled along and jammed into busses which take us to the airport entry.
We pay US$25  for a visa, and go through customs.
I've seen too many movies, and news reports for this to be a remotely relaxing experience!
Praying no-one has planted drugs in my suitcase!
Of course we are free to go, and our group splits up into two taxis ('Taksi!') to take us to the hotel. I'm thankful there are seasoned Bali holidayers among us - I don't have to barter, or think. I just go with the flow, and take in this place I have heard all about for so long.
Now, to experience it for myself!

~~~

I have mixed thoughts. Bali.
It is definitely third world.
But everything is catered, geared and decked out for westerners that sometimes, I truly could be anywhere. Most of the Balinese we came across could speak a degree of English, so there are no major language barriers to cross. We joke with our cabbies and the people who serve us in our hotel, restaurants, bars and spas. They love an Aussie.
For the most part, they are friendly, hospitable, gracious and easy.
One bad experience however, will keep me forever wary; bartering a good price for three little dresses in Seminyak saw a Balinese man turn ugly, pushy, aggressive and plain frightening. Thankful for taxis everywhere to escape into - in tears! Also thankful for my big strong husband!
But, just like the brochures, the beaches are beautiful (although I am bias, I think WA has the most amazing coastline), the company was fun, and I won't forget cruising along in the chaotic traffic on the back of a scooter in a hurry! It was all a good holiday was cracked up to be...

~~~

Bali, you are so stark in contrast, so black yet so white.
You sport clubs that play our music, restaurants that serve western food, and big shopping malls just like we have - every comfort for the holidaying westerner.
Yet your women, begging whilst holding sleeping babies tug at my heart.
Hearing young women offered up for money breaks it.
Under the happy, light, modern experience lies great poverty, great need and spiritual stronghold.
Seedy in your dark corners, you are entrenched in a wayward culture that your westernised exterior and tropical island paradise facade can't hide.
I can't turn a blind eye, but cannot change a nation by offering one beggar food.

xx

4 comments:

  1. Oh how I have missed your posts :)

    It's easy to imagine myself there through your words but there really is no place like home.
    Your last paragraph gave me goose bumps!!

    Welcome back :)
    Xx

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  2. Welcome back beautiful!
    I have heard others describe a similar internal conflict after holidaying there. I think that's why I have no desire to holiday there myself... I don't think I could be "at rest" there....

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  3. I have also missed your posts o gorgeous one......!
    Yes - Bali has many highs and lows, but you've penned it perfectly, it needs Jesus.

    Welcome home babe.

    Xx

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  4. Glad your back! We can have a dinner date and speak Bali together.
    x
    p.s and when us four go (next year i hope? or even this year for the weekend oh yesyesyes!) we should stay were me and Jake did. Super posh area .
    p.p.s not that i'm saying to turn a blind eye to the poverty,but it is a holiday and it was just the best hotel EVER.

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I love that you visited, and love LOVE that you took time to say hello!