A surreal sunset

Trip Start Jan 12, 2013
Trip End Feb 27, 2013

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Where I stayed
Guess House Hostel Seminyak
Read my review - 4/5 stars

Flag of Indonesia  , Bali,
Friday, February 15, 2013

This is a completely different world here in Bali compared to Cambodia and Laos. Major development. Extremely Western. English is spoken everywhere, and spoken well. I guess that's what happens when your island becomes a top destination for much of the rest of the world.
I started on my mission this morning trying to glean information---where to eat, where to buy flip-flops, what to do, where to go... I met Emilio from Seville, Spain and he gave me great advice. Luckily, my hostel is right across the street from a favorite local eatery, buffet baby!! He also gave me the low down on taxis and motorbikes. We set up to meet at 6pm to go to this point on the island for the sunset and see where he rents the motorbike.
At lunch, I invited myself to a table of international looking folks. One was an expat from Australia, living in Bali on early retirement for the last two years. The other was a gal from Russia and the last girl was Indonesian. Perfect, perfect perfect! They were going to be vast information wells! The Indonesian gal invited me to come see her DJ tonight at a nearby bar. Sure! At the end of lunch, the Indonesian girl stood up and extended her hand, saying, "I'm Jasmine". I said, "Well, that's cool cause I'm Jasmine!" Very funny! Everybody cracked up. She recommended getting an international motorcycle license because they are required here and the bikes are supposed to have insurance with them---see, I told you, much more developed than the previous countries I've been in (but not so developed that if you don't have your license you don't simply pay off the corrupt police officers)! She said I should go to the big police station about 30 min walk from here and say I lost my international license and they will 're-issue' me one for 10,000 rupiah, which is about a dollar. Okie, dokey.
Took a short nap after my exhausting lunch. And then me and another new friend in my dorm room, Louisa from Germany, attempted to find the beach. We succeeded and it was lovely, but I had to get back for my motorbike ride.
However, best laid plans go to hell when a downpour hits! My goodness, I have forgotten a good rain, on the back of a motorcycle, in the dark, on narraw, winding Balinese streets feels like. Good times. Thank goodness Emilio is used to riding motorcycles because I don't think my skills could have brought us through that.  The sunset was amazing, however. I think the prettiest one I've seen thanks to the banks of phenomenol clouds diffusing the light. Plus, I think I have enjoyed leaving dust behind in Cambodia and Laos. Puttering through the streets that have been converted to toursits domains, you can still see the tradition of Bali. Elaborate temples in the family compounds, beautiful carvings, and fields of rice paddies practically glowing nuclear green. So lush..tropical even...shocking I know.  No matter what happens after this, I am just happy that I made my practically lifelong dream of going to Bali come to fruition.  Seeing that sunset tonight just brought it all home for me.   
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My Review Of The Place I Stayed

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