Bali does Florida

Trip Start Jul 05, 2008
Trip End Aug 30, 2008

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Flag of Indonesia  ,
Friday, July 18, 2008

I rented a scooter for about the same price as the bike, so yes I was ripped off.  Anyways, I drove to Uluwatu, a rocky outcrop at the extreme south of Bali.  I forgot my map but muddled my way through.  Very different from Ubud there - rocky, windy, and dry.  Scrub vegetation.  There are several different surf breaks at various points along the cliffs.  When you go down there are tons of surfer shacks clinging to the rocks, and surfers running around like they're at summer camp.  Everyones seems like they're half awake.  The Balinese there all seem to be only half-alive, as though drunk.  The surf was impressive but impossible to film well.  I didn't really like the atmosphere, I guess it's a surfer thing. I got outta there fast, and enjoyed driving around nice quite Uluwatu under sunny clear skies (burn!).

I then went to Kuta beach to see what all the fuss was about.  My, I'm glad I chose to stay in Ubud.  Kuta was very white washed.  It has Starbucks, Pizza Hut, Marks & Spencer, etc etc.  There was hardly anything Balinese about it, I could've been in a beach town anywhere in the world. Loads of big rich hotel resorts and the resulting crowd. Gag.  Will I ever have one of those families? I hope not.  Even the Balinese workers seemed very lacadaisical, not at all like the friendly sweet people here in Ubud.  The surf was great and the beach was huge... but given the atmosphere you'd enjoy it most if you were 20 years old, and going out of the country for the first time.  It was too safe and too Florida.  I prefer the beach town of  Montericco (Guatemala) alot more... I like it rough around the edges.

Upon returning to Ubud, I went to see a Barong dance in the royal palace.  Beautiful and indescribale.  The music was like something from another world, all chimes and bells and percussions, it just floated around and defied understanding.  The dancers wore an extraordinary array of colorful and complex costumes. Every little finger motion and eye glance was choreographed precisely.  I'm pretty sure they'd choreograph their eyelashes if they could.  Their movements were highly refined and barely human, the way they twitched and moved their bodies did not seem natural in the slightest sense. It was mesmerizing.  I really, really wish you could have seen it.
somebody else's picture:

There were some very annoying other tourists there.  A man was taking the picture of some woman he was with.  He had her pose in a variety of very staged expressions of interest and appreciation, as though he had just snapped the pic and captured a moment. So not the case.  He even took a picture of her taking a picture of the dance with her cell phone camera.  Neither of them seemed even the slightest bit interested in the performance.  It was like they were taking pics to brag about back home.  I wanted to slap them, hard.

yawning yawning yawning.
time for bed.

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