We are wrapping up our time in Indonesia. As we do so, I think about what we will miss and what we will not miss.
The great gifts of Bali and Indonesia (what we will miss):
- The lovely and kind people who always seem happy to see you.
- Their habit of greeting with their hands in a prayer position.
- The fact that taxis are spelled taksi.
- Fantastic fresh fruit. We have eaten our weight in dragon fruit, mangoes, papaya and watermelon and coconuts.
- Really good food at very low prices.
- Seeing how much Liam likes to surf.
- The odd Hindu shrines that are everywhere. Our last hotel has over a dozen. Every shop has at least one. These are not just decorative. Everyday they put an offering of banana leaves, fruit, rice, flowers and the odd consumable (bread product wrapped in plastic, a cigarette, a beer). They will also light incense and put it on the shrine. Our hotel has one person who spends a few hours each day refreshing the shrines. This shrine looks like it almost started a fire from the incense.
- $6 massages.
- The yoga classes. In particular, I will miss the sadist that almost broke me in half.
- The lush flora. The flowers are exotic and everywhere.
- Their quirky temples. Some are large and some are small, but almost every one has some carving, sculpture or feature that makes it interesting. That is even before you include the occasionally explicit item that deeply confuses us.
- The beaches are truly lovely.
- Low crime and high safety means that the kids can do their own thing.
- The fun local music. I am amused that the symbol on their instrument looks like it is saying “jazz hands”!
Things we will be glad to live without:
- Massage spas, tour guides, restaurants, taksi drivers and tour guides soliciting business as you walk the streets. The are so nice and always seem so disappointed when you say “no thank you.” Their response is always a slightly sad, slightly hopeful, “Maybe tomorrow?”.
- Getting soaked from the monsoon rains.
- Getting soaked from sweating in the humidity. At least the rains do not make me feel like an interrogated prisoner sweating under a heat lamp.
- Susie and Virginia are magnets to the blood-suckers.
- Trying to surf with Liam.
- The trash created by the shrine offerings. The wonderful natives do not seem to notice that the shrine is not actually consuming the previous offerings. Typically, the new pile of banana leaves, fruit and rice is placed on top of the offerings from the past week or so.
- 3:30 AM wake-up calls.
- 12:15 AM wake-up calls.
- The limited options of sports on TV. The options are Premiere League (English) soccer, Bundesliga (Germany) soccer, LaLiga (Spanish) soccer and international Asian soccer. Wait, occasionally, we see darts as well.
- Laundry that cannot - will not – ever entirely dry.
- The odd fact that every boutique and spa plays the exact same CD of Balinese music. I am not being hyperbolic. Every one. Same songs. I have no idea why.
Ultimately, we will miss this place a great deal. But we are ready for the next adventure, so our next country (Australia) awaits!