Bali. The most famous island in Indonesia; the place I’ve inhabited for the past two weeks. Bali is a magical island with beautiful mountain scenery, vibrant jungle, beautiful beaches and perhaps the most friendly people on the planet. While I haven’t had a chance to explore the island in it’s entirety, given I’m mostly in Ubud (actually mostly at the Azadi Retreat -AKA basecamp for my yoga training), through running and days off (my afternoon escapes from yoga), I have experienced some of the culture and the day to day life here. And it’s magical, vibrant and sometimes a little chaotic.
So in the spirit of Friday, here are the five things I’ve learned about Bali thus far.
- Rituals. The Balinese culture is rich in ritual and ceremony. Every day, the Balinese leave little baskets with flowers and offerings all over town – on driveways, roadsides, the front door of our little villas – and I love it. It adds a little brightness to each day. And they have beautiful water ceremonies at the temples, and morning and evening prayers that we can hear wafting through the jungle.
- Toilets are multipurpose…this needs no explanation.
- It’s a dog’s world. I’ve been pretty diligent about putting in my weekly miles for the If Girls Ran the World challenge but I have to admit, they haven’t been particularly fast. Not only because it’s typically blazing hot out but also because I’ve been using my runs to mentally escape from all of the yoga and find myself deeply immersed in podcasts (thank god for Aftershokz keeping me up to date on my pods while also safe from motorbike death) and mostly because I’m constantly on the lookout for stray dogs. The dogs in Ubud literally rule the town. If I see more than one, I cross to the other side of the street and wait until they disperse. I’ve had a few instances of dog’s barking incessantly at me on one side of the road where I’ve had to come to a full stop, wait for all the whizzing motorbikes to go by before I could continue on.
- Gecko poop smells really bad. Before I arrived in Bali, I had never really thought much about geckos. Sure I’d seen them on t-shirts and at various surfer shops but I don’t know that I’d ever stopped to consider what made the gecko so special. And now I know. We have one that loves to sit above my bed and leaves me little poo gifts almost every single day. And what’s even more, he also loves to announce himself around 3 am every morning with a loud “geeeeccckkkkkoooooo……gecccckkkoooo….” I wake up, draw the covers over my head (to arm myself from a possible poo spraying) and try to go back to sleep.
- Gratitude: The people in Bali are seriously so nice. They have a warm radiance about them and welcome you into their world with warm smiles and friendly waves. I feel so much gratitude for the opportunity to explore this beautiful place and its beautiful people.
Happy weekend sweaty friends!