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Sunday, 11 December 2011

First Week in Bali - Sights, Smells and KFC Coffee?

I'm pretty much over the worst of my jet lag now and a few of you have been asking: What have I done in my first week? You must imagine I have spent every waking moment in warm sunshine on the perfect beach, clear-headed and feeling fabulous.

To tell you the truth, I've been as sick as a dog. I had a cold in the weeks leading up to my departure from Vancouver, and I really never gave myself the time to heal. Alas, "it" caught up with me, and it came back with a vengeance. That combined with the time difference, climate change, diet change...... and just overall, change, I spent the most part of the week sleeping and nursing myself back to health. It was actually ok, the weather was cloudy for most of the week, so I really didn't feel all that guilty chilling around the house. It gave me time to unpack, heal my body, and absorb this exciting new change that is taking place. Holy shit, man! I'm in Bali. Trust me, I still have goosebumps.

The water has been fairly co-operative, although we didn't have any coming out of the taps between Tuesday morning and Thursday evening. Thank god I had my garbage can full of water. Bucket showers are needed multiple times a day in this humidity! When the water finally came through that shower head, it was a whole new kind of happy. One that I had never experienced. The whole "I wonder if we'll have water today" thing is mildly exciting, and somewhat refreshing. No pun intended.

There is a small black book which I have been carrying around with me. My mum, a very successful journalist, has carried around a similar book with her for as long as I can remember. "Jot in down and write about it later", she says. Doing this has really helped me collect my thoughts later on. Just to record all the little details in point form, in the moment I experience them.

First page of my book. "Taking ticks out of Molly's fur ( Dewi's puppy ). The little Indonesian girls helped squish them. All of us together, 6 women." What a charming first note! Squashing tick heads! Seriously though, that was the first time I have ever pulled a tick out of an animal. We lost the head and had to pull it out with tweezers. Pretty gross. But also sort of satisfying! I wanted to be a vet when I was younger, and gave up on that dream when I realized the horrendous educational requirements. Instead, I choose to have a farm full of 4 legged love-pods.

The second note is just splashes of feelings and colors I have experienced racing on the back of Dewi's motorbike in the night. Whizzing past palm trees and banana plantations. The smell of bbqed chicken and fried rice wafting in the smoky night air. Stray dogs and cats in the street, homeless, but happy. Incense and offerings in front of the beautiful homes at dawn, at noon and at sundown. Flowers, rice and tobacco.

Moving along. I love food. Who doesn't? I don't care if you're on a diet, food is one of the true simple pleasures in life. I plan to do a LOT of writing about the food in Bali. In the months to come, you will find tons of reviews on local restaurants and I will share detailed descriptions and pictures of what I'm eating. But first, let's cover the dark side of food: Junk Food.

Junk food in Indonesia. Let's start with McDonald's. McDonald's serves cheesecake! All kinds of delicious cheesecake. Blueberry, strawberry, chocolate and raspberry. McDonald's also serves rice, spaghetti and vegetables, which they can conveniently deliver to you on a yellow McDonald's motor bike. You dial 14045 to order and it's served hot and fresh. Or so I imagine. I haven't ordered anything from there ( ew gross ), but think I will HAVE to order it on some brutally hungover day, when I have hit rock bottom and am crawling around on the floor and there is just no other option.

Like many things I plan to do, I will do them just to say I did ;)

KFC. I heard a while back that KFC spent a few million dollars on their marketing strategies in Asia. Well kids, it's worked. Not only are there KFC franchises all over Denpasar, but they are multi-level, 24 hours, serve KFC coffee and even offer their own motor bike delivery service. Also like Mcdonald's, they serve rice.

All in all, this first week has been a success. I've made some awesome new friends, hit 80km an hour on the back of a motor bike, and even had a hot shower! I'm excited to what next week will bring.

A teaser: I am moving to the beach tomorrow! I've been offered to stay at a beautiful house in Seminyak, 3 minutes from the beach. Thanks so much to Laura. Girl, you hooked it up with a phone and a temp place! Good karma to you, my little dove <3

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