I just spent the the good part of this week in Bali. It was my first time in Indonesia.
Now here’s my write-up on it that contains bits and pieces of my thoughts.
Do not expect any typical lifestyle elements where I give a lot of description of places and people. I don't normally research much on places I go to and even if I do, I may be too drunk to remember the details.
I also don't have many selfies of myself as I don't want you guys to fall in love with me too quickly.
Right after I landed I got hustled as fuck
I don’t know why I did what I did, but I didn’t exactly take a normal cab to my hotel (which by the way was free for me cause my friend, a super hot girl from Poland allowed me to stay with her during her stint there as a tour guide.)
After getting out of the gate, I just walked out and this kid approached me and asked if I needed a cab. I asked if he ran by meter. He said that meter would be a bad idea as I’d taxed and given extra surcharge and shit. I also asked where I could get a SIM card for my phone as the one at the airport was expensive as fuck. He stopped me along the way to get a SIM card from a random shop.
I actually thought like "Wow, this kid is going through the extra effort to help me."
All in all, after a little research and returning back to the airport on the day of my departure, I paid about three times more on the first day for all that bullshit.
For some reason, I believed him. I don’t know why my bullshit alarm system didn’t go off, but I felt I could believe him. He did have that honest face and I felt like I wanted to help him.
I am honestly in a dilemma. I felt so fucking dumb. Yet, I try to tell myself that I helped that kid. A friend told me that it was okay because the people there seriously need to work extremely hard to make a living to survive among the fittest.
Honestly, Bali is filled with hustlers. It’s an absolute must to bargain for shit you buy in shitty looking stores. Why? Because unlike trying to get a simple discount, bargaining in Bali is about making sure you rip away the veil from your eyes so you don’t pay for complete lies and deception.
It was rather weird and disillusioning. I saw it all:
The taxi driver who gave an excuse at the last minute for a higher fare.
The shopkeeper begging with both hands clasped and saying how she needed to support her daughter who was sleeping on the floor inside, only to finally give in to us and started to laugh away when she knew she couldn't win.
The other taxi driver who waved and smiled to us from like 30 meters away.
The other shopkeepers who after offering a ridiculous price, would ask instead what was our price.
Oh well. I never thought I’d make dumb mistakes, but I guess it’s a reminder that no matter how confident and prepared you think you are, you need a lesson from time to time again.
But if I see that kid again I’ll probably destroy him.
I fucking finally learnt how to surf!
That’s one check off my bucket list and that’s really something. My bucket is honestly small as fuck. I don’t have many of the same interests as others do. Skydiving, petting a tiger, climbing some big ass mountain, eating weird insects or whatever. I care not for them.
Again, it’s really something as it’s a huge departure from my typical travel deeds which mostly include drinking beer for breakfast, chilling out, walking around, shopping and talking to girls on Tinder.
Anyway, surfing is fun as hell. I am not trying to brag or rather, I don’t even know if this brag-worthy, but I totally could stand on the board on my first try. But of course, it was heavily aided by my instructor (he pushed our boards for us from the back) and yep, beginner’s luck.
And you know what was most tiring? Swimming back to the waves while fighting the waves that are coming at you like… waves.
It was so tiring. Also, never ever hold your board horizontally against the waves. That’d slam you in the gut like a pissed off footballer tackling you. I forgot that a few times and I was literally blown away. I sprained my finger because of that.
And you know what was funny? Just bonding and talking shit with my instructor. At certain times, he overestimated the incoming wave and was like, “Oh shit wait! Not this wave bro! Not this wave!”
Surfing is awesome and I’ve a hunch I’ll be travelling just to learn more.
After the lesson we had some beers and local food at the beach. I ate some spicy shit under the hot sun. I don’t know why I did that.
On the way back, I suffered abrasions on my balls because of my wet boxers.
Tearful remembrance as I walked down the memory lane of debauchery, partying and tons of drinking
In the heart of Kuta along their most popular street sits the memorial plaza of victims of the 2002 bombing.
Sad and fucked up huh?
As much as travelers looking to indulge in their vice abroad, nobody deserves to get bombed and suffer such a horrible fate.
I’ve nothing much to say here except that it just makes you wonder how fragile and unpredictable this shit called life is.
I’ve been a drunk dude so many times in my life and yet, I am still alive. Truly, you tend to think that when it’s time for you to go, you gotta go.
Monkeys are assholes
My friend’s Guess sunglasses got snatched from her eyes by a monkey.
I have no idea what is this fixation, but fuck me, monkeys are assholes. Endanger them.
Bintang beer is water
Please don’t drink this local brand of beer over there. It really doesn’t do anything for you.
Spend a little more for beauties like these
Marijuanna and shrooms galore
Were offered to me along the streets by almost every shady dude outside any random store. They were like, “Hey mate, what yu want?” Mushrooms?”
I declined of course. Believe it or not, my only vice is alcohol. I’ve never taken anything before and I don’t intend to because I am from Singapore. You absolutely do not fuck with the law in Singapore, not unless you think it’s worth getting imprisoned just because you wanted to feel good for a short moment.
I don’t want to go into a whole tirade here, but I truly think it’s extremely dumb that people who live here take that risk and their only argument is usually based on some stupid conspiracy video they watched online or some article from a less-than-trustable (or rather, completely made up by a person who’s high) source.
“Don’t take pictures with your phone. Take pictures with your mind”
Well yes, I had to use my phone to take this picture. I asked them for permission and they said it was okay.
To me, this picture transcends expectations. That was why I was intrigued.
The dude with tattoos all over his body looked like he belonged in a gang, but he's playing chess. That's not something you see everyday. If there was an apt title for this picture, it'd be "Hidden Talent."
I'd have love to have gotten to know him better and drink with him even.
You ain't got shit on my view
Truly, every time you think you found the best spot to chill and drink at, you're bound to find some place better.
This spot, called Single Fin at Uluwatu was just great. I loved that guesthouses were built there for surfers to stay at just so they can surf all they like during the trip. Sure enough, I saw many tourists who just arrived with their surfboards, packed and ready in hand.
Gosh, I can just imagine me being there in time because I am really interested in taking up surfing now.
This picture is important
Behold! The only picture with food in it!
And I didn't like it.
It had a fancy name which I forgot. I ordered it because I assumed it was pasta with crab meat. Instead, it was just the meat of a whole crab fanci-fied and served within the crab itself.
It did nothing for me considering I eat at least two times the average person per meal.
It was a beauty although the clouds blocked most of the sun during that time. Nonetheless, it kind of looks like a stage in the sky shooting lasers right?
The sunset bar
What struck me was how people in Bali can casually go see a sunset any day they liked, given good weather. They just need to go to a sunset bar. I can't do that here in Singapore.
The ultimate meaninglessness that eventually catches up to you
Half-empty or half-full, you drink it till the end anyway, but is it ever enough?
I grew up partying a lot with my close friends. The first time I did it overseas was in Bangkok back in 2011. It was a fucking blast. Cheap beer. Beautiful girls. Hooking up. Feeling like a king because of your stronger currency from your home. I did it all before.
I was hooked on that. I loved the feeling. I turned 32 this year and I can’t say that I will stop anytime soon.
Yet, it is indeed a fact of life that an ultimate form of meaningless will catch up to you. In other words, you evolve and grow up.
I partied almost every night in Bali and some of the places weren’t great to me despite having everything a good party place should have.
I looked around inside, beer in hand and wonder to myself how meaningful this brief respite could be.
For myself, I know I’d be going home again just to struggle with my blog and business. I wondered too how long I could and want to be doing this, wherein I’d work as hard as I can, save enough to make a short trip, get fucked up abroad, feel those good feelings, then go home and repeat the same old cycle.
I guess though, that a lifestyle of habitual partying would make one feel that meaninglessness quicker and in greater quantity.
But I won’t give it up for the world just yet.
Because getting drunk with random people you just met, getting to know about them and their culture is fucking amazing. I forgot to take a picture, but I met a dude from Portugal who looked exactly like Bradley Cooper (in Limitless when his character felt like a loser though.)
You realize that not all people in the world are assholes. You also realize some of the people you know your whole life are actually the bigger assholes.
Pardon me for ending this article off on a poignant note.
I can't say I am much of a traveler. If I travel, it's because I take vacations mostly. I am also a sentimental fuck so saying goodbye to literally anything is hard for me. I am always usually sad on my last night.
But still, I wouldn't give it up for the world just yet.