I went to Bali this year for my job. I was waiting to know if I’ll be going to the biggest television convention in Asia. One day, my boss called, and… yeah, they flew me to Bali a week after ! Whoohoo, I was so excited about this trip. Even if I had to do 2 loooooong and never-ending layovers (and at this time I was already living in Asia, so it wasn’t supposed to be THAT long).
I fell in love with Bali the very first second I got out of the plane.
There was flowers everywhere. Bali is the only island in Indonesia to be 100% Hindu. Indonesia is very very muslim. One of the most important muslim country in Asia.
In the Hindu religion, you celebrate different gods 5 times a day. For that, you offer them flowers, a lot of flowers and a little bit of rice. So when I walked for the first time in Denpasar, I was wondering « why so many flowers on the sidewalks and streets? » « oh I LOVE this country! Flowers everywhere just like that! » (you need to know something about me, I have one passion : flowers). I quickly asked to someone local why all of these flowers on the streets. And that’s when an old lady, half blind, explained to me the reason, the religion, the gods and the island. I though I would spent 2 minutes with her with this question. Ends like I spent an hour and a half with her and her friends.
On my last day of work, my boss gently gave me my day off to visit Bali. After a thousands of questions like « Hey G. have you been to Ubud ? » « Hey G. have you tasted to poop-coffee? yes ?no ? » He finally gave up and set me free to visit all the things that I’ve asked -such a good strategy-
So I grabbed my bag, my camera and some music and I went on an express-trip to visit the island.
My driver was such an angel. He came to pick me up at 7h30 in the morning, half awake and asked me « so madame, what do you want to do today? » Oh darling, I wanted to do everything ! And we did a lot. He brought me to local markets, food markets, jewels markets (it’s not because I work in the Fashion Industry that I like shopping… something else that you need to know) and then we started to do the reaaaaaaaaaal good things.
We made a stop in the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary. Yeah no kidding. A beautiful jungle at the entrance of Ubud full of monkeys (!) I’m not a huge fan of monkeys, but these ones were pretty funny. They were thief monkeys. It was hilarious to see them saying hello at tourist and at the same time stealing their sunglasses or watches.
After this adventure with the crazy-thieves-monkeys, we finally went to Ubud and the rice fields. We passed the rice field and I though « hey man, why aren’t we visiting the fields ? I want to go there! ». The driver kindly reply with a big smile saying that there is something better than these rice fields. He promised we will stop but first, he had something else in mind. Hum….. okay, fine.
He stopped just a little bit after, and dropped me on the side of the road. You can picture me, looking at him like « you’re kidding right? ». Still with his big smile, he told me to enter in the jungle, there will be someone there to guide me. « Haha yeah of course, come on driver…. » I wasn’t really sure about what will happen after. I must admit that I had some doubts about this idea.
Coming out of nowhere, a young teenager, took my hand and asked me to follow him in the jungle. Yeah, still not sure about this story. I followed him. In the jungle. The deep, d.e.e.p jungle. With animal noises everywhere. Huge leaves blocking the path. And me there, wondering why I accepted to follow him. After 10 minutes walk, the smiling young man looked at me with his brown-bubbly eyes and said « Here we are Madame. The Poop-Coffee Factory ».
The Poop-Coffe Factory ?! Oh yeah, one of Bali’s specialities, I remember now. I listened to him with all my attention, trying to figure out how it is possible to make a coffee with poop. After learning that only a special animal from Asia, eating a special kind of berries, can do this special poop coffee called Kopi Luwak, he brought me a little bit further in the jungle where I could test, THE coffee and all other kind of coffees (ginger, lemon, cinnamon etc.) And he brought me here :
This place was breathtaking. I can’t express how I really felt at this specific moment. I was just happy to be alone at this time and have the privilege to live this.
After an hour alone in the jungle, drinking all these coffees, I jumped back in the car, totally different and amazed about all of this.
We did the rice fields. We visit Ubud in all the ways. And we came back to Denpasar. I took the plane at night, a lot of memories in mind, full of inspiration, and wondering when will be the next time I’ll be in Bali.