UBUD, BALI – There are many factors that characterize the places you’ve been. Like the distinctive smells that dwell in the New York City subways or the sight of 50’s era cars riddling Cuba’s streets. Just like I will always remember the sweet taste of orange squash from San Pedro I doubt I will forget Bali and all of its sounds.

Its 8am. Pow! Silence… POW… chatter… silence…BAM blam BLaM blAM… chatter… motor…LOUD MOTOR… Dog barK…. BLAM BLAM BLAM… laughter…&…  rooster… a rooster?!  You’re a little late pal. The sun peers through my translucent curtains. My Balinese doors are glass pointing directly in the direction of the sun rise. I can assure you that the person who’s bright idea it was to do that didn’t stay out till 4 in the morning coming home from an all night whiskey bender.

I start to vaguely remember some of the times from the night before. I smile as I try and catch my balance on my pillow inevitably slipping face first back into my pillow. I’m up too early I think as I fade back to sleep. My head is almost removed of all thoughts until I realize that I can’t escape the sun or its white walled reflection unless I close my curtains. All the while in my head I know the walk will wake me all the way up. I ponder the tradeoff knowing that each pondering moment inched me closer to the brink of being awake. Thoughts!! Too many thoughts in my head. Won’t get any sleep like this. I bolt up and run to the door to close the curtains only to behold… It was a beautiful morning. Ok. I’m up.

This is how it seems to work in Bali. Usually no matter what you’ve done the night before, you will wake up early the next day from the sheer energy in the mornings. The island just seems to wake up like no other place in the world. Especially in Ubud. Even if you lived more towards the jungle away from the traffic, you will hear the insects and birds singing out there morning harmonies. Night tends to be no different with a whole host of nocturnal creatures come to life from monkeys, to frogs, to crickets to bats.

“Pagi Pagi!” cries out Dessa from Bening Bungalow right before she asks me if I want tea and breakfast. Its either a banana pancake, papaya, pineapple & dew melon or a fried egg with green onions.  I hear David rumbling as well just across from the concrete half-wall that separates our porches. “Pagi!” I yell out. David responds and we talk a bit over breaky. This is David’s last full day and he had just a small amount of business to attend to. He usually calls a driver, but he didn’t see the reason to waste time waiting so he asked me if I could tote the two of us down the road. I said ok. Later that morning, we’re off!

Our first stop is at a shop that sells metal sculptures. David buys goods in Bali and sells them back home in Australia. The next stop is down the road to a place that sells stone statues and sculptures. They’re hanging everywhere along side of the road. Half the store is outside nearing the street. We walk across the street to the last spot. This place housed wooden carvings of all sorts of things indigenous and foreign to the island alike.

golden leaf  Here Kitty Kitty
Buddha Buddha Buddha
wooden shrooms

After we handled the business. It was time for a drink. It was David’s suggestion that we go to the Rice Terraces in Tagalalang. They were not that far from where we were so I was up for it. Plus I knew how great the view was having been there before. Its always good to soak that up once a trip to Bali.

We got there and took some pictures followed soon my grabbing a couple of Bintangs. Bintang is the local Balinese brew similar to Budweiser in America. The view was amazing. David and I chatted about a whole host of subjects from how Conservative Australia has gotten to how we tried to rationalize the plight of the man that has to marry a woman that has been veiled until their wedding night. We concluded that’s why they must be allowed multiple wives in a crude tasteless joke. That’s what beer and men conversation can get like. We came up with a very interesting movie idea so at least some good came of our bantering.

rice terraces

David and I

David and I

lunch

We head back to Ubud so I can take David to my favorite little warung (Balinese small restaurant) next door to the petrol station. I probably go there at least 4-5 times a week. We ate and then both went back to our respective bungalows and worked a bit from the computer. Right around dusk we decided to get some Balinese massages. They are wonderful and usually cost only around $10. I fell asleep during the 2nd half so I can’t really remember exactly how good it actually was.

Later that night we go and eat some pizza of all things. It was David’s last night so I would have no preferences. David even taught me the wonders of chewing everything 33 times. I didn’t feel so bad after eating that whole pizza. Next on the list… drinks. We journeyed over to Napi Orti’s on this Thursday night only to find the band ending their final song. We both knew what that meant. Shots. That’s over rather quickly so we walk a few buildings down to the Laughing Buddha. We found the crowd just in time. There was only room at the bar so we both sat next to the band. We quickly ordered drinks and sat and enjoyed the music. That’s when I noticed… we were a bit toasty already. Soon after the band finished we packed up our shit and headed down to CP Lounge. Abu, Dadox, Kadek & drummer boy were playing when we walk up. Abu as he has come accustomed to announced my entrance over the microphone. I saw quite a few people that I knew and proceeded to greet all of them.

laughing buddha

Feast

Abu

As I walked to the back I noticed that one of the local guys birthday was that night. I was invited to join in the feast. I was full, but found it rude not to try the food. The fish that Miyoshi grilled was so tasty! I didn’t care that I ate pizza earlier. This was going to be a night of indulgence. My friend is leaving tomorrow. Lets drink and be merry! So that’s what we did. We danced, we laughed, we smoke and we drank until we were tired of going to the bathroom. Laughing and talking all the way home ending the night with a great laugh on the porch under the starry sky in Ubud. That’s what a typical day and night can be like in Bali. But its just a start and Bali is usually not your typical place. The adventures are just around the corner.

For mobile phones:

Start video during day: http://youtu.be/16UMjpl3-7A

Start video at night: http://youtu.be/16UMjpl3-7A?t=6m25s