Anyone that knows me, knows I have had a love affair with Bali for many years. I absolutely adore the place and come here a lot. I say here because I am here now, I arrived tonight. It is my 50th birthday in 5 days and I could think of nowhere I would rather spend it than my beloved Bali.
People often ask me why I love it so much. It is not as if I haven’t been elsewhere; I have been to Thailand, Vanuatu, Fiji and Singapore, just to name the countries closest to home. But something about Bali is in my heart and Bali has taken a piece of my heart in her as well.
The minute I walk out of the airport into the open air, the sounds and smells are like home. Heady incense, frangipanis and jasmine, blend with clove cigarettes, smoke and petrol fumes. I inhale deeply, taking it all in, the warm air humid and sticky. Sweat tingles immediately on my skin and I immediately feel a sense of being where I belong.
The traffic is crazy, 2 lanes become 5, families travel together from newborn to parents with kids all ages in between on one motorbike, but a sense of peace evades even on the incredibly chaotic roads. If ever there should be road rage it’s here, but it doesn’t exist. Car horns toot, constantly but it’s good natured, no malice is ever intended.
The Balinese people have maintained their culture, spirituality and appreciation and respect for their arts, crafts, traditions and country, whilst catering to the growing demands of tourism and tourists. The Hindu traditions are an integral part of their daily life, with frequent offerings being left in auspicious places, regular visits to temples and all important and special days are honoured, including Nyepi, where the entire island comes to a standstill. No flights in or out, and nobody is allowed even to go out onto the street.
Everywhere you look you see the beauty of this incredible culture. Sure there are thousands of hotels and tourists, and sadly a whole lot of rubbish if you look hard enough that is difficult to dispose of, but amongst it all, they have kept the essence of the “island of the gods” intact.
I could write and write and write about Bali, I have so much to say. I will save some for tomorrow and the next day as I share this special time for me here on my page with you.
Until tomorrow – sampai jumpa lagi (see you later again)