Thinking About Bali

Bali 29

Before I give you my nose and eyes, firstly take my ears. Give this a listen and then read on.

I’ve just returned from a two week trip to Bali, bookended by stops in the exciting city of Singapore. I wanted to see this island for a very long time – having lived there twice in her lifetime, my mum claims that her soul lives in this particular province of Indonesia. My fiancé, mum, stepdad and I have just returned from 14 days in paradise and this morning I have been looking back at my (of course, analogue) photos and re-reading the notebook that I scribbled in during my travels.

I have some more coherent articles to share soon but in the meantime, in keeping with my blogging philosophy of not editing or filtering the life I post to you all, I thought I would share my raw, unaltered scribblings, taken from the scrapbook I jotted in during my stay. This is what came out fo my brain in the moment, discovering for the first time the sounds, smells and tastes of Bali.

This was my honest, organic reaction to this magical place…

Slow morning beach walks.
Noisy tree frogs sing me to sleep.

Offerings are made to temples.
Busy, dry motorcycle streets.
Noodles, tight like permed hair.
Day one: I tripped up but got back up again.
Breakfast with koi carp and cheeky squirrels.
Gazing at blue skies, gazing at blue seas.
The smell of incense, an island powered by it.
Frangipani flowers and their sweet scent in everything.
Overwhelmed by kaffir lime leaf in every bite, softened by jasmine tea.
Everything soaked in the rough taste of palm oil.
Splashing in secret waterfalls and wandering over rice terraces. 
Tonight we exchanged vows on the beach. Nothing lasts forever, except you and me.
Bathing in holy water during the start of Galungan Festival.
Stray animals and ginormous baskets on the heads of strong women.
Nibbling on dried salak – tastes like heaven.
Hot sambal sauce and cold Bali Hai beers.
Luck and faith are valued more than money and business.
We frantically apply sun cream and mosquito spray, they just light incense.
They find the spirits of the gods in everything.
Praying, praying, praying. Stopping and praying.
I look up at palm trees and feel that someone or something is out there looking after me.

Pictured above: reflections in holy water at Tirta Empul Temple, Tampaksiring, Bali (in a true un-edited fashion also featuring my finger over the lens!). Tirta Empul (which means ‘holy spring’ in Balinese) is a Hindu water temple at which locals and visitors can ritualistically bathe in its holy spring water – this was my absolute favourite moment of the entire trip.