Arriving in Bali just after midnight, we were met by Rai, our house
keeper/maintainer, guy. Having leased a traditional style Balinese
house in the capital city of Denpassar the past August we depend on Rai
to keep the place clean and take care of the koi pond and grounds. He
also serves as our driver. The house is located about 20 minutes drive
from the airport on a quiet dead end street. We were attracted to this
place because of its charming traditional appearance and the space it
has with two stories, two bedrooms, one and a half bathrooms, separate
dining and living rooms and a separate kitchen and utility room.
The first time we visited Bali in July
2015 we spent most of the time
touring the island and getting familiar with the places of interest.
Here's a couple links that show many of them:
Sights - Lonely Planet
- Ultimate Guide
As you see from the links Bali has a
primarily Hindu culture. This makes
it different from most of the other Indonesian islands which tend to be
mostly a Muslim culture. We are still very ignorant of the Hindu way of
life but from the little we have learned they have many, many religious
events/celebrations and they seem to be very big on family, with
several generations living together in a family complex that can
include its own family shrine.
One of the first things we noticed was
the road traffic. Driving on the
left side as is the custom there, the challenges for a person driving
their own car is to avoid the myriad motor scooters that constantly
stream by in back, in front and sometimes on both sides of your car.
Like a swarm of bees they move down the road zigging and zagging
between lanes (actually no one really stays in a lane) while they avoid
each other and the cars and trucks that all share the same roadway.
Chaos defined you might think but in the two weeks we spend in Bali we
never saw an accident, and we spent a lot of time being driven around.
The normal rules of the road that work in the US and Europe don't work
here. The paramount rule in Bali is to give way when necessary and
avoid contact at all costs. Right of way is traded back and forth as is
needed to get everyone down the road. Might still makes right in some
cases as large vehicles like buses and trucks will push the limits at
times but no one we saw got angry or made and gestures that would
construe road rage.
Summarizing Bali at this point I'd
have to say that it is one of the
most easy going places I've ever experienced. The pace is moderated not
only by the generally accommodating attitude of the people but also by
their extreme friendliness and Hindu values. The climate may also play
a part as it is tropical encouraging a moderate pace of life with
frequent breaks to escape from the direct sun and humidity.
This time in Bali we did not spend
time seeing the sights rather we
concentrated on improving the house which needs some remodeling of the
the bathrooms and other paint and patch work inside. I'll spare you the
details but we managed to make some big visual improvements in the week
we had with a tube of Spackle, putty knife, tile gout and touch up
paint. We also cleaned out quite a number of derelict items in the
kitchen and closets. The junk man got a lot of business that week. We
went shopping several times to buy basics for cooking and
other kitchen accessories and acquired a couple fans to help move the
air around inside the house and kitchen. We are inveterate fixers. Must
be in our genes. Of course we are looking forward to the time when we
can come there and live comfortably in retirement enjoying the house
and its amenities.