Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Bed bugs, Burglary, Broken things, Bali

The plan was to have no plans, and yes this indeed led me to change my somewhat planned plans. 
I had the idea sliding around my head of going to Sulawaysi and Kalimantan, two islands I am very interested in travelling, but as it came to be, they will have to wait for another adventure.  As id been warned, boats between islands can be rare and un often, and visas a bitch!

So after Lombok I caught a ferry to Bali with friend Maria. The trip was a short four hours, just long enough though for me to fall asleep in the sun and enter Bali beetroot red faced. Friends Jonas, Nina and Guna were waiting for us in Sanur, we met early evening and caught up for a beer and went to a delicious night market and amazing art exhibition by I Made a friend of Jonas. 

Sanur was a bit of a shock! Overweight older generation whiteys everywhere, and many shops aimed at western tourists selling ‘exotic’ things. We found the cheapest accommodation with rooms available and felt content in this back alley home stay with a robotic voiced owner, she was sweet. It was nice and she was sweet until the restless, itchy, no sleep, toss turn night that followed. BED BUGS bloody bed bugs, they were huge! They were everywhere, where the hell do they hide? They just kept on appearing and there was no way out of this situation other than to go and sleep in the air-conditioned fancy room next door, so at 4am Maria and I moved our gear and had an itch haunted rest till mid mornin’ its ok we didn’t have to pay extra, and robot lady was quite understanding.
This morning was meant to be a parting of paths, Nina and Guna were going back to Singapore but they missed their plane, twice. I think they just wanted to hang out with me more.
I had made my way to Kuta, to meet the beautiful Freea Fontanella from Coffs Hubbar. Due to flights missed we had a great last night with the gang, all heading to Seminyak to see a friend Rizal play with his World Music band. And then into the depths of Aussie bogan hell - Kuta (yes there actually were young sunburnt teens running down the street yelling “aussie aussie aussie oi oi oi”) heading  to Apache Bar, a reggae bar to have a head nod, bottom wiggle with the local rasta ‘cowboys’. This place was actually fun. Decked out with ridiculous Bob Marley paraphernalia and green, red, yellow everything. Then my wallet was stolen, dang! Id become so used to not being in citys that when I was in one it didn’t even occur to me to be super overprotective with my bag. I don’t know how they did it, but they did it good, and they can have the $5 that was In there!

Freea, her sister Mill, Samu and I then moved on to Ubud, to have a couple relaxing days. Ubud is a pretty hilarious place, full of spiritual junkies, drive through natural health solutions and eat pray love wannabies. Saying that, we did eat some delicious food and I really liked the chilled out vibe. Lots of colour everywhere, and many Hindu festivals and celebrations going on in the streets daily, great to see all the locals in their traditional get up with these crazy bright gigantic offerings on their shoulders.
It was a good place to have a technological break down in. Somehow, within 24 hours… my pnone died, my hardrive swiped of all contents, my hotmail and facebook account blocked. It sounds really small and insignificant now, but at the time along with my wallet and cash card being stolen it was a bit stressful and I was in a shit of a mood! So I wandered the streets and found a little art gallery shop, became friends with the guys working there and settled in for a good 6 hours of painting with them. 
Creativity cures all.
My time in Ubud involved a lot of running around and getting stuff sorted out, no time for massages or yoga classes, but good catch ups with Freea, some bicycle riding and a trip to the monkey forest where Samu and I watched silly tourists get bitten by monkeys. I enjoyably discovered that if you leave the main streets here filled with typical Balinese paintings, you can find some real creative creatures, a sweet community of artists with good energy.

The crazy boys at asu art attack

Friday, 3 February 2012

Like a rusty peach painted wall
peeling back to reveal its moulded white past
i want to return
Like a grey stem folding over
sprouting a green finger nail
i want to be patient
Like a leaning bamboo weaved home
patched with weathered iron
i want to compromise
I never forget to hope
but i often wish i could
Its the darkest dampest places
that bloom the most luminous green moss
The thick burning days
that in return gift rain
So i will stay

Wet feet and lombok lunacy

Last evening in laubanbadjo flores and farewelled with yet another beautiful sunset, what an island!
Emily and I Joined many other tourists and travellers on a voyage to Lombok, the slow way, catching a parama tour boat stopping off at reefs for a snorkel and miander around, a sewaty trudge through Rincha island to see the wild Komodo Dragons in their natural habitat and a beautiful swim at a waterfall in Sumbawa. Sleeping on the deck under the stars at night and having great conversations with many people on board including em and my new friends (canadian family) Kevin and Jamie!
After arriving in Mataram Lombok and a few days extending my visa, and feasting on the tastiest Soto Ayam-jakarta style we moved on to Sengigi planning to head to Gili for new years. Eating at one of the many available Warungs in town, who should walk in but Andrea a good friend from Timor Leste! Crash tackle hugs and shock out of the way it became apparent that a big crew form Timor too were heading to the Gilis for new years. Catching the local boat to Gili Air and settling in at our bungalow, the next week here was pure bliss and i felt like i was cheating travelling. New Years was a blast, Air is renowned for its Tranz parties and yes they were planning a big one for this night. Dressing up for the first time in a while and having a good shake of my tail feather till sunrise, with new friends, Timor family, and many locals (who have got the doof stomp down!) it was a fun night blessed with a beautiful sunrise, laying at the beach mind ticking over with the strange realisation that its now 2012, the pondering of what this year will hold for me, where im going, what i will do, and  tossing about the concept of worldly change as we know it..... industrial collapse? we all can hope:)

Mount Rinjani, Lombok.

Travelling the seas and discovering my love for flying fish, what a magical creature!
 Pristine waterfalls in Sumbawa.

After meeting a wicked sista in Gili called Iva, i headed to sengigi in Lombok to stay at an art gallery of her friend Jonas. This gallery was located on the stretch of road to the beach, a big space with lots of air, a refreshing and comfortable vibe, and i ended up staying here for about 10 days, was planning to stay 2:)
Unknown art space was an interesting place to stay. Jonas the wise artist from Malang Java, always scribbling on a piece of paper and taking us on random unknown adventures. Diart and Gallang, two crazy boys that help look after the joint, always ready to make you a coffee, take you for a cruise on the back of the moto, or for a wild dance at the discotheque, and Cimbi a beautifully charismatic, quiet yet outspoken woman that floats around and offers interesting thought. Without knowing I developed a bit of routine here, spent my days here waking up earlyish for a swim at the beach and a coffee with two local temporary tattoo beach artists, making jewellery and having funny english lessons, awaiting the inevitable rain to set in around lunch time, head back to the gallery and chill out drawing, resting and drinking an array of local alcoholic beverages, tua, arak, pink lady broooom. And then the evening would somehow bring an adventure.

Mmmmmmmm mangostean, a little piece of heaven.

Gallang with the guitar, always ready to play you a special song.

Mataram was one place set for adventures, for fresh fruit and vegetables at the market, or to visit the Taman Budaya (culture centre) one such evening we were set on going to an art opening here and travelled the hour journey on moto in the pouring rain. This was hilarious, wet and yes a little stupid, arriving lombok style soaked to the bone with buckets of water boots, leaving a trail as we observed the art. It was a great exhibition, and the artist community here are so warm and welcoming. Playing guitar, drinking, drawing and chatting till the early hours on a couple of occasions.
On another occasion we headed here for an art performance by a group from Surabaya. It was a very interesting experience, a physical theatre performance that gave me goosebumps remembering the days of drama classes at school. The Show was an adaption of "one flew over the cuckoos nest" by Ken Kesey. Analysing the character American Indian chief Bromden in this film. His place in society, his loss of land, loss of culture, and his strength of character. Anyway i don't know if this is very interesting for you to read, but the performance was interesting, it was done well in that it related globally to all indigenous peoples and the constant fight and struggle to maintain culture and tradition in the western world.

GUNA aka. mc purple socks

NINA chantik

Beautiful sunset out of Mataram

Jonas doing one of the many things he does well.

Guna and Nina a MAD couple from Singapore came to Sengigi also connected through a mutual friend of jonas, and we hit it off immediately, sometimes in life you spend 24 hours with a person and it feels like you known them for years, well this is how my friendship with these two blossomed. We decided to leave Sengigi and head to Kuta Lombok for some time at the beach. This place has become quite touristy, but it still maintains quite a sweet chilled beachy atmosphere.
After meeting a new friend Maria a flower of a being, we hired motorbikes and i was ready to finally learn how to ride! well it was only an automatic, but its a start, and now im hooked, i think ive been bitten by the motorbike bug! What a way to adventure around, wind in hair, stopping where you want when you want, and the feeling is just great! We went to a village about 40 minutes east of Kuta to visit a surf school where one of Ninas friends worked. This place was unreal, they teach young boys and girls how to surf, so that they can be surf instructors when they are older, there is also a deep skate bowel on the tip of the beach, and the kids skate with no shoes!

Kids from the surf school in the background, the swell was teeny but they wanted to show us their moves.

This beach near Kuta Lombok had such beautiful rounded sand.

Kuta beach Lombok

 This is me killing it! the second day on a motorbike, i am pretty proud of my achievement, such an unpredictable wet, more pot hole than road journey, and although returning home with mud covered feet and bike, no falls were had and i can safely say i am ready to drive on any 'road' in Indonesia!