Awakening My Soul in Bali
I feel slightly guilty I am skipping over Philippines to write this , but you must understand that there was hardly any Wifi in The Philippines and right now I have spent an amazing 2 hours in Bali.
The trip: I had flown from Manila, finally getting on a plane after three days of waiting due to bad weather and sold out flights (I thought I could take a ferry here so had to pay a hefty price of a last-minute flight). I left for the Manila International Airport at 6pm, already exhausted and waiting to sleep on the plane. When 8:50 came around, we still had not boarded the plane-not too far off from “Filipino Time” (add thirty minutes to the given time). At 9:30 we boarded the plane, and to my excitement it was quite empty. Seeing my opportunity, I grabbed a whole row to myself thinking how lucky will I be to actually get some sleep.
The plane took off. I laid down and spread across three seats, hopeful. And then discovered that the people flying this plane wanted to also give the experience of below freezing temperatures. I tried so hard to fall asleep, but after so many attempts of trying to sleep, I gave in and asked for a blanket.
They did have blankets-for sale.
I’m not sure if I was over-analyzing the situation but in that moment I thought how clever these people were, drop the temperatures in order to sell blankets. If anyone knows me , they know just how crabby I am without my sleep and so I bought the blanket. I may have been able to fall asleep for an hour and a half before we had landed in Jakarta, ready for my transfer. The transfer I thought I could sleep through.
But once again, another process. I went through a packed line through immigration before having to wait and retrieve my luggage. From there I waited for a shuttle bus to pick me up to bring me to the domestic terminals ( how big can this airport be?). I thought I was in the home stretch to relaxing before my flight until I saw everyone laying outside the airport. It didn’t open until 3 am and it was just 2 a.m.
At this point, I had given up any hope of sleeping this night. After 3 a.m., I waited in yet another long line to check my bag once more and head to my terminal. By 3:55 AM, I learned Indonesia did not share the same time values as the Filipinos because we were boarding 5 minutes early.
I thought then that I can get used to this on-time business.
I boarded the plane and was hit with exhaustion and began nodding off sitting perfectly straight up. I woke up to us landing at 6 a.m., no buckle on so I had to break my fall forward. I jolted up, ready to take the last part of my trip to my hostel.
I hadn’t expected what I had seen stepping off the plane; carvings carved into the airport wall so elaborate that people stopped to take photos. There were statues of Hindu depictions and beautiful arrangements of sweet-smelling flowers everywhere that all of this was enough to make me forget about my complete exhaustion. And to think I hadn’t left the airport yet.
I went outside, haggled a $23 taxi ride to my hostel down to $13, and began scoping out my surroundings once in the backseat of the taxi. Statues overtook the airport, mixed with such luscious greenery everywhere. Doorways that were etched with designs, boarding royal-worthy doors. I kept thinking to myself, this country is one I don’t want to just visit, I want to delve right into its every crevice.
After nodding off again in the taxi driver’s car to be woken up to us getting lost. After a few phone calls and stops, we were able to navigate to the hostel. Finally, I thought.
12-hour trip with little sleep had me feeling an exhaustion that made my stomach churn. I walked into an empty hostel ( of course everyone is still sleeping at 8:30 am). I could already see tanning beds lining a beautiful small pool with another similar to it in the back of bar. I threw off my backpack immediately and began settling everything, despite wanting to sleep.
First-pay hostel. Then I gathered my laundry, asked where to drop it off as well as find some breakfast to alleviate this churning feeling in my stomach and headed down the road.
If there was a time to label myself a go-getter it would be now. Although, I had been so entranced by the sights of Bali already I felt there was no time to sleep- only time to discover.
After dropping my laundry off, I found a beautiful outdoor restaurant run by an Indonesian family. The place had plants everywhere with statues through out the place of Hindu figures. There were bird cages filled with singing birds dangling from different parts of the restaurant, mixed with some free ones flying casually about. I watched with complete love. My heart was expanding because everything about Bali drew me in – my lack of knowledge of Hinduism and who these statues are of, the peaceful accent with birds chirping and roaming free , an empty restaurant with only myself an a family scattered throughout to enjoy it, and the very royal accent Indonesians add the everything- embroidered borders painted gold.
I finished my amazing breakfast- some noodles tasting similar to Thai cooking and as well Bali coffee, a strong tasting coffee with sweetness to it that every person should try.
Now I am at my hostel once more, trying to figure out what today’s adventure should be.
Oh, the possibilities!