Traveling in Bali

I’m known for the lack of traveling that I do. Usually, I stick to driving one of my daughters to school, going to one of the local stores for shopping, visiting the bank once a week and snorkeling in front of the house. It’s a pretty non-adventurous life. I certainly couldn’t have done this ten years ago – I would have gone stir crazy, but ten years can have a calming effect on a person. My years in Pakistan during the early days of the war in Afghanistan were fairly adventurous, and my nine years of roaming the jungles of New Guinea were exciting and gave me a wealth of tales to tell. I’ve more or less settled into a family-oriented life now – the kids, my wife, and reading and writing keep me satisfied and amused.

However, I still am struck by the occasional need to get out of the house, the neighborhood, and the city and wander around Bali to see what is going on in the other parts of the island. This past weekend, I headed down South to Kuta with two friends to spend a few days just looking around, as I haven’t spent any time there in years.

I was astounded by the amount of money that is evident in all the luxury houses, apartments, commercial buildings, condos and villas. Huge billboards advertising one housing development after the next with prices listed at $150,000 and up and up blighted the view along Sunset Road. We pulled in to Carrefour so that I could check on what items they had for sale there, and again I was amazed at all the imported specialty food items.

One of the characteristics of aging is a tendency to anchor reality somewhere in a past often veiled by the mists of time. I noticed that my comments during the two days we were down south were punctuated with “I remember when this was…” By the end of the second day, I was just getting to accepting the reality of the south as it is now – one continually developing sprawl of malls, housing complexes and businesses catering to the ever increasing expatriate and tourist population.

For me, the trip was useful because it gave me a more realistic idea of what is happening in the south. I feel much more confident now answering the regular email questions that appear in my inbox about where I would live if I had the chance to move again. No question for me that I continue to be a partisan of Buleleng.

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~ by drbrucepk on October 6, 2008.

One Response to “Traveling in Bali”

  1. Did you you behave yourself in Kuta? That’s what I want to know. Did I tell you I have a BlackBerry? Yes it’s the ultimate bourgeois yuppie thing I know I know…..

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