I have arrived on Bali, Indonesia. Click to view a map of Indonesia (opens in new window). You can locate Bali on this map by finding Denpasar, the capital city.
I spent my last evening in Singapore walking around the city center. It struck me again that Singapore is much more multicultural than (for instance) Holland, and I do hope the people get along as well as they seem to do on the surface. At the Chinatown night market, there were of course a lot of Chinese people and tourists, but also people from India or Bangladesh, their dresses in the most brightest of colours, their skin very dark, having a look at the night market after having said their prayers in a nearby Indian temple.
I am so fascinated by big cities. Walking around in the Central Business District between those incredibly tall skyscrapers, feeling very small, is quite something. I sat down near the water front after almost having strained my neck from looking up. The waterfront was lined with cafes and restaurants, and statues of lions, and I watched the Chinese-style boats with lanterns float by, allowing the tourists on the boat a nice view of the Singapore skyline. As I stared into the distance, I thought about my future travels, and the fact that the real exploring was about to start with my flight to Bali.
Again, that amazing friendliness you are greeted with, that I’ve also experienced in Thailand and Vietnam during previous travels, the huge smiles and people you don’t know saying hello to you. But also so many people trying to sell things to you, who try to drag you to their shop, with such persistance that I have to try hard to remain polite. I am in a hotel in Kuta, a littlebit expensive for my shoestring-style of travelling, so I might check into a cheaper guesthouse at a later point, but the pool and gardens of my hotel are wonderful. I really haven’t decided on how to explore Bali or its surrounding islands, I will have some quality pool- or beach-time and think about a possible itinerary.
On the way to this Internet cafe, I walked past the monument that was erected in honour of those who died during the bombings, two years ago, here in Kuta. Although the Balinese people don’t want to hold remembrance services as it is apparently not their custom, the families of the victims and the embassies of the countries involved clearly have. The enormous sign with the names of too many victims was adjourned with flower wreaths and very moving little notes and letters from the families, with little photos. It was very sad.
On a more brighter note, the tourists seem to have flocked back to Bali. I can’t compare it to pre-2002, as this is my first visit, but it seems very busy here.
Right now I could use a little food, so I will leave it at this and get me some pisang goreng and maybe some spring rolls. Yummm.
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