You know you're in Indonesia when...
...the line at the gas station is 10 deep with motorbikes. Not cars.
...a free-roaming water buffalo's just lounging in the shade in a schoolyard.
...your temple guide, an utter stranger, asks if you're menstruating.
...a family of five zooms by you on a single motorbike.
...not one pair of pants in your suitcase ever sees daylight.
Once again, my adventure abroad is nearing its end. And once again I am bursting with gratitude. Gratitude for the out-of-my-comfort-zone experiences. Gratitude for the genuine kindness of strangers that carried me along the way. Gratitude for the wonderful diversity in the world. And not least, gratitude for your enduring company. A feeling which is particularly appropriate amongst the Hindu beliefs woven through Balinese culture. Indonesia is a fascinating and beautiful country of which I've only scratched the surface. But even through the beads of sweat clouding my vision, I see clearly the cultural gem that is Bali. Its distinct images will not soon be forgotten nor will the distinct warmth of its people.
I leave you with some culturally iconic impressions from my trip. Terima Kasih (thank you) Indonesia and terima kasih to you, my treasured travel companions!
The rice fields of Pacung
Besakih (Bali's mother temple) silhouette
Villagers in prayer at Besakih
The lush, sprawling rice fields of Jatiluwih, Bali
Rice harvest in Ubud
Herding the ducks to the next rice paddy, Ubud
A tribute to Bali's spas!
The mesmerizing Legong dance
Jegog- A bamboo gamelan orchestra! One of my favorite nights!
Local greetings from the Bugis town of Wera- A stop on our boat trip
Traditional weaving in Wera
Just another day with a water buffalo lounging in the schoolyard.
Snakefruit, mangosteens, jackfruit... Fruit for sale at a local shop.
Turquoise waters around Indonesian seas
Phinisis like Al Iikai are impressive throughout the waters of Indonesia
A standard sight on the roads
Tradition exists even in the middle of hectic Kuta
Typical daily offerings at a storefront
Tanah Lot- One of Bali's most revered sea temples
Decorative umbrellas line the seaside walk in Legian
The lotus flower- A Hindu symbol of grace, purity, and transcendence