Posts tagged Indonesia
4 - Indonesia Timeline

1670-1900 - Dutch colonists bring the whole of Indonesia under one government as the Dutch East Indies. 

1928 - A youth conference pledges to work for "one nation, one language, one people" for Indonesia.

1942 - Japan invades Dutch East Indies.

1945 - The Japanese help independence leader Sukarno return…

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5 - Bali Bali Oxen Free (Bali, Indonesia)

I wasn’t prepared for women in tank tops and asschunk-bursting Daisy Dukes. And all the males at varying stages of mullethood? Didn’t see that in the brochure. Gold chains, wily chest hair, and man boobs were the norm. I’d like to tell you there was irony involved. I can’t. It felt like the whole trailer park won an all-inclusive vacation. Jet lag did not aid my analysis…

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10 - People Across The Lake (Trunyan, Bali, Indonesia)

The residents are reputed to be descendants of the Bali Aga, the island’s original inhabitants who predate Hinduism. They’re well known for, among other things, unique “burial” methods. The dearly departed are placed on the ground, not in it. Bamboo enclosures serve as temporary mausoleums in an isolated cemetery accessible only by boat. And there they lay to decay the old-fashioned way. Have a nice stay…

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11 - Lake With Two Names & Pura Puncak Mengu (Danau Beratan, Bali, Indonesia)

Temple in the morning. Temple in the afternoon. I thought I would take an easy hike up the small mountain (Mengu) running north/south alongside the lake’s east edge. Lonely Planet implied the ease, but it was a somewhat grueling slog. Rain added to the gruel as did the faded path. Wet and slippery. That’s how I like my mountain trails…

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13 - Eat, Pray, & Love Ketut Liyer (Ubud, Bali, Indonesia)

From my second post, you may recall my reasons for choosing Bali as a launch pad. I couldn’t decide where to start my sojourn. A copy of Eat, Pray, Love fell into my lap. I read it and thought, Indonesia might be legit. I was too lazy to choose, so I let a middle-aged white woman’s memoir be my divining rod. The book didn’t cradle my soul, but it did peak my interest in. And so it was.

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15 - Cremate This (Ubud, Bali, Indonesia)

I saw things. Mildly unsettling things. Bali is tropical. Balmy. People get warm. Children swim. A group of kids went for a dip in an irrigation/drainage ditch along the road next to a rice field. Didn’t see a cremation, but I did witness nude boys splash around in, what I can only assume, was exceedingly filthy water. Highlights? Well, one kid took a prolonged aqua squat which could only mean one thing: Poopy time…

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16 - Rotating With Cyrus Copeland (Ubud, Bali, Indonesia)

This meeting, held at a Ubud restaurant, was brimming with odd right from the git-go. Cyrus and I are tall fellows, and on this night, both happened to be wearing black t-shirts. That was sufficient for repeated instances of mistaken identity, me for him…and two for tea.

Cyrus’ Rotary Club liaison, the woman who organized the presentation…

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17 - Phantom of the Honda (Ubud, Bali, Indonesia)

Nothing aids neuroticism like fear of the unknown. Pretend time was fun, but I was no mechanic. I figured I should have a real one do a service check (Honda dealership in Denpasar). And then I had another service check (small Ubud shop) to check out the first service check. Check? The dealership missed brake pads worn to the metal and an aged master cylinder. This is odd. Did they not miss an opportunity to bilk a gringo? Or did they switch out newer parts for bad? 

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18 - Sand In The Hourglass (Ubud, Bali, Indonesia)

Goddamn social butterfly. That was me. I spent more time with Cyrus, whiling away an evening or two with stimulating conversation and spectacular sunset vistas. He was renting a place smack dab in the rice fields. You might say the only thing missing was artificially colored baby chickens, but you’d be wrong. We had those. They’re sold on the street and are popular during festival time, which means all the time because there’s a festival for everything. PETA members would not…

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19 - Underbelly Bali (Black Magic, Indonesia)

After the aide recovered a couple hours later (no memory of the incident), she claimed to know who had done this to her. No question about it. An adversary orchestrated her possession, and she knew the responsible party. Payback time. Duuum-duh-dum-duuum…duuuuuuummm! I was told if I questioned any expatriate living long-term in Bali as to whether they believed in magic, the answer would be unanimous: As sure as god made little green apples. The Pope does shit in the Vatican.

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20 - Immigration Enigma (Bali, Indonesia)

And let me be clear. I am not a moron…mostly. I saw the potential snafu in this scheme. Island hop in Indonesia without my passport while placing tremendous faith in my friends at Balimode. Inordinate. How inordinate? Well, they had to keep track of all rolling expirations and allow enough time to process each renewal. They had to remove passports from the safe and hand deliver them to the immigration office in Denpasar and then return them to Ubud. I had to trust this would all run like clockwork. No snags.

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21 - Adventures In Coprophilia (Ubud, Bali, Indonesia)

Speaking of shit, I drank some. Well, not really, but I did have two small cups of Kopi Luwak. This coffee is ground from beans that have passed through the intestines of the Asian Palm Civet. Why is this brew so shitty and delicious? Apparently, it’s the chemical and biological miracle of civet digestion. The cherries pass through unscathed, perfectly primed to dazzle your taste buds.

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22 - Vortex to Vortex (Gili Trawangan, Lombok, Indonesia)

I saw boatloads of octopuses, but they were always antisocial, refusing to cavort. Most species are harmless and curious, so I thought we’d get along famously. I made overtures but my guide reprimanded me via underwater whistle and finger wag. Probably for the best. My enthusiasm got the better of me. I was only thinking of myself, not the octopus minding his own bloody business. Saw plenty of cuttlefish (a close relative) as well. Amazing creatures are these. They hover in one place and…

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23 - Mt. Rinjani Before The Shake (Lombok, Indonesia)

Even without a major catastrophe and threat of death, Rinjani was a real asshole. I found the going slow, the pace grueling. Although the volcano is described as such in the tourist literature, I had hoped to fare better. The reviews are often written with the lowest common denominator in mind. I aspired to be farther along on the bell curve. Nuh-uh. My ego likes to think I wasn’t at a hundred percent. It began with a fever which I’d hope to quell with 800mg of ibuprofen. Nuh-uh. Fatigue set in early on, at a much lower… 

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24 - Crazy-Rich Decadent Asshole (Kuta, Lombok, Indonesia)

Normandy and I spent a night recuperating at a small hotel in Senaru. You could say we became better “acquainted.” Our relationship was good, but “la lune de miel était finie” as they say. Our “Soup de Amour” had a shelf life of about four days. The first few spoonfuls were delicious, but shit got bitter at the bottom.

A few doors down, there was an eighty-four-year-old American guest from Rochester, New York…

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