bali - day 1

i'm back from bali. actually like 3 days ago. overall it was a fun, tiring, tanning, exciting and different kind of experience. well for one, i would never imagine that bali would be so much different from what i projected in my head before the touch down. considering it is my second backpacking experience. it was actually a bit hectic, unorganised but still nice reminiscing back. the truth is, we never booked any hotel or backpacker before hand. no one was there to pick us up at the airport. the only thing we prepared ourselves was reasonable amount of cash, sleeping bags, backpacks, dslr, enough clothes for the next 5 days and we were off to another adventure.

i slept over at allen's place (my backpacking buddy, a friend i met during my backpacking days in nz last year) the night before. his brother in law was nice enough to drive us to lcct. with the swine flu going on, i don't see anyone backing up from travelling and let's just say the airport security on H1N1 isn't as strict as it can be. even upon arriving Bali, we didn't even have to walk through the H1N1 scanning machine. if you ask, we are all as well as dead. who know one of us is a walking time-bomb waiting to explode. as usual, international travellers are required to fill the necessary forms and medical form for H1N1 and to be carry at all time during the stay in the country. when we arrived at the airport, the arrival hall was packed with sea of humans holding welcome signboards and names. for a moment i felt like i was being welcome like some sort of celebrity! it was very tense! hahaha taxi drivers will holla at you to get your attention and asking you where you are going! it's unbelievable that there is no public transportation such as shuttle bus or public bus to city centre. it's just so bizzare! so the only rational thing to do is to bargain with the taxi driver. from RP80,000 to RP50,000. it's RP25,000 each for two person. (just remember one thing, take away the 3 zeros behind and divide everything by 3 and you will get that in ringgit, it was really hard on the first few days but the calculation will come naturally after a while...really cracks my head for mathematically challenged!) not sure if it was the best deal but being desperate, we got on the toyota avanza and headed towards Kuta (city centre).

poppies lane 1

as soon as we were dropped off by the main road, the driver directs us to where we want to go which is Poppies Lane. where all the backpackers are. prices varies from each backpackers and hotels. usually comes in 2 single beds no dorms like the ones in nz. cheapest price asked was around RP80,000 per night with no breakfast, comes with fan, no air cond so basically very basic stuff like beds and toilet (not to mention very run down and it's those kind of love hotel you see in movies or haunted motels). those with swimming pools, air cond and breakfast are above RP200,000 per night.

our resting place for the next 4 days

so we got ourselves a deal on one of the hotels called Rita Hotel - RP150,000 per night, which is only RM25 per person with 2 single beds, air cond, no water heater but comes with a breakfast set that include fruits, toasts, any kind of eggs of your choice (scrumbled/half boiled....) tea/coffee. it's a good deal if you ask me although the room might not be the kind you want to bring your gf or wife on vacation or honeymoon to. oh, did i mention there is not blankets provided? good thing we brought our sleeping bags!

kuta beach

didn't do much on first day as we arrived around 3.30pm in bali and by the time we got settled with our accomodation was already half day gone. we were sweaty, tired and trying to plan what to do for the next few days. we decide to chill at the beach watching surfers surfing and just enjoying the moment. it's so weird because everyone in bali was super friendly and at times i feel like we are taken advantage of in some ways. don't get me wrong. i like friendly people but there is a fine line that people shouldn't cross. later during the trip only do i realised that these people wants to do your business and will try anything even making friends with you. earlier on at kuta beach that day, allen was bargaining with the beach vendor on a flip flop and i was telling allen that he should ask for cheaper price. during that conversation, we were conversing in mandarin and to my surprise, the vendor's friend said "san shi wan" = RP30,000 ... i was dumbstrucked! literally. from then on, the next few days were more and more surprises as i withness balinese speaking in fluent french, spanish, japanese, mandarin, english...fuh yooh! so i made allen speak teochiew which was our mother tongue or family dialect. once we use teochiew on the street talking between us both, the less they will bother on us as they couldn't understand what were were saying. or should i say less annoying locals trying to sell you their day tour/products or just trying to get you to try their "magic mushroom" hahahahah....that my friend is another story i will share soon enough. while relaxing by the beach watching the sunset, this bloke from the beach who is a surfing instructor by the name of Brad (which is not his real name) made friends with us. we talked for a bit. about surfing. touring bali and no plans made yet. and i don't know if you are reading this but mate, i am really sorry we never take up your day tour as we found even cheaper tour the next day. he was a cool and nice guy. telling us not to talk to strangers or stay away from people selling "mushrooms" and "weeds" on the street. it's not very frequent to have friends telling you they encounter this kind of situation and moments in bali, which is probably why i am slowly falling in love with backpacking. learning to enjoy simpler things in life.

more photos here!


空気読めない (KY)?



memories of auckland

odd building across auckland library.


surf's up.

yui chan + tomomi chan monkeying around outside of burger king.

street art.

two strangers i met on my first day in nz. we were very much unseparatable for a week.

tomomi, taka, kousuke, me, ye eun, yui.

good times. i miss you guys.


minna no tameni

sometimes we're so focused on finding our happy ending we don't learn how to read the signs. how to tell the ones who want us from the ones who don't, the ones who will stay and the ones who will leave. and maybe a happy ending doesn't include a guy/girl, maybe it's you, on your own, picking up the pieces and starting over, freeing yourself up for something better in the future. maybe the happy ending is just moving on.



yeah. like the headline. that's how i feel about my current life and situation. i'm amazed sometimes some people are really blessed but yet so unappreciative. how people can take things for granted. just like that.


pending dreams

i'm back on the wheels again despite the advice doc given on the knee (skateboarding keep me sane). lately, i have been thinking a lot about my future. more precisely, my job options and what i wanted to do. other than my current profession, those other possible options don't really pay me much or may be i'm just too chicken to try it out. the safest bet at the moment is go back to square one, back to my profession that help pays the bill, put food on the table and may be save a little on the side. there is also the thoughts of going back to study which will required a lot of money. i hated to ignore the fact that money plays a big role here. can't i afford to be more carefree? i guess i can if my bank is loaded with endless greens but that is altogether a different story.

doing what i love to do isn't going to cut it. those dreams are like endless re-play on an old cassette player replaying over and over again in my head. may be it's time i really need to remind myself that reality is what i need, not fantasy. it's so hard to stop thinking and doing the things that i love most. it's even harder than forgetting a person. my addiction to the snow is at a level no normal human can understand. unless they too have been there and done that and still craving for more like i do. if only there is a way one step closer to achieving what i want.

after watching the some snowboarding clips, it really made me reminisced the good times in nz. i miss new zealand dearly. the snow. the sheeps. the mountains. the people. i want to go back there someday.

aw. another interview tomorrow. part of me is not looking forward to it because i'm not sure if i'm doing it for the right cause. but that cause will definitely put food on the table. if i do, i too will become a human robot. no less different from the sheeps.



i am officially a full time bum again. thanks to my own act. not very proud. today the boss called and wish me luck and all the best, asking me to give her a call when i feel like going back to work for her. after all those antics she pulled on me. i don't know if i'm suppose to be grateful or amused. it's not even funny. some people really knows how to put on a good show. someone should give 'em standing ovation for stunts like that. are they even listening to themselves talking at times? we don't need more crazy and dictatory people in this suffocated world. we need more love yo. the worst part is, i don't even know if i should feel sorry for myself or her.