Chiang Mai to Bangkok to Bali in a week.
The hospitality of some really goes a long ways. Jesse, my couchsurfing host in Bangkok was Dutch. He didn’t have a lot to say up front, but once you started talking to him he had a great heart, and a very insightful outlook on life.
One of the highlights in staying with Jesse en route to Bali was going to a Dutch bar in Bangkok and watching the Netherlands play Mexico for the World Cup. At the half it was still 0-0. Orange shirts pouring out of the small bar to watch the match. Mexico soon scored, and “boo” soon became the only word in my lexicon.
While watching the kept, I was chatting with this Dutch entrepreneur who loves, and has lived in America. He was funny: he kept telling me “minute 85 we’ll score you just watch.”
It was minute 88, the Dutch blasted a goal between the posts.
Everyone went insane! A few minutes later in stoppage time, a Mexican defender tripped a Dutch player. Holland had a free kick–and the ball soared to the back of the net for the game–a winning goal! Everyone went insane.
The second round in Bangkok was an interesting experience. Cramped into Jesse’s tiny apartment–it was two Americans (us), an Indian guy, a german girl, a french girl, a Dutch guy and a girl from the Philippines. It seems like 50 years ago an outing such as this would have been unheard of. I like my generation as It crosses cultural boundaries, and transcend nationalism while maintaining socio-diversity.
We’ve skytrained and took the subway everywhere (which was surprisingly really nice and easy to use). After obtaining visas from the Indonesian consulate, we trekked around sweating in multiple markets, and meandered down the smoggy streets. I was growing tired of the city and had to something new.
After one of hour sleep Casey and I said goodbye to our hosts and departed to DMK (Don Mueang Airport) at four in the morning. Hours later in a stupor, I awoke to the captain saying that we are descending to Bali. Getting there.
I look out the window, the sun is lightly beaming through the clouds, reflecting off the water. A deep blue water and it’s beautiful–something I had greatly missed in Thailand.
We nestle down for a soft landing which comes at a deep sigh of relief. My mind is now telling me: I am in Bali.
This is my first time in the southern hemisphere, and as someone who appreciates geography, it was a very meaningful feeling. Upon arrival, we went through customs which was a breeze, and set out for a coffee shop in Seminyak to wait for my new couchsurfing host to get off work.
We found this trendy little place in the heart of Seminyak. Eventually I received a text from my host, and we met him at the local supermarket on the main road.
He had a car and hooked us up with SIM cards, food and has been hosting us at his place. It’s been fantastic. He’s shown Casey how to ride his motorbike, had long conversations about his family and how he grew up. He took us on an excursion to see the island of Bali where we encountered dozens of monkeys in the forests of Ubud, and got to see the majestic volcano.
The Balinese are such a friendly and peaceful people. Everyone is laughing and having a nice time with one another. We’re now living in a house in the Sanur area, with a British woman. It’s a quite large house, has running water and I have my own bedroom. It’s so refreshing after all this traveling.
Nearby there is a little food joint we frequent at least twice a day. The english is definitely lacking but these nice Balinese girls already know what we want when we walk up. Every time we go out to eat, which is usually at a traditional place only visited by locals, we always end up having a unique conversation.
Everyone is fascinated by us. We live in an area that is very Hindu, with elements of Islam.
The business also launched, which you might be aware of–www.packrr.com.