Saturday, 22 November 2014

Seeing Bali as a pillion, I might love you again.

Travelling to me is a journey of soul searching, with an edge to it - some danger, or at least an adventure. I will always head home from faraway homes, with a smug expression and a bucketful of stories; whether people are willing to listen to them, or not. More importantly, learning that not everything is supposed to be postcard-replicates before you label them as top-notch destinations. The transiency of my stay in different countries taught me appreciation and showed me who I can be and how to love my surrounding.

Recently, (no) thanks to my internship in the media industry, all the uncertainties of travelling has gone with the way of Google maps, fold-out maps, and with it much of the excitement while lugging my half-human-sized luggages. In fact, everything is planned out and catered to; even the dinner for the last day.

That being said, I still enjoy having my feet off the soil of home and desperately finding a sense of belonging or at least challenging myself to adapt to a new environment without sticking out like a sore thumb. Last weekend, before I headed to Lombok for Travel Writers' Gathering 2014, I did a 1.5 days layover in Bali to visit Clara - albeit having visited Bali last summer, she gave me a whole new outlook on mushroom-infested Bali; as a pillion, while she skillfully maneuver through the gridlock of Bali's ruleless traffic.

Landing to a place and knowing your friend will be there, it brings a tinge of comfort and oxymoronic unknown familiarity. We quickly dumped all my belongings in her crib and headed out to Canggu for breakfast though my eyes and brain were begging for sleep. 30 minutes of my rusty navigation and (lack of) balance on the scooter to Monsieur Spoon, a boutique French bakery, we indulged in a pre-brunch meal; spending half our time swatting flies away from our pastries distractedly while we talked about the past 3 months of our lives.

We left for Betelnut Cafe before I started to get too comfortable with warmth of the sun and the friendly puppy nudging at my calves.

You'll probably be impressed by its rustic layout before the menu if you're a sucker for paradoxical contrasts like me. The ambience was hyped yet calming, and the place was colourfully adorned yet pleasing to settle in quickly. Serving from pancakes to toast, omelettes, and yogurt, it took me a while before deciding on avocado and scrambled eggs on toast; which was rather disappointing. I personally liked the range of drinks given that I am a self-proclaimed coffee-tea connoisseur. It was easy for time to pass as we sagged into our cushions, stealing glances at the rice paddies in between conversations.

This picture sums up our first afternoon - drifting in and out of siestas.

With our pseudo-philosophy conversations about society and life, it makes me ponder about "who we are" instead of "what we are". #sgliving (inner joke)

We retired for the night at 9pm after a filling gasp-for-air-because-it's-too-spicy packed dinner. I succumbed to fatigue as I soaked the pillow with my saliva.

Day 2

With Google Maps in one hand and the other pulling down Clara's sweatshirt at 5am, we were cruising on Bali's highway to catch the sunrise at Sanur Beach, one of the most easternly beaches of the island.

The novelty of sunrises for its effortless display of radiant colours. Bright streaks of red and orange taking over the majestic purplish twilight sky, blurring the horizon as you squint your eyes in a desperate attempt to catch snippets of a new day.

Loving his morning scratch and stretch
Out of bed sunrise hair and face

In an audacious bid to satisfy our burger cravings after two cakes right before, we went to the said best burger joint in Bali. I can and will hold a 10 minutes debate to that claim. But I have to give it to their customer service, but that's probably because of the lack of in Singapore.

As much as I hate saying this, and as weird as it will sound, I was half-dreading my departure from Bali and Clara; or rather Bali with Clara. Just rolling in bed, stuffing our faces with food, and joy-riding down the largely rural area of Canggu are my new memories of Bali. I might give Bali another chance. Thank you, Clara. 


Places mentioned

1. Monsieur Spoon
Jalan Pantai Batu Bolong, Badung, Bali 80361
0630 - 2100
More information here.

2. Betelnut Cafe
Jalan Pantai Batu Bolong No. 60, Canggu, Bali
0700 - 2300
More information here.

3. Wacko Burger
Seminyak: Jalan Kayu Aya, Badung, Bali
Jimbaran: Jalan Uluwatu II no. 68
1200 - 2130 | Closed on Sunday
More information here.

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