Salumat Pagi from Bali.
Now is 12 days from leaving NZ & still this adventure is just beginning! I am settled into sweet accommodation 20 min walk from the cultural/spiritual centre of Bali in Ubud surrounded by rice fields, chickens, ducks & gorgeous views in 3 directions. I’ll tell you more about this later, but first Singapore. What a buzzy geek place this is, everyone wants to sell you something & my tightwad Scottish heritage came in very handy in those situations!
I stayed in the Little India area, & would recommend anyone visiting Singapore to check out their market on Sunday evenings, very colourful, crowded & noisy. I will be returning to Singapore on the way home, & also to extend my Indonesian visa at sometime before my 2 month visa finishes, for the final 3 weeks!
Highlights of the brief 2 days in Singapore were the music & book shops which are using the latest technology, either having Ipods all set up in various music genres, you can very quickly sample listen to vast amounts of artists not known, or even explore your favorite’s latest recordings! The selection is huge because you have all the western stuff plus the Asian/Indian/Chinese/Korean etc musical categories. Borders store (book shop) even has their CD’s displayed where you can scan the bar code into a machine & listen to the first 30 sec of each track. Another shop had 100 CD players set up, once again in categories & cataloged so you could easily find your listening choice. I found the main Yamaha Music store and tried out (in their practice, sound proof room) the top of the line Soprano Sax Pro model, and wow was this a sweetie, clean and strong tone through out the whole range, good to get the experience of playing a $4700 instrument, so now I know I can indeed play a Soprano!
Bali is quite a place. The streets are full of sellers wanting to actively sell! “You need a nice woman for the night!---Where you going,---what country you from….downunder?---You want transport!---Massage!---Hey boss!---Just have look in my shop, no hurt to look---come on---what colour you like---yes you buy---I give you cheap price” etc,etc,etc. It’s all fun and they are soft and genuine, willing to laugh easily! I spent one night here, 2 nights there, checking out local accommodation options, prices, supermarket proximity, outlook & would I enjoy staying in this place! I settled on one for the princely monthly sum of $400NZ & paid the first week! Within 1 hour of playing my sax, an American neighbor (about 50 yards away & 2 houses over) spoke up and suggested I go somewhere else to practice, so I started looking for another place, and found this current one (which is actually in view of the old one) much better all round plus only $270NZ per month. Ah yes doesn’t the universe work in wonderful ways! After my first joyous practice session here I did have 2 complaints come to me & have modified my practice schedule with 4/30 minute sessions starting at 11am till 2 pm, with 30 minutes rest is good for all concerned. I shut the windows in some directions & play as quiet as possible (not an easy matter on Saxophone) hoping & expecting no further negative feedback!
Doing my own cooking here is a lot of fun, many new fruits and veggies to sample and play with. I even have a juicer here, so with papayas at $1 each, half a coconut at 30c NZ, tomatoes at less than $1NZ per kilo the options are endless! I intend next week to attend a Balinese cooking class ran by and expat Aussie woman who takes us though the Ubud market, buys the stuff then we go cook and finish the day with wine & our own self made banquet, all for $45NZ. Then I can explore the local culinary dishes in my own kitchen. I am impressed with the gas cookers, powerful, instant, yet can turn down to a very low simmer! I am waiting for the bewitching hour of 11am to continue my daily rituals. (Tai Chi @ 10.30am)
Checking one’s email at the numerous internet café’s is interesting, each one is different, keyboards, set up, operating programs, even sitting arrangements (lotus position) is available! My computer has found a valid wireless connection at a good strength, & so far my enquiries have found no one who can advise how I can connect , or whether it’s viable! Weekends I may go exploring the countryside, either on foot or by bicycle, The memory of frosts and the fine cool weather of Rosedale has been replaced with the balmy Balinese beautiful green rice fields of Ubud. So till the next nutur (story) & Blog….stay tuned!
Namaste & Arohanui