Saturday, July 23, 2011

Bali Day 4

Sun, June 5 2011

My first shot at the market
Got up at 5:00am! Was ready in no time and on my way to a real, live, traditional, Balinese market!  One that, I was soon to discover, was filled with all kinds of strange smells (among other strange things).  We got there about 5:30 it was still dark, and my driver asked if he could go pick up his wife so that he would have someone to talk to and because where I would be stopping for the day was a long was from his home so he wanted to have someone to keep him awake.  So he took off and I started to explore this maze of a market.  It was quite the maze! I rarely worry about being able to find my way back to my driver (or where ever) but seeing as it was dark when I got dropped off, and this place was so cramed and huge, I was starting to wonder if I would be able to find it back to the parking place my driver said he'd be at. (there were many of them) But I'm pretty good at not worrying about a problem before it is a problem and for now I wanted to explore!

So I wandered around. There was tons of weird stuff to see, piles of ginger root, potatoes, flowers, beans, baskets, dried fish. Some stuff looked yummy. Some... not so much.  It was dark still so I was just carrying my camera around until the sun started to come up, but already I was noticing that I was getting more looks (and some chattering laughter) than I had at other places in Bali.  As the sun came up I realized that I was the only white person in this whole intire market, the only person with a camera (a big black one at that), and in fact, the only person who wasn't Balinese as far as I could tell.  Throughout my trip, this was the one place in Bali where the Balinese though it strange that I would be there. (and I wandered into some pretty out of the way places!) Also this was the only place where I found people seemed visibly shy or opposed to having their picture taken.  After I realized this I adopted the strategy of taking a picture of their produce or merchandise for sale which pleased them very much, and then including them in the picture as well which they did not oppose. After all, this was their product that was being photographed.
A woman weaving small baskets/boxes that are used to
cook rice and food in. You can open the the box and eat
the rice out of it kinda like a bowl. 

One section of the market that I came across was the place where a lot of the men were hanging around.  It was the spot where roosters were bought and sold for cock fights.  (some thing that is very popular in Bali as I had already heard from Komang my driver)  This was one of the places where my four words of Indonesian came in handy.
I was walking through the middle of this section, surrounded by rosters and men sitting around for the most part, and a man said something to me in Indonesian.  I said "Sorry, I don't speak Indonesian". As I was passing him he said kinda quietly "Maybe you don't speak Indonesian because maybe you don't try".  He said it in kind of a smart alec type way.  I stopped and explained to him "I've only been here in Bali four days, but I already know four words in Indonesian!".  I said "Saya mau burrmine sepocbola". The men laughed a little and the man who had spoken and I talked a little bit.  Turns out he speaks very good English, the best in the market that I found, and I ended coming back after wandering around more.  He showed me his prize fighting cock, and explained to me just what made him think this rooster was better than the others.

So we took off from the market, stopped for some Sata, and then got back to the hotel I had stayed at the night before for breakfast. It was around 9:00am or so.  Komang bought the sata for me. He said that a local could get about 10 sticks for a buck $1 while I would probably have to pay $3 or so.  There was some awesome sauce to dip them in as well, and a little packet of rice.  It was good stuff! I'm craving them right now as I type this.  These sata were fish since we were near the cost. In other parts of Bali we came across beef and pig sata. There would just be places along the road where people had little stands
set up cooking the meat and selling it.

Once back at the hotel for breakfast I ordered some fruit and a banana pancake. You can see the banana pancake bellow. LOL it was a banana wrapped in pancake. Not quite what I was expecting, but still good.  Now I was still a little hungry (yes even after the sata too) so I decided to order extra even though it would cost me some rupiah (the first stuff was free).  You see, with the time change I found I really wasn't hungry at

lunch time (that being the middle of the night for my stomac) and since I really wasn't hungry and there was so much to see I skipped lunch throughout the trip around Bali and had just taken to eating bigger breakfast. Plus Komang bought me stuff (fruit and sata) during the day sometimes.  All this to say, I ordered more food, it took them a long time (at least by Balinese standards) and by the time they got back to me it was a different girl and I ended up getting a whole new breakfast for free. Happy me!  Anyway the food is good.  Moving on...

The first stop of the day after breakfast was the traditional Balinese village. Everything was supposed to be traditional here. The food, the houses, the cloths, everything hand made and crafted.  Everything that is except...
The Icecream truck of course ...or motorcycle. Who's going to say she can't come in here?  Besides this though there were no vehicle or motors that weren't powered by people.  By the way... it appears that Ferris wheels originated in Bali...

Or at least the basic idea!

After the village we went to the temple on the water ...wait. No, this was the water temple (or palace) tomorrow is the temple on the water.  There were many children at this place and I began to realize that many of the spots my driver was taking me to were also popular field trip spot for school groups.  School groups take trips every week to different holy places around the island as well as to the beaches in some spots to see the sunrise.  Even back in Sanur were the conference was held there were older school groups there every morning to watch the sunrise. Sometimes these groups were on a field trip from another island.  They often spoke good English and very often as I passed they would ask for a group photo with me.  At first this was kinda fun, and I would oblige as long as they would let me take a photo with my camera as well. They always were excited about this for some reason and sometimes they when they asked for a group photo they wouldn't even take one with their own cameras! They were just satisfied to have had a picture taken with me I guess.  Anyway, after a while this wasn't as fun and new. I mean, how many pictures do you need with groups of people (sometimes random as people around would jump in) that you have no clue who they are?

Well we made it to Lovina with out problem. Lovina was where I was going to stay the night, almost the very north of Bali.  They beaches had black sand here. It was a smaller quieter town than some of the other northern towns I think.  Less tourism, but still plenty of people to sell you stuff.  The vendors were more friendly here though sometimes pretty slick.  Here when you said "No" to a vendor it did not end the conversation but at least it got you going in the right direction.  In some places saying no only makes it worse because you have given them some attention and they are only going to try harder.
The fact that the town was more quiet, less touristy, more friendly, bartering was more relaxed, and the fact that I found one of my new favorite fruits here all joined together to make this my favorite spot in Bali.  And I would seriously recommend to anyone going to Bali to get away from the southern parts and explore the north.

This is one of the beach vendors. He had some pretty cool stuff.  He collects shells along the beach and makes them into jewelry.

These are traditional calendars and some paintings.

Fisherman fishing for small fry

And then the sun started to set.  It was beautiful.

This photo to the left sometimes has me wondering if it is iconic to me and my life.  All set and ready to sail of into the horizon... but if you look closely there are ropes holding it down... ...for now

And then the sun did set... and it was absolutely beautiful!

 By the way the boats in these pictures are what the majority of the boats in Bali look like.  Any one of them is ready and more than willing to take you out to watch the dolphins.  That was the one thing that got a little annoying in Lovina. I kept having to explain that I didn't want to go dolphin watching the one morning I had there and no one could understand why I didn't want to since it was the only morning I had to go dolphin watching.

Lovina is on the north beach of Bali and you can find it on google maps.  My map drawings weren't going so well.

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