Bali, Sharing

Balinese dancers at traditional Buddhist ceremony

I was staying in Pemuteran at Mango Moon Guesthouse. Putu & Kadek did everything to make my life more beautiful there. Kadek Suparma is also a diving instructor! Well well well… Time for some fun dives. And so I went to Menjangan Island off the Northwest coast of Bali. No GoPro Cam, no pictures. Instead, some pictures of my visit at the largest Buddhist temple in Bali. Also, a video about the ceremony I attended.

   

Thai monks from Wat Pha Nanachat invite Andrea and me to join a traditional Buddhist ceremony at the Balinese Temple Brahma Arama Vihāra

   

   
   

The Chief monk explaining what is going to happen and why (in Malay and Thai)

   

Thank you, Terima kasih for posing, ladies!

   

Thank you Master Gotama

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Bali, Bedugul, Sharing

Motivations of giving

Doddy and me had just met yesterday evening – it so happened we stay at the same guesthouse. We share some stories and he tells me he goes to Surabaya the next day. Sure he can give me a ride to Pemuteran – he is happy to do so! We are meant to start at 5 a.m. But for some reason we leave two hours later. Ok by me. Going back to bed for another two hours I listen to this:

https://youtu.be/wTFLC_81dM4   
   

We go south from Bedugul (Hotel Melita, IDR150,000/double room)… I had scootered there from Ubud with an Italian guy named Andrea: Mille grazie amico!

   

My Italian travelmate Andrea & me on scooter ride to Bedugul. A taxi driver wanted IDR500,000 for the ride from Ubud to Bedugul. So we rented a scooter for 1/10 of that and went up north by ourselves. Thank you, Andrea, for taking me along with my big backpack 😉

   
   

Pura Ulun Danu Beratan (Temple at Lake Beratan, in Bedugul, Bali)

   

   

So from Bedugul Doddy goes south to do some business, and from there he goes to Surabaya where he lives. He brings me all the way to Gilimanuk. So generous! Inviting me for breakfast (Nasi pecel) and offering to help out as a guide next time i am travelling Indonesia. Please bring some friends along so We can make a group tour, he says, and keeps on repeating also when I visit him in Surabaya a week later. So, my dear reader, now you know that I know a guy who can help you with organising a trip to Bali-Lombok-Flores-Timur!!

   

Wonderful Buddha statue at Brahma Arama Vihāra, Bali

    

12 links of paticcasamuppada – Dependent Origination on the steps of the Biggest Buddhist Temple in Bali (Brahma Arama Vihāra)

   

Ignorant fools, aggressive, greedy minds, closely related to humanity

   

Oftentimes I suspect people expect something from me in return. That might be true in some cases. Sometimes, though, the generosity of some person I meet is genuine and his/her only motivation is to give without wanting something back (and be it only a loose connection to that Austral… European traveller). Anyways, I have to make a confession of being somewhat stingy at times. Having arrived here at yet another paradise in Bali – a shadow cast over dat place – all I can think of is to save money by negotiating the price of accommodation. I am ashamed of how I acted. Even if it is common as a backpacker to negotiate and to try saving a buck – I have come across people who truly excel at this pastime, made it a sport even (“look, I’ve only spent 100 rupiah in a month” etc. etc.) – even so, I sense that I hurt Putu by my attitude, the lady welcoming me at their homestay in Pemuteran. I regretted this and told her I am sorry as soon as i could muster up the courage to do so. Stinginess hits me sometimes. I would like to be inspired by the generosity of the people I meet. Or is it that I am generally generous, grateful and giving? Am I being too harsh with myself? Like a white cloth on which a small stain of stinginess is all the more visible than on a dirty rag? Who can tell? Who knows my innermost drives, values and motivations… but me? All I know is that I don’t particularly like myself in survival mode!

Maybe it has brought the species where it is nowadays. Be that as it may, suspicion and mistrust remains a nasty habit nonetheless. So I give the tuktuk driver some more than he expects, something more than what we agreed upon. Surprised, he looks at me and smiles… and tells me my next ride “if you go to airport or whatever, sir” is free of charge. Now I am surprised.

Too surprised to get his phone number.

And off he goes.

   

Sun sets over rice fields on our way back to Bedegul, Bali

   

Suspecting others to take advantage of me and trying to make the best deal. I need to change my view if my actions shall habe a more gentleman touch. Simply ‘wanting’ to be more generous does not work. It’s gotta be in the spirit of wuwei – not forcing it. Advice is appreciated, dear readers? how do you deal with this issue in your life? Are you aware of why you are giving time, money, resources, smiles? Do you expect anything in return? Are you disappointed, even angry, when someone is ungrateful? Do you identify yourself with the giver? Do you use giving as a means of self-aggrandizement? Do you think you can only give once you have enough – and when will it ever be enough?
   

This has helped me along my journey:

   

“Any wish, any desire, any activity in the mind is dukkha, because all thinking is forever moving. Movement is irritation, which creates dukkha, and can never be totally fulfilling. if we think about the past, for instance, we bring it into the present. If that past was unsatisfactory, we wish it had been different, thereby causing ourselves a lot of needless suffering. We should let the past rest. […] Equally, if we bring the future to mind, hoping for something we want, or praying that some other thing will not happen, we bring that also into the present and with it, dukkha. We need to look at ourselves honestl, though without judgment, and recognize how frequently we do this and how foolish it is.”

Ayya Khema

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Bali, Denpasar, Indonesia, Sharing, Ubud

First impressions of Bali

 

Gib mir Mut mich zu verändern
Und dabei ich zu bleiben
Auch in schlechten Zeiten zu akzeptieren
Mal nichts zu schreiben
Lieber der Feder weichen
Um am Ende zu begreifen
Dass es sinnlos is Texte zu schreiben
Die nie Qualität erreichen

Clueso

   

Having refrained from documenting my activities and travel itineraries for about a month, I am finally in the mood to write something again. There was a lot going on and most of it extraordinary and beautiful. Some of it was ordinary and not worth reporting. Now that I am in Sri Lanka at an animal shelter with 160 dogs and around 60 cats I take the time to let you all know how I experienced my travels through Indonesia.

   

Landed in Bali Denpasar and checked in at Eco-Living Hostel. It’s a nice, quiet and tidy place with a budget dormitory. I met a French guy there who I found extremely well prepared. His name is Robin. I find it amazing how organised he seems to be. he has 9 months to travel. When I met him downstairs at the lobby he told me that he is currently planning the upcoming two months, checking routes and accommodation on his way to Mount Rinjani. Later on I learn he brought along water purification pills (Hydroclonazone). In the evening he skypes his parents. He gets information about the places he will go to, checks internet forums and websites, keeps a balance sheet of how much he has spent for what (app: ‘Handtrip’). Really an inspiration, that guy. Check out his blog.

From Denpasar I moved on. Went up north to Ubud. First time for me. It was quite an experience. Also, I felt a bit lonely there to be honest. So many couples! So much to buy. Babylon Babylon who gonna chant down Babylon?! I went there by scooter and could not relax, could not take it Bali pace that day. Too much going on.

 

I went back to Denpasar to Szabrian hostel – the couple who owns the place: very lovely and hospitable. She is a Hungarian named Betty so i could practice my language skills a bit 😉 She is married to Ryan, a Balinese man. They have two little children. During my way back it started to rain. My rain poncho got torn apart cuz I tried to cover myself and my small backpack as well. Fixed it with a safety pin. Got some salad and hot chocolate for IDR100,000 at a fancy vegan organic restaurant called ‘Sage’. Great food, great service but it comes at a price which for Ubud is normal, for Indonesia in general is sky-high and certainly unaffordable for locals.

Anyway, I went back. It seemed a lot faster to go back.

Anyone knows why that is? How come it always seems faster to return from somewhere than to go there in the first place?

Ubud feels like Pai³. Or rather, Paiⁿ. I just haven’t discovered the entire scope of it yet. It’s huge. I went around and around. It’s so crowded. I had a pumpkin soup at Lotus cafe and chilld at the lake near Lotus temple. all the time drizzle, rainy.

So.. that same day I went back to Denpasar. When I went to bed my nose was running, my eyes were burning, and a slight headache caught my attention. The next day as well – only worse. So I gave back the scooter to Eco-Living Hostel, said thanks to Sinda and Gede. Walked back some kilometres. Bad idea. Half-way my face was melting away, I sweated like crazy. Still, I kept going. Got some curry puffs and bananas on the way. Also, some ‘maskers’, facial masks. I put one of them over my nose and mouth… ahhh, that’s better. It was not a snotty wet blur any more. I entered the hostel and slept three hours. Got up. Got food. Talked to the other hostel guests there, sitting outside, sharing stories, chilling. Went back to bed soon. Drank turmeric juice and moringa tea. Next day, all good!!!

Some days later I joined my new friend Quino to Ubud. Here are some pictures I took while I was there with him and a German guy, Alex.

  

 

 

 

 

Coming up: How my trip on Bali continued… Meeting a Javanese friend, visiting Bedugul, going for SCUBA diving in northwest area, and participating in a traditional Balinese Buddhist ceremony.

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