Driving in Bali

Over our first couple of days in Bali, we hired a driver, a lovely man by the name of Wayan, to take us to some of the must see towns of the island, namely Seminyak and Ubud.

I think that at this point, it is appropriate to share with you my observations on driving in Bali.
  1. Unlike in Australia, tooting one's horn (also known as "honking") is not something one does to indicate omg-we're-about-to-crash or the-traffic-light-is-green-please-stop-inspecting-the-stain-on-your-shirt-and-move. Instead, it is used much more liberally for one of the following reasons:
    (a) To warn oncoming drivers that are in the blind spot around the corner, that you are around the corner.
    (b) To indicate that you are about to overtake the vehicle in front of you.
    (c) To indicate to other drivers that you intend to turn right. On that note, I am unsure of the reasons for which indicators/blinkers are used.
    (d) Generally, to communicate to persons in your proximity that you are driving a car and that your vehicle is large and imposing and that all pedestrians, bicycles and motorcycles should immediately remove themselves from the vicinity.
  2. Roads are usually extremely narrow, which apparently means that lane markings are guidelines only. You will find that you spend approximately thirty per cent of your time on the wrong side of the road and approximately fifty per cent of your time straddling both the correct lane and the lane for oncoming traffic. 
  3. When overtaking other vehicles, you really only need to watch for other cars. The assumption that all other forms of traffic (bikes, motorcycles) will drive around you. It is likely that overtaking will require facing some oncoming traffic (see point 2). And don't forget to honk (see point 1(b)).
For the pedestrians, I have some advice on crossing the road. Just watch out for the cars - the rest will ride around you.

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Bali vibes

I received mixed responses when telling people I was heading to Bali, so much so that I was not entirely sure what to expect. Friendly or unfriendly locals? Tranquil, relaxing beaches, or beaches infested by rowdy Australians? (FYI, I am Australian).

My final thoughts before departing for this trip is that like with anything in life it's what you put in that you get out - and big sis and I were looking for a relaxing, resort-type holiday. The sipping coconuts while reading trashy magazines on the beach kind. We would have the best time!

Turns out that I don't like coconut water very much (at least the kind directly from a coconut... am happy to smash the pre-packaged, refrigerated and guava-flavoured variety), and the only part I like in a trashy magazine is the crossword section. On day one I was so overwhelmed by the vastness of doing nothing for the next ten days that I dragged my sister into the first travel agent we encountered, had a chat with my new friend, Dennis, and said yes to everything he suggested.

Though this may have been partly due to the puppy they brought into the store that day. If you'd seen this little guy, you'da said yes to anything too!

Big sis had to talk some sense into me as I was handing over my credit card - I was on the verge of excessive spending. She was also not too keen on going canyoning in Indonesia. Plus there were all the activities she wanted to do!

Suddenly ten days didn't feel like enough.

Eventually we settled on an itinerary that satisfied both our needs - a nice balance of thrill-seeking and chilling by the pool (while reading Harry Potter). Stay tuned - will be sharing some of the adventures in the next few posts!

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Holiday prep

This week I'll be flying off to Bali for a much needed holiday. So in the usual fashion, instead of working really hard at the job that pays me wads of cash (I wish), I have been daydreaming about all the upcoming vacation type activities I'll be enjoying - i.e. lazing about in the sun. And with that comes the standard manic window shopping for suitable attire. Here is my shortlist.

Sadly, I was pulled violently back to reality when sharing my potential purchases with a friend. She recommended I spend my money on useful appliances instead."You're looking at a $300 bikini," she said. "Buy a damn juicer."

Truth is, I will probably purchase neither the bikini, nor the juicer. Hoping to be too busy spending my dollars on coconuts decorated with tiny umbrellas. See you on the other side, friends!


How to spend a rainy Saturday in Sydney

8am. Wake up. Ponder why no one else is awake*. Convince the person nearest to you to go to the farmers' market. But first convince them to wake up.

@ Eveleigh Market

9am. Head to Eveleigh Market at Carriageworks. Sample every chutney, cheese and bread sample within arm's length. Pat every furry animal that walks your way. Decide which stall will get your spare change in exchange for any breakfast featuring bacon and eggs. Promise yourself to try something different (like that cinnamon swirl) for the sake of New! Experiences! Conclude that you probably will not because you love bacon and eggs too much. And because you hate cinnamon.

11am. Go to yoga since you planned to the 9.45 class but bailed for bacon and eggs. Discover that it is actually Pilates. Breathe such that you "activate your core" and swish your arms about in a manner that you imagine is like a world class ballerina, but in reality is probably closer to a cockroach struggling to get its life back on track. Congratulate yourself on making it to day 5 of your two week yoga/Pilates free trial!!!

12pm. Have breakfast #2. Some may call this brunch. Others, lunch. In an attempt to not waste your efforts at Pilates (you're a Pilates girl now!), and because you've already had eggs today, order the vegan tofu scrambled 'eggs'. At first bite realise that you really wanted the non-vegan poached eggs. Gaze longingly at your friends' eggs.

3pm. Get a manicure.

4pm. Go home with the resolve to do life admin. Watch Harry Potter 7 part one instead while drinking tea and eating peanut butter ice cream (the one you got on quick sale yesterday), because you did Pilates today, girl, you ate egg flavoured tofu, girl, because Ryan Gosling wants you to, girl. Pay one gas bill during the boring dialogue and consider this sufficient life admin completed for today. It is Saturday, after all.

*You ponder this every Saturday at 8am.


Hello Shanghai

The city had a very European vibe, but I fell in love with the dumplings. Unfortunately our visit coincided with indigestion (the more than just unpleasant kind).

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