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World Travels by Casey

Last days in Bali

My last few days in Bali came and went quickly! During these days of craziness I met Tom Lang, a friend of my friend Brad's. He lives 5 months of every year in UBud and the rest of the year in Alaska. He works as a coach, teaching yoga instructors public speaking, when he's in UBud. When he's in Alaska he's an outdoor guide. He was a very nice man with a great spirit and a strong love for the people of the island. Tom gave me a lot of insight on the people and their culture, he was also able to answer many questions I had about everything Bali. 

This is Tom. He also writes short story books that I found selling at a yoga shop. That's where I took this picture. 

He explained to me that the women who are begging for money with their small children aren't from UBud. They are actually from a tribe up north and the Balinese don't want them there begging but they are to nice to voice it. They wish they'd just get a job like everyone else. The beggars always go back to where they are from. This made me feel a little better about what I was seeing for some reason. 

We talked about my art and he told me he knew the founder of the green school and they are more then likely looking for an art teacher in the coming school year.  With Tom's positive outlook on Bali and his talk of a potential career for me in the field I went to school for, I was starting to actually think about applying. 

I told Tom to put me in touch with the person hiring so I could ask them some questions. The job would be amazing but I don't think I could live on that island for a year or more. Doesn't hurt to ask questions though. 

Before Tom and I parted ways he handed me a pass to a 7am yoga class for the following morning. It was at Radiant Alive Yoga studio where Tom mostly worked out of. 

Yoga studio, this way! 

I gladly accepted the pass! It was a teacher training class and expected to be packed but the main instructor was a very well known one from Main, USA.

Shasta and I enjoyed some more authentic Balinese cuisine for dinner that night, this time we tried crispy duck. Something Shasta had been really wanting to try. It wasn't bad but it was nothing I'd write home about. It had a good sauce served with it and a small dish of slivered pickled veggies to eat with the duck. The pickled veggies MADE that dish! 

Crispy duck.

We parted ways for a few hours so Shasta could go to the Indonesian dance at the palace and I went to use up my last yoga pass at the yoga barn. It was a mostly outdoor class starting at 7pm. A very humid evening and I got eaten up by Mosquitos at the end of the class when I was laying in savassana, the final (resting) pose.

The class at radiant alive yoga the next morning was great! packed with 40 people and a good portion of them were there for a teacher training workshop. It was a 7 to 8:45am class that got me up and walking thru the town to get to class, earlier then normal. It was fun to see the locals setting up for the market. I think seeing all the work that you can possaibly see that goes into a market is important. Gives you a bit more appreciatiation for what you see and the people who are selling it. 

I saw these at the market set up and thought of my tutu (grandma). She has these planted outside her garage. I was suprised to see them in Bali. 

In the morning yoga class I experienced a new yoga technique (I guess that's what you could call it). Two assistant instructors were in the class and went around the room giving everyone a short neck massage with a natural form of Ben Gay on their hands. Yeah! Ben Gay on my neck for the duration of that class! It made for an even warmer class with the heat radiating in my neck but it was kind of nice to have it. An interesting form of yoga practice, indeed. 

We left our homestay after 12 days on this same morning. 12 days!!! It felt very strange and sad to leave a place that had been so good to us. I said good bye to Wyan, the owner and walked over to In Da Lodge hostel to say good by to the manager there, Edward, who I had become good friends with.

Edward and I. This guy was loads of fun and always had good tips on things to do.

I hired a taxi with my mad bargaining skills and Shasta and I headed to Canggu in the pimped out custom car of our 28 year old taxi driver. He even told us that he lives at home with his parents and he parks his car (his baby) in his bed room and his bed is right next to it. He was very proud of this fact and yes, I'm pretty sure he sleeps in a garage. Now back to the point, we went to Canggu to stay our last 2 nights in Bali with Alain and Michael and we hadn't been to this area yet but I knew there were beaches near by and a Crossfit box! 

S2S Crossfit. Great community of athletes! 

Alain flew to Hong Kong the same day Shasta and I were flying out so we figured we should all share a cab to the airport. Michael plans on staying in Bali  for a few more weeks but he wanted to hang out with us for our last few days. Plus sharing the nice air B&B place Alain found made accommodations super cheap! $10 or $15 for 2 nights with a pool included. 

Our pool, picture taken just after Michael copied Alain and jumped off the wall into the pool. 

Being around Alain and Michael, together is nothing but constant laughs! Those guys have become brothers to me and I'm really going to miss them. For the duration of our 2 nights with them I went to Crossfit Bali with Alain where I swear more then I ever have during a Crossfit class! I worked out next to a rice paddie with bats flying above me as the darkness settled in. It was a pretty special class to experience in another country. 

After class. Alain and I. 

Michael and I became scooter pals when the 4 of us would go out together. Shasta would ride with Alain and this was mostly because Michael wasn't used to driving with a passenger. Alain was and he told me (I've heard it before, ha!) I am a good motorcycle passenger so Michael should have me on back. 

Michael and I after our last scooter ride together. Alain with his fancy pants on, in the background. 

We had great breakfasts at a little gem of a restaurant called Beatle Nut, which I always called Beach Nut, on accident. It drove everyone nuts when I called it that constantly! Haha! 

The view from the upstairs of Beatle Nut. 

We went surfing in the Seminyak area in an absolutely disgusting ocean! I've never felt so gross from being in the ocean as I did here. There was garbage floating around my feet and the ocean looked like it had algee growing on top! I had to get out after an hour. The waves were good though. 

Our last night was spent as a group together experiencing some new things in the town. Later we took our adventure to the beach where we witnessed a beautiful sunset and laid on bean bag chairs in the sand listening to music and getting harassed by the local merchants. 

A magical sunset. 

One guy even had the nerve to start rubbing Alain's neck with an oil he was selling. Alain kept trying to get away from him and telling him to stop and then the guy tried to charge him for a "massage!" Alain told him no way and the guys response was "F you!" and he walked away. Can you believe that!? He didn't even know how to speak good English but those words were clear as day! 

2 of the several different vendors who pestered us! 

We have left Bali now. Flew out on Saturday morning (April 26th) to arrive in Singapore by the afternoon.

Good bye Bali! 
The 4 of us just happend to have the same brand and model in backs but different colors and sizes. 

We spent a night there with a friend of a friend, of mine, Alexis who is originally from Europe and is now living and working (for a purfume company) in Singapore. 

We spent some time at his apartment getting to know him, talking about travel and what we'd enjoy doing while we were in the city. We had a 14hour layover that we purposely bought so we could see this city and not skip it entirely. 

Singapore! 

So the night played out like this: Alexis, Shasta and I took a cab to china town to eat at one of the Hawker centers and see a Chinese temple that happened to be in the middle of a prayer session, inside. We were able to watch but were not allowed to take photos. 

We ate a delicious spread of different foods, lamb and beef skewers, lemon chicken and rice (as recommended by Anthony Boardaine on the travel channel), duck with noodles and broth, and an Indian form of lamb pizza with a coconut water beverage. 

We then took a taxi to a mall near the bay where we saw the hotel with what looks like a cruise ship on top of it. The bay of gardens was also in this area. It's a night garden that's lit up and very pretty. It made us feel like we were in the movie Avatar! Alexis parted ways with us here and headed to a house warming party leaving us to explore the city. And that we did! 

The hotel with the ship on top. 

The night garden, at a distance. 

We went to Arab street for a traditional tea even though we asked for iced since it was pretty warm outside, even at the late hour of 11pm it was hot out. Shasta ordered a traditional Arab pastry, baklava to go with the tea and for $7 it was BITE SIZE! Here is where I started to really see the spendy prices of this country kick in. Our bill for a pitcher of tea and the smallest desert ever with a restaurant tax added on was $19! Alexis had told us that all restaurants are expensive to eat at there and eating at the Hawker centers is the way to go! 

Shasta pouring our tea. 

This is Singapore tho, currently the most expensive country in the world to live in! 

The city Ferris wheel. 

Another good example of their price differences that I saw is a Starbucks venti caramel macchiato priced at $7.50! 
In Oregon they sell for $4.55 and I know 
this because it's my dad's number one drink of choice there. 

We headed back to Alexis house after Arab street to sleep for a few hours. The sound of my alarm at 6am, paired with the loudest thunderstorm I've ever experienced woke us. The thunder was right above us crashing down in heavy sheets joined with the pouring rain and the lightning. It was very intense and kind of cool to hear. It felt like the island was under attack by Mother Nature herself!  

A cab came for us and we thanked Alexis for his wonderful hospitality as we headed out the door aged sent him back to bed.

I'm happy with the amount of time we had in the city, it was almost perfect. Not to much not to little. Since it is such an expensive city any more time would have been pretty costly but we were able to see just enough in 14hrs. A good taste of this Asian country that is very clean and westernized, complete with clean water from the tap. 

Chewing gum is not sold here and spitting on the street can cost a person jail time or a fine of $500 +! There were signs in portions of the airport and on the mass transit train that said no eating or drinking or subject to $500 fine! They don't joke around here, they mean what they say! 

So Sunday morning we headed to the airport to fly to... Guess where!!!!???

Thailand!!!!!!!! I'm finally here! 
Oh how I've patiently waited for 13 years to travel to this destination. 

Stay tuned! :) 



Our next destination, I've dreamed of visiting for years! I'm SO ready for this! 
Nate KComment