Where do we begin? With the clear turquoise sea, with the mountain contours in the horizon, with the dozens of restaurants and bars scattered along the never-ending beach or with our bungalow’s two balconies? We’ve arrived in paradise, at least compared to Bali.
December 24th. Here it’s a normal day as any other. Christmas is celebrated mainly for the tourists and since most tourists celebrate Christmas on the 25th or 26th, this day is just another Thursday. The usual American Christmas songs about winter wonderland and chestnuts over open fire and so on are played in shopping malls and kiosks although it’s over 30 degrees hot. Even our frequently visited MiniMart where we can use the internet for free has got snowflakes and snowmen in the window. Despite these attempts to create a Christmas feeling, the real Christmas spirit is about 9000 km northwest.
Our two wheeled Mio quickly became our best friend here on Bali. Instead of tiring our feet with walking, Mio took us from A to B (mostly via C and/or D) quickly and painlessly. After two days of driving, we’ve become accustomed with the Balinese way of driving. Excessive use of the horn to make fellow drivers aware of your exstence, zig-zagging between cars, bypassing on either side as long as there is just enough room, and taking other vehicles in consideration to create a dynamic and, though a bit chaotic, quite well functioning traffic.
New hotel, new pool bar, new safe deposit boxes, new friendly staff. We moved on from our first hotel here on Bali to the second one where we’ll spend three nights before we go to Gili Trawangan. This hotel is more expensive, but the room is not as nice as the one we left behind. Still, the place is ok. I mean, it has a pool bar, what more can you ask for?
Panic! We’re about to miss our flight to Bali at the Changi airport in Singapore. We’re having our first fast food meal during the trip at Burger King under the impression that we have plenty of time until the gate even opens. When strolling back towards the gate, the gate information says CLOSING in big, red letters. As if it weren’t hot enough already, the several hundred meters run to the gate in flip-flops didn’t exactly cool you down. To our dissapointment, we had plenty of time to write on our blog and chill out before the gate actually closed. So much for the Singaporean organized management.
After the chaotic and dirty Bangkok, descending in the Lion City was like entering a city scale spa. The organized taxi queue led by a taxi supervisor and the slick Chrysler taking us to the city felt like a cool towel to our foreheads. The beautiful scenery and perfectly shaped trees and bushes were like healing lotion to our eyes. Bangkok had its own charm in the contrasts, liveliness and cheap shopping, while Singapore’s strength lies in its beauty, nightlife and relaxed atmosphere.
Chang beer and sambuca. We’ve just eaten the first Western meal since our flight to Southeast Asia. It’s the last night in Bangkok and we’re desperately trying to get rid of our last Bahts, of which we apparently had quite a lot. The Italian restaurant conveniently situated 50 meters from our guest house offered our poor Scandinavian stomachs a well deserved break from all the Thai food we’ve tortured them with the last couple of days. However, the pizzas we ordered were almost three times more expensive than your average Thai dish, although still only about 5 euros per pizza. Eating local food is cheap in Bangkok.