Friday, July 1, 2011

Bali, "Hi!"

I'm here!!! I got in Tuesday night around 5:10pm Bali time, 5:10 in the States. After booking it through customs, I grabbed my stuff and went out into the not-as-humid-as-I-had-expected evening. Met my new friends Putra, Leslie's nephew, and Ika, the program coordinators for the Indonesia: Culture and Conflict program I am here to do with the ever brilliant Dr. Leslie Dwyer.

Ika and Putra and I stopped for yummy food at Bali Bakery (rice! yay!) and then went to Leslie's for the night. Her house is AMAZING. Open on all sides, with this incredible garden all around. And hot water! After 30 hours with no shower other than the rainstorm I got stuck in, I was pretty happy to see a shower.

Bali Bakery food was yummy, but what was funny is that it's a totally Western restaurant. We walked in and Putra said, "welcome back to your culture!" Really, the best way to have Balinese food is from a local Warung, a small food stand/restaurant place...think your mom's kitchen with several dishes set out. You point at what you want (or if you speak Balinese you ask like a nice dignified person, rather than pointing and nodding while smiling like a moron, as I do) and then they wrap it up in a sheet of paper. It's so clever with the paper. They fold it so that it holds the rice, tempeh, chicken, sauce, veggies, everything, in just one little sheet. And it's DELICIOUS! Oh, and, about $.90US.

We spent yesterday zipping around on motobikes looking at the homestays where me and the other students will be over the next month. I am in LOVE with riding on motobikes. I even have my own helmet now. Putra let me borrow one from a family member, then took me to get my own (blue!) yesterday, along with a cell phone.

Last night I moved to the beach for two nights of R&R before the program starts. First impressions of Bali are awesome, I am so glad to be back in Southeast Asia and really, really grateful I had the opportunity to come.

My internet connections have all been super slow and I haven't been able to get pictures up yet. Check back tomorrow, hopefully they'll be up. Looking forward to writing more over the coming weeks!

First adventure? Studying on the beach, natch. Grad school meets sunbathing.

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