According to my calculations I have been in Bali now for 25 days 15 hours and 40 minutes, give or take. At the moment I’m sitting in our gazebo eating watermelon and curing my sunburn. So the most popular question is “how’s everything?” and to answer it in very short terms GREAT. The sun is shining, the locals are nice, school’s what you can expect from school (I’ve never met a person who loves to sit in class), but here you don’t even mind the occasional possibility to enjoy air-conditioning. And the most important factor: I am a-okay! Yes I’m sunburnt, yes I have lost a toe nail, and yes everything is new in one way or another but saying I wasn’t okay would be a big ass lie. Even the sweating has stopped. Either I am actually getting used to the heat or I am so used to sweating I don’t notice it anymore (My mom is cheering in victory for being right about this ’cause I claimed I wouldn’t. Ever.). In other words no need to worry about me.
To start from the basics I live in a villa right in the centre of Seminyak, approximately a 5 minute walk to the beach. We have six ladies sharing our accommodation and I am almost ready to start driving a scooter to the university, which is 30 minutes away. The traffic here is awful and 1/3 of our students have already gotten a bump or bruise. Unfortunately that’s the name of the game here. Driving with car gets you nowhere in a very time consuming way. Food here in the supermarkets consists of frozen food and vegetables, and for a Scandinavian it’s really a mystery what to cook for dinner. But worries aside, let me introduce you to the Warung life (which I will do in a form of a post when I can control my hunger enough to actually take pictures of the food I’m eating). Warungs are local street kitchens or stalls that sell very cheap “homemade” Indonesian food. So a plateful of mie goreng might cost you 20 000 rupias aka 1,40 euros. Why bother to cook? When it comes to studies in addition to the 30 credits of business that I need to study I have started my studies of Indonesian language. I can say, even though it has been only a few weeks, that for a Finnish speaking person it doesn’t seem too difficult of a language. So hopefully by Christmas I can actually communicate with the locals, instead of repeating bagus (=good) and smiling innocently before running away to avoid anymore questions.
But in all honesty it’s not all dancing on roses, like nothing in this world is. The term culture shock has been used around me more than once. Things do differ from Europe a lot, especially from Scandinavia where the saying mañana mañana means done yesterday. When I moved to Sweden I realized how much your expectations can differ from the truth. Like buying one of those lengthening mascaras that don’t give you the fabulous mile long lashes when you get home. I think I learned from that experience to not have expectations but to just go with the flow and get around the obstacles. I really don’t know if this is good or bad, but I’ve noticed it has helped me to adjust to the life here in Bali. The real issue to be worried about is the return home. My life here isn’t real. I take go-jek, a scooter taxi, that costs 65 cents per ride to school, I eat food specially cooked for me by a “professional” and the cleaning lady makes my bed. I enjoy this 30 celsius heat every day and I get more vitamin D that one needs to fulfil a year’s need. I ask myself how am I going to survive the return to cold Sweden in the middle of January, to get back to my real routines and my life as a finishing bachelor student? I don’t think I can. I know I have to, but it doesn’t mean I can do it. When you realize the obstacle it’s easy to prepare for it. Bullshit I say. So even going with the flow is going to get your ass kicked at some point. Therefore I’ll just take the harsh truth at once in the beginning of January when I’m holding the return ticket in my hand and crying bittersweet tears.
Not to get too sad I wanted to show you guys one of the most beautiful things this island has to offer, in my book that is the sunsets. So a week ago I marched to the beach next to us to immortalise a sunset in Bali. My goal is not to make you jealous but to bring some light in your life wherever you’re at. Well maybe just a little…
Soon I’ll post pics from our trip to Ubud and from another trip to Nusa Lembongan. Also if you want to be more up to date of my adventure you can do that by following me on Instagram (on the right sidebar of this page). Take care all you loved ones!