I never heard of this place before, honestly. My friend asked me if I wanted to come with him and I said yes without even knowing what I would find there. I knew it was in Indonesia, but that’s about it.
When I got there, it was kind of scary. My bags where right next to me and suddenly, two guys took them and ran away with them… We started running after them; we thought they were thieves but in fact they were working. They were ‘helping’ us to carry our bags. The thing is that they were taking us to a change house, and they assumed we did not have any rupiah to give them tips; this is how these people earn their living.
After this ‘incident’ the van from a 2 star hotel picked us up. It was then when I got to see what Bali was… I saw dirty streets, crazy traffic, noise, motorbikes, taxis and cars everywhere mixed with cigarette smoke, horns and red traffic lights that were bypassed. It was crazy and in a sense it reminds me of Colombia.
When we got to the hotel my friend was so tired he went to bed. Because I did not go on holidays to stay in bed, I decided to take a walk. Just between us, it was not a good idea! Apparently I was the only woman around that area. Men were crazy. They all wanted to talk to me and one of them even tried to drag me into an alley. I felt raped. I stayed at the hotel waiting for my friend to wake up.
The first impression left me a taste of fear. Bali suddenly became a dark place to me. Yet, I stayed there for one week. With the days, I understood that human perception can change when it gets amazed with the simple things. As I said before, my hotel had the smallest two stars I’ve ever seen. But it was great. It was clean. It had a very friendly staff, delicious American breakfast, pool and bar. We paid $12 to learn the beauty of simplicity. That beauty included breakfast! At the end of my trip I realized that Balinese people live from tourism. They dedicate their whole lives to make us, tourists, feel comfortable, happy and special. They are all very friendly and… I can assure you: your self-esteem and ego will rise in this land, thanks to their compliments, looks and chats. Plus, you can make them happy too. $100 Australian dollars is equivalent to $ 1 000 000 Rupiah, and everything is so cheap there, that you can tip every single person. If you give them $15 000 Rupiah they will be more than happy, and at the end, you do not spend much anyway. $15 000 Rupiah is equivalent to $1.50 Aud, which is nothing; in Australia you cannot buy a candy or a bottle of water with this amount of money.
Now, three years later I can say Bali is my favorite place to be. I have been there twice already and I am looking forward to going back.
How is it possible that Balinese people despite being so poor are the happiest and friendliest people in the world?