My first glimpse of Bali was nothing short of breathtaking. Jakun sangat aku nih kan. Tapi memang aku tak penah jejak Bali lagik, walaopon ulang alik Jakarta... I have never been to any other parts of Indonesia. Selama ni memang plan nak ke Bali dan Jogjakarta tapi tak jadi jadi.
Anyway, Saturday afternoon, selamat sampai.
The first thing that caught my attention - like most Indonesian airports, like the Soekarno Hatta - the structure of the airport (Bandara.. I love the mash-up of words they do... Bandara, short for Bandar Udara) was so outdated. Very 80s.
But there was something special about the Ngurah Rai airport in Bali. The decor was distinctively Bali. It was also my first taste of how much the Balinese immerse themselves in their culture.
When people talk about decor - the Balinese influence in undoubtedly one that is known the world over. They didn't even have to market their culture. It's so appealing and aesthetically pleasing, yang orang dari mana pon suka.
Check out part of the Ngurah Rai as we were making our way to the arrival hall.
The last pic of the split doorway is a recurring theme. Almost every other Balienese home, or business centre, has that with varying designs. Honestly, their daily lives are surrounded by art and culture. In Asian cities, very few stand up to Bali for just how much they embrace and preserve their cultural heritage.
Bali which has a population of over three and a half million, is a Hindu majority state with over 93% of its population adhering to Balinese Hinduism, unlike the rest of Indonesia which is predominantly Muslim.
And because of their mix of culture and religion, their local delicacies memang wow! Pilihan mantap ok. We had lunch in one of the halal - and more known places. For ayam something or other. Heh.. masa tu lapar siot. Dah tak focus apa yang di makan. Janji sedap - TAPI PEDAS SIOT!
Merasalah. Main lantak je. Then it was on to making our way to the hotel.
The pics above if you observe closely is a very ornately decorated bamboo pole. You can see it almost everywhere and is also a recurring image apart from the split doorway arches.
Found out later, these bamboo poles are required to be erected for every important religious event. It's called a penjor. Tempat yang sesuai tuk pasang penjor nih is on the street, outside the compound, on the right side of the gate.
Two main functions of the penjor is to beautify the area when the deified family ancestors are invited to descend to the family or village temples as well as as an offering to the gods.
We arrived at our hotel barely 15 minutes or so. We were staying at Harris, next to Hard Rock Hotel along the Kuta beach strip. Perfect location for a first time visit to Bali. Smack in the middle of things.
Strange thing about Hard Rock is - how big the chain seems to be in Bali. There's the Hard Rock Megastore, the Hard Rock Cafe and the Hard Rock Hotel. Padahal aku rasa hado sangat pon Hard Rock ni.
If you notice kan... the Balinese have quite an interest in loud colours. Orange being predominant choice. Why? No idea..
We rested a while sebab keletihan gila before we were taken for dinner by our hosts, Universal Music Malaysia reps.
Tuh dia.. siap ada nama dan contact of Mang Engking. The food? Fantabulous! (Tapi sebab aku bukan food blog malas letak bebanyak sangat pics)
The decor? AMAZING!
The whole floating effect memang meletup! Gorgeous gila. Relaxing, and airy...
After dinner, we went down to Legian to jalan jalan and usha all the shops for knick knacks. Didn't buy anything though sebab touristy place, so harga walaopon leh runding tetap tak kuasa aku.
Kelas kan? Sebab Bali dikenali for its waves, and surfing is quite a thing here, Ronald McDonald pon konsep surfing. So far selain Thailand, di mana Ronald has his hands clasped together in typical Thai greeting, aku rasa Bali je yang ada kelainan. Kita kat sini? Hado?!
Spent some time walking the streets (that sounds so wrong), and stopped in for a massage. Murah dowh massage meka. Urut sejam (takde yang urut lain ek) can be anywhere from (dalam duit kita) RM15 ke RM40. Bayar lebih kira ko kena cekik da tuh.
As we were heading back to the hotel to call it a night... had one last stopover. The Legian memorial at the site of the bomb blast in 2002.
Sedih gila baca semua nama nama of those who died in the blast. Even in a paradise like Bali, evil has a way of finding itself in the middle of things.
Aku kat Bali, aku tak rasa pon ada benda benda camni. Orang sana, tau kita orang Malaysia pon ok je. Forget about the bullshit you read in the media. The animosity towards Malaysians and all.
It's always that small and too loud minority who forget at the end of the day that we're all the same that spoils it for the rest of us.
Masa kat the memorial, said a little prayer and immediately left. Turned off by the people who were posing at the memorial sambil gelak ketawa amik pics. I felt it was so inappropriate tapi nak wat camna.
And that was my first day in Bali. Nanti je aku update what happened on Sunday and Monday. Sunday happening gila babiks punya. Until then.. I need rest... got to work tomorrow... need to recuperate. Too much UV exposure in Bali... kind of happy for wet and rainy home.