Balinese wedding and black rice pudding: 24.01-02.02 

Only 2 weeks left… that’s so crazy to even imagine. 14 days and I’m home. After spending 120 days in Asia, 14 just seems like such a short time. Mixed feelings. I am so excited to go home, eat ‘normal’ food  (yep beginning to get tired of rice) and see my friends and family again! On the other hand I am so sad to leave. There is still so much I want to see and I just love the traveling feeling you get. Constantly meeting new people and hearing their stories, trying out new foods and getting to know the local cuisine and the feeling of freedom you get because you have no idea what place you are going to next and you just enjoy the beauty of where you are now. Still the excitment of finally eating good rye bread and my dads homemade pizza is big enough that I feel like this being the right time to go home.

In the end, going home is just a way of catching your breath before leaving for new adventures. ☀️

Now let’s start with what you came here for. The 24th was finally the day I had to get to the airport and leave off to Bali! After spending the day with Adrien and Abi in Kuala Lumpur and almost missing the shuttle to the airport, I had to get through the horrifying maze of an airport. I don’t know if it was just me or the airport in Kuala Lumpur is really confusing and big. When I finally got through the check in I tried to find something to eat for dinner. Again, hard and frustrating since only one of the food places had a vegetarian option on the menu. The flight took only about 3h, so when I arrived at 1am in Denpasar, going through the longest queue at immigration, I was greeted by hundreds of taxi drivers trying to convince me to pick their ride. Even after telling them ‘no’ several times they wouldn’t let go. I really don’t get it. When a taxi driver sees me rejecting 3 other drivers, how can he possibly assume I want to take his ride, since I tried my very best to make clear that I f*cking don’t need a taxi. 3am, and I finally found a spot at the airport I could stay without the taxi drivers buzzing around me like flies.

I had 13h to wait for my friend Hauke who was arriving at 2pm. I know Hauke from back home and he spend the last 3 months traveling through New Zealand, so we decided to meet up and travel through Bali together before we both go home in the end of February.

The waiting time was actually not too bad, since I had a lot I could do. Did I sleep? No. Was I tired? Yep! Finally Hauke arrived and since we both were pretty exhausted we decided to stay one night in Kuta.

For those who have been on Bali, know how exhausting Kuta is. It reminded me of Bangkok. Dirty, people trying to sell you stuff constantly and a lot of party. Also the beach there was the dirtiest beach I have ever seen!

Neither of us liked Kuta so we decided to go to Canggu which was more calm and nice.

After we found a nice hostel in Canggu we started drinking with two other Germans from the hostel. We met with Michaela, who was in Canggu at the same time, and we went partying, celebrating my birthday to come 😍. 

Michaela and I celebrating my birthday

The day of my birthday, we rented a scooter and visited the beach and the temple Tanah Lot. The beach was alright but still way too dirty and the temple was beautiful but just soo touristy! On the way to the temple we saw beautiful rice fields though!

Tanah lot temple

When we came to Ubud a day later we decided to look for a nice homestay instead of a hostel. Homestays are pretty common on Bali and you basically stay where the local people live. First of all they have beautiful(!!) gardens. It is hard to describe but maybe you can see what I mean on the pictures. Also we were lucky enough to randomly pick the homestay where they were gonna celebrate a wedding two days later. The owner was so nice and the whole family was so welcoming and we got invited to the wedding right away. The included breakfast was amazing and we had a really good time staying there. 

Ubud garden

The day before the wedding we could watch the preparations. Cutting meat, making satès and handicraft offerings. We helped a little putting meat on a wooden block which was going to be an offering. Really interesting to see and I found it so nice that the whole family was helping with the preparations. 
At the wedding they lent us some sarongs and festive Balinese clothing. The ceremony was totally different to weddings you know from home. A lot of people, but people would talk and not even pay attention to what’s happening. The couple would wear really fancy and glimmering clothes and had to go through a lot of blessings and rituals. There was even a part where they killed a tiny chicken as an offering 😣. Even though it is their tradition I really don’t see why you want to kill an innocent animal just for a ritual.

After the ceremony was over everyone was going to drive to the grooms family to do the same over again. We didn’t go though. That was definitely enough for one day. 
Others than that we visited the monkey forest which was a forest with about 300 monkeys living there. The forest is beautiful and the monkeys cute (as long as you don’t have snacks on you or look them in the eyes!). After the forest we decided to drive through random streets with the scooter and randomly followed other tourists. Picked the right tourists since they met with a local guy who showed them different places around Ubud. A little indiscreet we tried to follow them but got busted when the local guy asked if we were friends. Luckily we could go along anyways. He showed us a cocoa and coffee plantation in the village he lives in which was very interesting. They also had a garden where they grow cinnamon, vanilla, ginger and stuff like that. In the end we got to try different coffe, tea and cocoa blends which they produce. 

We also went to see the Tegenungan Waterfall which was stunning but again very touristy. 

Tegenungan waterfall

Unfortunately the weather gods weren’t on our side so it was raining a lot! So there was a lot of stuff we couldn’t really go and see.

We did get a nice massage in a spa though! The first one I got here, which is crazy cause I’ve been in Asia for almost 4 month and the massages are so cheap here!

Ubud is so far my favourite place here. Nice people, a lot of good food(!), beautiful shops and markets where you can get everything and more and don’t forget to mention the stunning gardens and home entrances 😍

Something new I tried: Buber injin. Also known as black rice pudding. A very common dessert in Indonesia. Not as good as mango sticky rice (nothing will ever be) but still pretty good!

What book I read: Random German thriller I found in a reastaurant.

Favourite quote: “You live here, you are family now.” – the owner of the homestay, showing the Balinese kindness and that was also how they treated us.

-Love and peace Marie🌸-


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