Quick Update, Thick Post

Greetings from Medan.

So, I haven’t been as persistent as I’ve been hoping to be, especially since Bali would have so much goodness packed into it. Get ready for a chunky post, people (if you’re going to shimmy through this, just jump to the last bullet point – that’s what I want you to read).

Bali:

  • Checked out the monkey forest near our accommodations. The little buggers stole Freya’s newly bought bunch of bananas, mistaken her for their mother (biting at her boob), and rubbed their poop on my pants. Splendid. But I guess you can really blame them: always being teased by tourists and all those unfortunate shenanigans.
  • Met some girls from Germany studying in England, who gave me that extra boost of confidence when they told me that travelling after finishing school is the best thing you can do. Especially when you’re as clueless about the future as myself.
  • Kaleem and I made our way to Kuta. Our taxi driver, Putu, gave us insight into Hinduism in Bali and how it differ than what is practiced in India. Mainly because the three major gods – Trimurti, Brahma and Vishnu – are all categorized into one, whereas in India, they are in different sects of some sort. What is right? That, I cannot tell you.
  • Went surfing in Kuta with Kaleem. Got some lessons from a super chill, very patient and all around friendly guy from Padang. “Horas”, my Batak brotha.
  • Overall, wasn’t a fan of Kuta. Not trying to sound like a self-absorbed traveler, but it was much preferred to mingle with the locals. I can tell you something that I know for sure, and that’s that the Balinese people rock. Always smiling, hospitable, and very bubbly. A majority of the foreigners there were drunk, shirtless and cruising the streets with their BINTANG wife-beaters being obnoxious.
  • However, one of the highlights of Kuta was a late night hunt for martabak with Kaleem, which consisted being guided down an alleyway and jumping on the back of a motorbike with a random dude to get to this little piece of heaven.
  • Met up with mama coming from northern Bali, and headed to Uluwatu. Although their were plenty of tourists here, they’re definitely the bunch I’d like to associate myself with. It’s a nice little town where a bunch of surfers go to catch some advanced waves. Myself? I’ll just watch. Still a rookie.
  • After two nights in Uluwatu, went back to Ubud to reunite with out family friends, and enjoy our last couple of days in Bali.
  • Oh, and some more random hitchings of motorcycle rides.

Jakarta:

  • Final days with friends and my little bro.
  • Discovered that my second eldest cousin is the coolest person ever. It’s different talking to a psychologist on a personal, more casual level as to discussions with your pals. They read you so well and essentially say all the things your words lack and what you struggle to explain. Kak Wita, you rock, my friend.

Medan:

  • Reunited with a majority of my mama’s side of the family. That needs a whole post to itself to get the gist of the different dynamics, personalities and all-around interest that I, and I’m sure many others, would find in observation of these 5 out of 7 sisters. Let’s just say that each one has their own cliché character: the drama queen, the free-spirited tomboy, the stubborn one, the cautious sister, the humble being, and the list goes on… slash, I don’t want to be disowned by my family.
  • Learning about my mama’s youth has also been one of the coolest experiences in my adventure. Staying in the house she grew up in really dawned on me how rich and dense her family history is. It’s not the first time that I’ve been here, but I guess with maturity (what are you talking about, Amira?), you develop a sense of appreciation for your roots. No matter how bizarre matters may be now.
  • Skyped my pops for the first time in a while. I know some readers may be looking at this section of the post and be skimming right through this. People, just take a moment to read this part
    Talking to him was awesome. In one word: enlightening. Before I continue, keep in mind that this is as personal as it will get, and also note, I’m not a fan, nor am I a veteran in pouring my heart out via internet. That being said… don’t hate.
    Okay, so as you may or may not know, I’m travelling. Travelling by myself. I have not yet reached the pinnacle of solo-venturing (I’m planning on starting that as of April in Laos), nonetheless, I’m still nervous. For what? Yes, I’m concerned for my safety and the customs that come as a female travelling alone, and yes, I worry that I won’t meet any companions along the way… but no.
    What I’m honestly nervous for is that this epiphany or inspirational moment that everyone speaks of when travelling won’t come along. And that challenge is even further escalated when it comes to who I can share these moments with. Meeting new people at this point, I’ve learned, is a lot more difficult than I thought it would be. Sure, I’ve met people from corners from all over the globe and we’ve shared some pretty magnificent stories, but what poses as a challenge here is that all the folks I’ve met are either a.) a lot older than me and although I have no right to say this, my impression from the way they speak to me, especially at my ripe age, is that I come off as naive; or b.) if anywhere remotely close to my age, are already travelling in groups. This is just being very, VERY, general, but the encounters that I’ve had with group travelers, is that they weren’t willing to mingle. That’s cool though and I totally understand that some people want to share these experiences with those near and dear to their heart. HOLD ON THOUGH, FOLKS. Before you get pissed off and I get an inbox of hate mail saying of what an ungrateful bitch I am, let me give you the best lesson I’ve learned from this – epiphany courtesy of Michael Loosemore.
    I need to be less selfish. Travelling is not about me. It’s about the world about me. Don’t force anything. Although I may not be inspired now, it’ll slap me in the face when I return home. And above all, let things happen. Go with the flow. You never know what’ll happen next, and let it be that way. After all, I’m here to travel without claims of objectivity.
    Thanks, dadi.

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4 thoughts on “Quick Update, Thick Post

  1. And don’t forget, oh young, but I’m sure not naive, one: “Strange travel suggestions are dancing lessons from God.” I think maybe Kurt Vonnegut Jr. reminded me of that (not thru personal communication though) — I’m pretty sure it wasn’t GWB, although he IS strange, it must be said, and believes he has personal communication with God.

    Dance in Laos, oh venturesome one.

  2. hey Amira – loved reading your reflections . . . . . and I loved Mick’s thoughts – about taking in the world. some of the most amazing travel times for me have been alone – you don’t have the safety blanket of other people to speak English to so you connect more to the land and the people. a good book can be a good friend.

    feel so glad I know you and shared a few days of you adventure. love you, Robin

    • Robin, thank you so much for your words. Really needed them at this time in the midst of the hustle and bustle of crazy and overwhelming Bangkok. Love you very much. Say hello to the family and give them a big hug for me xx

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