In Bali without a scooter/bike? You are not in Bali really
I am pretty sure babies in Bali are born with little tiny bikes, with even smaller not quite yet working motors inside, stuck to their squishy bottoms. In the next few years those little, what shall we call them, bike seeds, send their nerve endings to the now growing legs and become part of the meta-morphing human-bike creature. And that is good, because people in Bali do not walk on the streets, no, no. We were often the only human beings spreading our limbs on the hot roads with non-existent sidewalks. Thrill seekers from around the world searching for a place to feel weird when walking, should definitely come here. Walkers=halfway through the mental institution or white tourist folk.
In the towns its not rare to see small kids on scooters, whizzing through, barely reaching the obviously non-essential controls, like brakes and handles. Some kind of respect for the road, be it required by law and bribe hungry police, is shown in the bigger cities where actual helmets make appearance on the Balinese motor-heads.
We have been watching this picture since arriving here. Being used to walking and exploring on those feet of ours, we managed to ignore the obvious (bikes are not optional, dude) and kept on being the weird while folk that think that the street can be actually used without a motor under one’s bottom.
That is, until Amed.
Amed is spread o-u-t. All along the coast, little villages here and then…then…there. To see something different, eat, get to the Internet you have to face the music and get yourself motorized. So Krishna’s cousin, one of many I am assured, brought around a scooter and we have had it now for a few days.
Oh, my….oh, my. OH, MY. This is heaven. Feeling the breeze on your bronzing sweaty skin, up and down those tiny streets, you really get the feel of Bali.
Mr.Blab and I have never driven one of those things, at least not that we remember. So it took a few goes to get our bearings and feel the breeze instead of our own trembling fingers trying to remember where the break is and how it is very much different than the gas. And this is a somewhat important distinction.
But now we are into the joy ride business. The kids love it so much that they ask to be taken on trips to anywhere for no purpose whatsoever than to just raffle their salty damp hairs on the buzzing scooter. We have even done a Bali sandwich – Mr.Blab on the driving seat, then the Dod, holding very tightly to him and then yours truly. Not sure we will attempt a double decker, but who knows how that Amed air will affect us and what things it will make us do before we leave.
Yesterday, Krishna’s cousin took me to Amlapura for some food supplies and to get cash. I even had a helmet (reason given up there somewhere). That was fun, fun, fun. If you want to develop good stomach muscles, ride on a bike/scooter behind someone and do not hold on to anything, rely only on those guts of yours to not fall when the breaks and power ups happen. If you want to reach higher difficulty, do that on a windy, bendy road up and down a mountain.
Now that I have wheels and I have spotted a few picturesque areas begging me to shoot them, I hope to be able to wake up early enough one day and go and do just that. If it happens, you will find out.
In the meantime, if you hear laughter from Bali, its probably us, causing a racket and enjoying those once unwelcoming streets, going to buy salak from the lady up the road, or just going, for no particular reason.
We have arrived in Bali!