Exploring Sanur beach or an introduction to the Balinese scene

12.16.10 | Comment?

I’ll start with this: no matter how much you read about a country and differences to expect, you only really realize them when you see them with your own eyes, smell them with your own nose, feel them with your own skin.

Our first exploration out of the hotel was incredibly enjoyable and a punch in the face at the same time. Here are some observations I made on our walk to the fairly chill beach of Sanur and its restaurants strip:

– chickens (which roam around family compounds) are a different type here, they are a lot more slender, but not skinny
– there are loads of little refreshment stands in a row on a road that doesn’t seem to get much tourist traffic
– locals bathe in the ocean, naked and scrub themselves with sand
– small piles of trash burn on the side of the road… their version of recycling?
– cows look like big deer at a glance, are held on leashes which are tied to a rope harness that goes around their heads and through their nostrils
– there are millions of stray dogs roaming around and lots of them being obvious recent mothers
– there are Hindu altars everywhere (they can be as small as just a statue surrounded by a sculpted stone wall for the family house)
– there are religious offerings everywhere (woven palm leaves with flowers, rice and incense), especially near the altars
– it gets very hot between 11 am and 3 or 4 pm
– you will drip sweat even doing nothing
– you can charter a traditional boat (long and skinny wood boat with an outrigger on each side) for $40/hr.
– you get accosted by all restaurant worker/scooter renter/boat charterer/shop owner to know where you’re from, what you’re doing today, what your name is and if you’d like to [whatever they want you to do/buy]. The good thing is that once we would say no, we generally would be left alone. They’re not too aggressive in Sanur (we heard different stories about Kuta).
– People get massages right on the beach
– where it’s not beach or town, there are plenty of farmland around with extremely green and lush vegetation
– we’re still a little shy on photo-taking because it entails stopping, which entails the risk of being accosted,

All of these sights and experiences are very cool, but they are a lot to take in all at once. Both Justin and I had, at different times, while looking around, butterflies translating to: holy crap, this is different! It’s going to take a few days for our eyes to adjust to our new environment.

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