Arrival in Bali
After a lovely 7 hour flight from Seoul, I arrive in Denpasar, Bali. Greeted by the Balinese Gamelan orchestra entering immigration, I only wait a few minutes in line to pay my $35 visa fee (no need to get one in advance), pass through customs, and exit into the airport. There are hundreds of people holding signs with hotel names, company names, and people names. At first I wonder how in the world will I find the driver who is sent to pick me up? If I don’t find him, then what? There’s no real address to my Airbnb house and I really don’t know where it is. I search the crowd.
I see my name. Julie. It’s just Julie. Could I be the only Julie with a driver today? I wave, he waves, I exit though the gift shop (can’t get out without passing through the airport shopping), and we head out toward the parking lot. With a stop to exchange money ($100 makes me an Indonesian millionaire!), I wait for Ketut to get his car. About a couple hours later, we reach Kevin’s house, otherwise known as The Nest.
It’s dark. We park and walk down a road past pigs, chickens, and ducks. On one side is the jungle. On the other side is my Bali home, The Nest. We unlock the door. Nobody’s here. I’m shown to my room and told the kitchen is available. Then Ketut is gone and I find a note from Kevin, my host, welcoming me and telling me to make myself at home. Well, ok then. I rummage through the fridge to find some vegetables near the end of their life and make a salad. I boil some corn. Then the front door opens and I meet the lovely Mitsuyo, who is the only other guest here at the time.
As glad to see me as I am to see her, she tells me about her adventures in Bali during the last three weeks she’s been here. Pulling her iPad out, she shows me marvelous pictures of temples and food and the two little cats that live here at Kevin’s. Before I know it, it’s midnight. I go off to my room and unpack. So tired. It’s hot, but not uncomfortable hot. But noisy. Chickens, frogs, cicadas, CHICKENS. At 1AM?? The chickens sound like the tortured souls of hell chanting and calling back. The room is open at the ceiling, so there’s no relief. How will I ever sleep?????