The End of Our Sidewalk On Bali


The day-to-day life differences in places miles away from home earn their own blog. Some things are funny or interesting, but all are different and intriguing, something we would never see at home.

Old McDonald had a farm – The sun comes up over the countryside. A rooster crows; the horses whinny. The chick-flick movie begins. Back to reality: the rooster does not stop crowing! Across the road, in the city not the countryside, there lives a rooster. Even in the middle of Seminyak, a couple of chickens and roosters aren’t unusual. The rooster crows in the morning, at around 6, which is now the time I wake up, and doesn’t stop. He crows all day long, invoking murderous thoughts among people who wish to sleep in. So the fantasy of 1 rooster crow from the roof has now dissolved.

Cock-fighting in the front yard

Ganesha’s symbol – Something that intrigued us from the moment we’d spotted it was the swastika symbol and how it was integrated into life here. Long before the Nazi regime had used the symbol, it was used in India, other parts of Asia, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. The name swastika comes from the Sanskrit and means any lucky object. For different religions and regions, it has different meanings. In Hinduism it is a symbol of the God Ganesha, while in Tibetan Buddhism it is a symbol of eternity. Here, Swastikas are in  daily life  everywhere.

A grammar teacher’s nightmare – Something we have always appreciated abroad is the will of the people when it comes to learning our language. We take English completely for granted, and here everybody strives to be relatively fluent, making them all bi- or tri- lingual (Balinese is a different language than Bahasa Indonesian).  Of course, it would be most arrogant to assume they can perfectly spell, as we’d probably fail in an instant in Indonesian, but some mistakes we’ve spotted are just hilarious! As they could have just written it in Indonesian rather than struggle with the rules-with-exceptions based English grammar, we appreciate the effort even more – however some things will always be funny.

The Bestest cafe ever!

The bored games are included, as well as the sournd sound

Where the Sidewalk Ends – This is meant literally. In Chicago, on Michigan Avenue and other wide sidewalks, there are these large, metal grates I always avoid. I’m scared they will bend and I will fall into the gaping, watery, blackness below. And now, it’s real. The sidewalks really do end, the cement blocks we walk on shift, have moved over each other, crumbled, cracked, or have gone missing, and now there is a wide open hole, revealing the black collected rain water, mud, and bits of plastic and other garbage – not exactly what we’d want to fall into. So we’d better watch where we step!

This looks better than most holes in the sidewalks, but not entirely stable either

The Art of Happiness –  As I’ve mentioned before, people here live life the way they want to. Maybe they do wish they’d become rich, or that it’d be easier to put food on the table for their children, but they are all content with spiritual happiness. They pray, combining their religion with the iPods and motorcycles and other things that have become part of their modern life. And yet, the teenagers and their parents, cousins, grandparents, and other members of the family go to celebrations in their beautiful sarongs and traditional outfit, content and celebrating it, giggling about the latest gossip in the teens’ cases. Instead of striving for happiness they realize it’s something you can make for yourself anytime, anywhere. So why not?

Offering at the Uluwatu temple, sometimes they even offer live ducks and let them go free, like the man in the blue sarong

By now we’ve accustomed ourselves to the smells and feel of Southeast Asia; and as we prepare to leave Bali, more adventures await us on Java!


About One World, 4 Girls

Hello! My name is Lillian and my family of 6 took a trip around the world for 8 months. I used my blog to document the places we visited, pictures, and my thoughts, ideas, and opinions. Check it out to read about our travels and follow us as we find our new place in the world and experience where life will take us next!

4 responses »

  1. Hello to you all!
    It is wonderful to read about your adventure and see the pictures. Jessica asks if she can have Josephine come over for a play date! We are all well and enjoying the snow with sledding and making snowman. Kinderwerkstatt continues to grow. And both Lauren and Jessica enjoy going!
    Continued safe travels!
    The Meier family

  2. Have fun in Java!! I hope you got to see some cool New Year’s Celebrations there. Happy Year of the Dragon! We ate long life noodles but could not do any fireworks. 😦 I did find some Dorian flavored candy and sent it to Oma – she said it did taste a little like the fruit. Hope you are still trying all the new foods there.
    Safe travels and hi to everyone.
    Love, Tante Natasha, Oom Chris, and Jack too.

    • Thank you! We are trying more foods, especially off the street. We had goat sate yesterday and went to one of the greatest places for duck. Glad you had a nice New years! Lillian

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