Bali facts they DON’T tell you!
In case you’ve been on Mars, or under a rock somewhere (on Mars), we love living in Bali. It’s epic. That said, there are a few things that we are getting used to about Bali life- Bali facts, if you will, that we didn’t come across in London and are still novel and funny aspects of living here.
Here are the 10 never-nots of living in Bali:
- Never not sweating to actual dripping death
Do you know how much of the human body is water? 60%. That is, except in Bali, where it is approximately 3% because the rest of the 57% is trailing down your back, dripping along your calves, trailing behind you in drips on the floor, and creating dark patches on all your clothes. It is actually possible to melt as a human. It is hot outside (the “feels like” temperature today is 38 degrees, and we can feel every one of them), but it is hotter in the cafe where I am working. This is because someone (I will find them) decided that the brightness of the sun through the windows is not acceptable, so at 11am each day they pull thick black blinds over the windows. If you want to know what this feels like walk to your airing cupboard, open the door, get in, shut the door and stay there until tomorrow.
2. Never not rescuing animals
I am yet to meet someone that has moved to Bali who isn’t living, at least semi-reluctantly, with cats that they didn’t really want and definitely didn’t plan on acquiring. One of the little-known Bali facts is the sheer volume of stray animals that are around (and the cute factor is off the charts). If we decided to do a ‘yes-man’ day and take home every stray animal we saw, we would have a new one every day. I don’t plan on a yes-man day
3. Never not paying the wrong money for everything
The currency here operates in thousands- £1 is 19,700 IDR. So if someone asks for 1k, 10k or 100k for something, there is a very real possibility that we will mess this up. Also if you go to the market as a westerner you get charged double for everything; another good reason to learn the local language!
4. Never not navigating for taxi drivers
We have a different concept of taxi drivers in the UK to here in Bali. In the UK if you get a taxi you just get in the taxi and get out when you get to the destination. In Bali you direct the taxi driver who will most likely pretend to know where they are going but actually don’t at all, and will keep repeating your destination with increasingly epiphany-like noises “Ohhhh, Artotel!”the closer you get. Learn your area when living in Bali, people, because the drivers probably won’t.
5. Never not almost dying on the road
Crossing the road in Bali should have been featured in that film Final Destination. Forget the gym, trying to get from one pavement to another is enough to get the blood flowing and the adrenaline racing (if both don’t end up splattered across the road in a gooey pattern).
6. Never not talking absolute rubbish
We are trying to learn Bahasa (Indonesian) with varying degrees of success. Unfortunately we keep being check-mated by things like the fact that the words for ‘grass’ and ‘hair’ sound almost exactly the same, leading to a lot of laughs and confusion in our local Toni & Guy (check out my post on 10 reasons why going to the hairdresser and giving birth are basically the same thing).
7. Never not almost naked
One of the Bali facts that you will never find on Wikipedia is that clothes here are a serious inconvenience. As soon as people get inside their houses (as far as we can gather, from our family and recently made friends) clothes are abandoned with cursing into a corner to allow the air conditioning to restore some level or acceptable temperature to our bodies.
8. Never not buying the wrong foods
Did you know that there is a fruit that looks like a mango and smells like a mango and that the market-stall holders will tell you is a mango, and it isn’t a mango? Yeah me neither until recently- can you imagine the disappointment? Add to that around 12 types of bananas, some of which are only for cooking, some of which are only ripe when green (what kind of world is this?) and all of which look exactly the same, and you can imagine the fun as we unpack after doing a shop.
9. Never not wondering if this is all a dream
When you finish work and step out into the sunshine and head back to find the kids in the pool, and wander down to the beach and watch the kids sip on mango juice as the sun goes down, you find yourself wondering how you ended up here and if this is all a sandy dream.
Don’t forget to check out more family travel tips, Bali facts, Bali travel blogs and travel horror stories and come and join us over on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube! Here’s a day in the life video of our time in Ubud: