Thursday, January 12th, 2017: On the Road Again
Madeline hooked me up with some sweet boxer braids aka french braid pig tails for us 90s kids. So I’m hoping I can get a few days out of this hairstyle. Humidity is not my friend so my hair is going to be a piece of work while in Bali. Jamie is awesome and woke up at 5:30am to take me to the airport to make my 8:30am Virgin flight to Sydney. He’s pretty amazing and I’m so glad Madeline found him. I can honestly say that my friends have found some truly amazing men that support and cherish them. Gives me hope and all the feels.
I had some time to kill so I got myself a flat white and ham and cheese croissant. I phoned my dad to explain my change in itinerary. I know he’s worried about my trip so I hope chatting for a bit before I take off will help ease his mind. I also made sure to tell him that my friend Karen’s older brother Brian would be joining us in Bali. I’m sure that makes him feel better. I boarded my flight and got the whole row to myself—AWESOME. I just wish it was a longer flight so I could really get comfy. But I was able to journal the whole time so I’ll take it.
I maybe got 2 hours of sleep last night. Normally, I sleep like shit before a trip which works in my favor because then I’m usually able to sleep most of the flight but this time was different. My brain was overworked and underpaid for the stresses that came with rebooking my flight 12 hours before I was supposed to be leaving. I am pooped but am really hoping I can sleep the entire flight to Bali. I decided not to bring my melatonin in a baggie (thanks Lacie) because Bali has some crazy drug laws (execution? whoa.) and since they were white and in a ziplock bag, I wasn’t taking any chances. Also, my flight to Bali is roughly 5.5 hours and when I take sleeping aids, I like to give myself 7-8 hours to wear off any of the drowsiness. Fingers crossed I can sleep on the next flight, if not hopefully there are some good movies to watch.
1:05pm Lunch at Opera Bar near the Sydney Opera House.
I was able to check my bag (medium size-don’t judge! I had to bring some shit for both Jill and I, i.e. bug spray, sunscreen, etc), thanks Qantas! I picked up an Opal Card (electronic card for the train) and put myself on a train to Circular Quay. This is where Sydney Harbor Bridge and the Sydney Opera House are located. I paid $40aud and thought man, thats pretty hefty for a 20 min train ride (one way) but the views made it totally worth it.
As I was walking along the harbor, it hit me hard…life is AMAZING. I took unhappy and made it happy again. As a control freak, this utter realization that happiness is ultimately mine to create for myself is HUGE. And I did it. I made my own fucking adventure. I may be broke afterwards but these trips, the people, the places, the memories, and hopefully the pictures will last forever and they are completely priceless. I walked along snapping a ton of photos of the Bridge and the Opera House. I know I’ll be back for a longer stay at some point so I tried to keep it chill. I decided to grab some lunch at Opera Bar (little pricey but good views), as it sits right along the water. I had the Prosecco Punch (dewazakura sake, lillet blanc, mango, passionfruit, lime, and prosecco) with a Heirloom tomato salad (buffalo mozzarella, basil, cabernet vinegar) all totaling $42aud. I’m telling myself I’m paying for the view too because I plan on chilling here for awhile before I have to head back to the airport. I didn’t pack a travel size sunscreen (lesson learned) so I’m trying to stay in the shade. I have a feeling I’ll be getting plenty of sun this next week.
Sydney Airport: While waiting I met this amazing lady, Veronica. She was so nice and we bonded after having to switch gates so many times for our flight. She was so kind to me and actually gave me her address and phone number to keep in contact with her. She has a home about 2.5 minutes from Bondi Beach and she offered her guest room to me should I want to visit. She advised she wouldn’t be showing me around as she’s a “busy lady” but she would be happy to have me stay, so that I could be close to the beach. These Aussies are so nice and incredibly trusting, Americans would maybe talk to you, just maybe. While waiting at the gate, I kept thinking how few people there were and how amazing it would be if the flight had lots of open seats. Well it was definitely a full flight and I ended up being kicked by a 7 year old while simultaneously having to listen to a baby’s total and complete meltdown. Now the kid behind me knew better and I probably should have told her to knock it off, but I felt bad for the parents of the baby. They really can’t help it nor can they really control an infant. It drives me bananas when people get so irrational about infants on a plane. Luckily I sat next to this brother and sister, Oliver and Isabelle and they were awesome. They were heading to Bali with their parents (who were sitting in first class). I love meeting new people and was happy to meet some pretty amazing young kids (haha, they were 21 and 19). Well, I didn’t manage to sleep hardly at all (see above) so I got to watch some movies. This flight seemed like the longest flight ever. Qantas is amazing though. They give you a pillow and a blanket along with endless entertainment options and a TON of food. My 6 hour flight had 2-3 snacks and a hot meal. I couldn’t love Qantas airline any more. When I arrived to Denpasar it was around 8:30pm. Brian said it had great wifi, which I needed in order to communicate with him or Jill (she got in 4 hours earlier and Brian had already been there a few days). I couldn’t connect to the wifi for the life of me so I started to panic a little. The airport was pretty dead but I was still nervous (new country and all the warnings of having to bribe the police and drug scams, etc). I found Veronica and made it through immigration with her. My driver from my airbnb Gusti was supposed to be there with a sign. I couldn’t find him but we found Veronica’s driver. She was kind enough to wait for a bit with me. I had to go to a desk and have Gusti paged and then he showed up. I was so happy to learn he spoke english fairly well. Veronica and I said our goodbyes. I was a little jealous as she said she would be spending her 8+ days in a 4 bedroom luxury villa all by herself (courtesy of her friends). I had a feeling my vacation would be drastically different.
The humidity hit me like a brick wall and I was immediately sweaty. Gusti dropped me off at my airbnb in legian and my host Arjen showed me the property. He was only mildly creepy but spoke English well so that was a little comforting. He also had 3 girls in his area of the house-not sure what that was about, but I already had visions of him being some Bali pimp (he even seemed a little drunk). He also advised that Jill was out with Brian. The house was pretty big but the room we were staying was not. It was dirtier than I liked and the bathroom was disgusting. He also forgot to tell me that you can’t flush toilet paper here (Jill filled me in later). Indonesia doesn’t have the best plumping so you have to throw your TP in the wastebasket most places. But the toilet had a dirty looking hose to wash your butt (first time seeing this sort of thing). I was finally able to connect to wifi and messaged Jill and Brian who were enjoying some drinks at a bar nearby. I told them I was pretty tired and would prefer to make it an early evening. They said they felt the same and would join me after they finished their drinks.
Jill and Brian showed up and hugs were given all around. It was so nice to see some wonderful familiar faces! Jill asked me what I thought of the room to which I replied, “honestly, its a dump.” She laughed because she knew thats how I would respond. Now, I’m not some ritzy traveller that expects 4-5 star accommodations everywhere I go because I don’t have the means to pay for that. But I know how cheaply we could have gotten 4-5 star accommodations here, so it was a bit frustrating. I told her I’d be taking care of the accommodations for our future vacations from now on. Brian looked exactly how I felt. He said he was very jet lagged and needed some sleep, so we called it a night. Jill and I didn’t get to see each other before I left for Australia so we had a ton to catch up on. We could talk for hours about any and everything. She is truly one of my best friends and I cherish our friendship so much. As we were gabbing away, the electricity shuts off to which I tell Jill “Why would I be surprised?” We had a good laugh and I used my phone’s flashlight to give us some mood lighting while we caught up. There were bugs everywhere. They looked like flying ants. Jill was freaked out that she’d be sleeping with these creatures to which I responded with “I’m pretty sure I’ve seen some shit. After living in Australia for a bit, these guys are nothing. I eat these little guys for breakfast.” haha. Thus the quotes of the trip had started.