Bali – Surfs’R’us- kite & scoobying

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Wayan – instructorul meu de kite surfing. Un zambet frumos foarte wide.
085 100 899 013 to check for wind conditions before setting off to get there.
Kadek si Koman – fratii Petreuș ai scolii de kite din Sanur – plaja Mertasari in Bali.
Wide gulf, open water, if you want you can kite across the two layers of reef out there afar, but watch out for the cliffs, Leyla, an amazingly dark tanned french 27ish lean sensual girl told me. She claimed to be a beginner, but she was too humble. Her boyfriend (another muscly fella, just as dark, just as caucasian, prbbly also frenchie, but not my style 🙂 ). A liiittle pony tail so neatly hairdressed… an earthly looking smudge on his nose and lines across his face agst sunburn, made him a metro-seeeee noooonononono… let’s not slip into malice, just definitely not my type. Let’s just say I had longer curlier hair than him and loved to talk to her :-).
Was glad I managed to find how to get back on board and steady myself into a 2 maybe three long runs to the left where I can kite almost naturally. But most important, extracted two sensibly better controlled surfs rightwards for decently good lengths. Will try again. Maybe master the Rhs better and manage to turn without stopping. Then practice some proper carving to eventually ride upwind.
Twisted my right lower ankle at some point. No swell, but felt the block and pain only hours after. Iced it. Woke up with pain again the day after. But will manage.

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TRAFFIC! :

Well… you could call the surf above a sort of a peak in what I was planning to do here, but it shades compared to riding through the traffic here. I got the best sensations while on the streets. It is a jungle! I dread to be a car driver here. It must feel like you are a pitiful human earthling forever waiting for the future to clear up in front of you while seemingly sheltered in a cosy (sometimes) air-conditioned car, while true deities zoom
past you flying into Shambala! Yours is a rusty cage of golden illusions, I assure you. Will get you where you want but on the sluggish path of despair. While motor/scooby riders are creatures of a heavenly mist that just simply slide through, over, under, around every crack of your car-driver reality slipping ahead to reach that heart of god called destination with a freedom you can’t possibly fathom unless you step outside in this alter-reality of road travel. In Bucharest (and sometimes London/Paris) you might be tempted to step out of the car and find out why you’re not moving. Maybe even try to leave the bloody car and just walk the rest. Be assured – YOU WON’T BE SAFE anywhere on this road. Not even if you’re a motor/scooby deus. Not even if you walk the pedestrian sidewalk (in places where there is one). You must leave your misconception of secure traffic life on a different island when you come here.
The image of Georgian and Armenian streets come to my mind. Hmm.. but quite different those ones, not really a motorbike haven. But a disgruntled menacing environment where balls flaunt with arrogance IN YOUR FACE.
Whereas in Bali, this hellish traffic is actually zen-filled. You live and die with the smile on your face. Pedestrian crossings are a joke, same as in the above mentioned middle east. Very few use them and while holding their hearts in their teeth. Bikes would honk those out who pretend it’s pedestrian right of way. You cross here with a high hand up while walking carefully into the flow, preferably while blowing a strong referee whistle. But do it in a way that sort of aligns your steps into this flow. And watch both ways, ALWAYS!, regardless of direction of traffic. You find a lot of reverse sense drivers. I did it as well, it’s not frowned upon. (Just don’t make a habit out of it. Tends to shorten your current incarnation, should you be fond of it.)
Saw a 10 year old girl today on a zebra crossing unsteadily making her way through with a group of friends. Had her hand raised up to the flow, with a shaky slightly upset look as she was pressed on by the flux. Her hand post was spelling out “Peace my friendly traffic ghosts!, I bid you peace! Let me cross your fantastic rush of wings unharmed!, thank you!”

So it is THIS majestic river of will that flows the streets of Bali. Just gotta ride along and be swift and daringly (but awaringly) creative when cutting edges or cutting through.
I only fell twice, though I hid my naked knees and elbows well inside the frame of my scooter each time I thought of how it would feel to be screeching down the road while breaking a fall on bare skin, not to mention any other tragic tumble contact with others. So falling for me happened ONLY when I wasn’t a teardrop in the traffic rainflow. But slowed to almost a stop without reaching the destination. So twice I fell, same two moments when I was driving too slow and forgot to put feet down to prevent the natural side drop. Hence had merely kids scratches.

 

The SMELL

One other thing. Traveling here is full of flavors. A dense overlaying of smells and odors (yes, there’s a difference between them, one you purposely inhale or quickly exhale if you dislike it, the other one you can’t help noticing, it just infuses you).
Before going to Cuba this year I’d learnt the smell of heavily burnt gas is supposed to forever color my dreams of Havana with a strange fondness once I experienced it. Well, I’ve been there 4 months ago. I can’t remember the joy of it. While here, in Bali, it smokes your brain out in a strangely addictive way. It’s full of rush, of heart tremors, of sweaty shivers when you last-second avoid a collision, the intimacy of the passenger’s thighs embracing your own thighs and waist at every bottleneck, the wafts of jasmine tea vapors, the food smells; the white smoke of roast donnowhat stuck on a wire with a ventilator at the end of it to keep the fire going, set up on a roadside in front of a petty shop; that stink of over-ripen watermelons smashed out and dried on the pavement (you don’t see it, but it blasts out your nostrils as you pass by, risen straight out of my childhood market places in the torrid summers in Romania. Zesty and repugnant, but lovely at the same time with it’s tint of yellow-red-dusty green sensation of grand school vacation. Reminds me of those late nights in the scorching summers in Bucharest where we’d play soccer till the moon was hiding in the trees way late and of other gut-full delirious adventures on the pavement of my rusty-dusty nonage magnificence). All this and a particular flavor that reminded me of my grandma’s delicious chicken borsch have tapestried a maze of marvels which once laid over the actual dynamic of the street made me an enthusiastic believer.
Hence why I ventured immediately all the way across the island and back, on the very afternoon of hiring and first ever riding a motor/scooby here. It’s hopelessly poluting yes, but it is a modus connectibus beyond belief in this society. The classic immage of two parents and two small kids hugged on a motor (no helmet) is banal. You should see how dogs, vagabond ones, were trying to get on bikes, with calm. Conneseurs!

The quintessence of it: the minute I felt I can ride through the most difficult streets I knew I conqured all Asia. Now I can ride ANYWHERE in it. 🙂

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