If you come to Bali, you ‘re probably going to stay in hotel or hostel. Of course, hostels are great, but there’s nothing like the real local experience. During my stay in Canggu, the little surf village full of digital nomads, yogis and obviously surfers I stayed with a local guy with Couchsurfing. This was one of the weirdest and most awesome experiences from my travels since absolutely everything was new and different. I absolutely loved it and I would recommend everyone to do the same. Now, how did it look like?
Their house was an experience itself. People living in very simple conditions and still living a cool, and happy life. If you come from the luxury of home, from a house with a big modern kitchen, two showers with hot water, FullHD TVs, big windows, air conditioning, etc…. from the common modern house, you may find yourself in a bit of a shock.
Just like me. I have to admit, when I arrived here, I didn’t feel like the happiest person on the planet. I wasn’t expecting any luxury of course. But this, from the first impression, was just disappointing. The house was small, super dark, old and extremely simple. House with no kitchen, no air conditioning, and no shower. I thought I was crazy that I traveled so far to live like this. The weirdest thing though was the shower.
After my long travel over to Indonesia, I needed some serious shower. This was the thing I was looking forward the most that time. When I entered the only bathroom that was in the house, I couldn’t find any. I asked my host: “Hey so, where do I like, ehm, have a shower?” He started to laugh and took me to the bathroom. He said: “Here”.
I was looking once again at the same bathroom that I just entered a minute ago. I saw a Turkish toilet, a big container and something like a little well right next to it. But still, no shower! After he saw my creepy look he had a big laugh again ( that’s how Indonesians treat European dummies like me). And finally, he showed me the way it worked.
Apparently, all you have to do is just put the water from that little well to the bucket and then only pour it all on yourself. They had only cold water of course. First time I tried it, I couldn’t stop laughing.
It felt so cold and strange to do something like this. However, a few days passed, and I was more than excited every time I went to have a shower. It was a challenge. You pour the water in your own pace and waste much less water than in the regular one (with no flood afterward). Plus, it’s so simple, nothing can break or go wrong. After all, I really enjoyed the luxury of simplicity in this house.
The scooters everywhere
I guess there is no Indonesian in Bali that wouldn’t own a scooter. The scooters traffic in all Bali is just mad. Everybody mixing trough each other and passing the roads as they like. In addition to this, with no pavement for the pedestrians (especially in Canggu). Almost every time I was walking on the road I thought a scooter would run over me. Fortunately, it didn’t. The scooters are just the most practical and cheapest option. That’s why after a while spent here, I decided to ride it too. (which wasn’t the best decision).
The one thing for what Bali and especially Canggu is known for is surfing. Besides all the travelers that come to Bali to surf, you can find heaps of Indonesians enjoying riding the waves on their surfboards too. Just like my host. On the left, you can see tons of his surfboards. Although, the wooden one is mine!
I reckon it’s in all of Asia that everybody eats outside. Good quality local food, a big dish for lunch will cost you only around 10000 IDR (0,66e). Cooking the food home would cost you even more here than getting it outside. The only bad thing about Indonesian local food is that it is not very healthy. Most of it is fried and with no fresh veggies aside.
The only option is to balance it out with fresh coconut water or fresh fruit smoothies on the beach. Watch out with the beer! I spent the most of my money on the beer because Indonesians pay high taxes for the alcohol. Also, due to Muslims being a part of the population in Bali, sometimes you won’t even find alcohol in supermarkets. This was a huge surprise for me. After all, I looove rice, fruits, coconuts, and tofu, so there’s no tastier kitchen for me than the Indonesian one.
And that’s Bali the local way! Fried food, scooters, and a shower out of a bucket.