I’ve visited Indonesia many times since young, though this trip was my first time to the island of Bali. This was also the first time in a long time that I returned to Indonesia – like with Singapore, as an adult with older and exposed lenses. The view is different this time around, you know? My perspectives and reflections take different angles now. I enjoyed my days there immensely, with newfound appreciation and a more open heart. The paddy fields owned my heart totally, while the beach made me reminisce of my 2014 spring break in Hawaii and just, the past two years in California. My god, the feels.
Eldest Sis and Third Sis asked how my trip was and more specifically, how was Bali? This was the answer I gave;
“Much like the rest of Indonesia, on one hand, the hardship – I wouldn’t call it poverty – in Bali is striking. And in Bali’s case, on its other hand is the touristy element, which is equally striking. Sometimes they feel too polarizing in a way that is unsettling …but I think what I appreciate about Bali and Indonesia in general is that their sense of identity, character – soul – these elements are intact. So despite the striking hardship contrasted with overly commercialized areas, their place – land, city etc – has their soul, you know? These places have character. Life is hard yes, but its people are realistic …how do I put this… (pause) …they’re optimistic about their lots in life? Their fighting spirit is deeply felt in a way that I think, for me, is less about – merely and ah, the typical answer [of] – feeling ‘humbled’ … it’s more about feeling ‘inspired’.”