First, a big thank you to everyone who has read and shared the first part of my blog. God bless you all and again thank you. Now back to the post.
So, arriving in Seminyak was an adventure! I was picked up in a taxi from my air bnb by a crazy man, and when I say crazy I mean it, and here is the story to prove it.
The story of a brave girl and a delusional man.
The journey began at 12 pm sharp! The sketchy taxi driver, too lazy to assist me in loading my bags into the car, sits waiting in the car. Tired I retire into the back seat and load up my laptop, opening word I began to write for my blog, funnily enough.
An hour into the three-hour journey, I look up from my laptop noticing the roaring of my empty stomach, I kindly ask the taxi driver if he could make a stop at a convenience store along the way. Smiling he agrees and says he knows just the place, looking at him through the front mirror I notice an air of cynicism in his movements, ignoring this and doing the sign of the cross I look down at my laptop and continue to type, taking no notice of his actions, twenty minutes pass.
Pulling into a convenience store, after two unwanted detours I began to sus the taxi man and his craziness started to unveil. As he parks at the store, I reassure him that I will be quick, darting out the car door in a hurry, I buy some snacks and a big bottle of water and run back into the car. At this point, I notice the taxi drivers irritation, analysing his attitude from the back seat, I carefully place my laptop on my lap and scroll on my phone, double checking the location of the hotel. In a panic, I reconfirmed that the hotel is in Seminyak and not Kuta, bearing in mind Seminyak is closer than Kuta center. Abruptly the taxi man, now in a rage, for no reason, begins to scream, yes screaming, insisting I pay nearly DOUBLE of the agreed fare. Then points to billboards with price lists, in an attempt to convince me of the price change, bearing in mind the prices stated was cheaper than the original agreed price! Clearly, he thought I couldn’t read.
Trying to stay calm and not demonstrate fear, I draw the pricing error to the man’s attention, in an attempt to defuse the situation, and it was at this moment I knew for sure I was going to be kidnapped. Hysterical, the man begins to shout foaming at the mouth and banging his steering wheel, in an attempt to somehow scare me, which inwardly was working but on the outside, I kept my cool and subtly laughed to clear the air of awkwardness. Continuing to rage and rave, the driver looking back at me with his eyes now dilated and my heart now in my stomach, speeds ranting and raving to himself, in what looked like a demon speaking in false tongues. Trying to keep from displaying fear, I silently call on God.
Finally, we arrive at the next hotel, and I had already made a plan of action in my head. It is as follows, I unbuckle the seat belt, prepared my bag and took out the money initially agreed on, before the madness. Hopping out quickly from the car I get my bags from the boot, and to my surprise, I am greeted by the driver standing in my face, eyes red, pupils dilated, mouth foaming with spit residing on the corners. In a split of a second, I tell myself God did not give me a spirit of fear, with my head up high, I hand him the money and sternly ask him to move out my way. Part of me shaking, and the other part knowing that if anything, someone on this busy street will help. So, I continued to stare sternly at the driver as he squeals for the last time, committed to not giving in to his lunacy I stood firm looking him in the eye and ushered him to move out my way.
Guys, I was shitting bricks but rest assured that he would move, which he did. Walking past him, with my head high looking ahead into my new hotel, I made sure the cost was clear before running inside and instructing the receptionist of my booking.
Final Thoughts from the second half of my trip
My time spent in Seminyak was dedicated to relaxation and peace. To unwind and have some serious me time, during which I spent a lot of time at the beach strolling and watching the sunset. Here is what I learned from Speaking to God on the beach.
Dates with Christ
6:30am. Awaken in a sudden daze, I arise from bed after prolonging my alarm the fourth time. Taking a long rejuvenating hot shower, brushing my teeth and getting dressed, I stand in the middle of my room contemplating what to wear. A long skirt and white t-shirt seemed sufficient, I throw on my clothes, brush and style my hair, vaseline my dry lips and grabbed a banana and peanuts as I leave my room.
Walking down the streets of Seminyak, taking in the warm breeze and stillness of the town. On the road, few cars and motorbikes passed by, shops and restaurants slowly opened on each side of the streets, ever so often a someone would jog by me with an inviting smile and strangers with morning greetings. The whole thing looked like a morning cameo scene of a Miami sitcom or the start of 90210 (anyone else loves that show), regardless I smiled loving the Hollywood nature of it all. The whole thing got me thinking about how unwelcoming British people are, you’d even be lucky to get a smile from a Londoner at best an approving eyebrow raise. Shrugging at the thought of returning back to the UK, I continued with my walk.
Arriving at the beach, I was surprised at the number of people up and about, I look at the time at 7:20am, it was still early. Taking off my shoes digging my toes in the warm fine sand wiggling them about, I began to walk admiring the waves as they slowly crashed into the sand, rising up and descending like escalators. In the distance, you could see surfers slowly swimming into the ocean catching the waves, the scene at the beach was similar to Baywatch minus the red swimsuits, more like sportswear as people jogged up and down accompanied with a great smile on their face or a dog in hand. Seriously I love this place, I thought to myself, people are so warm and genuinely happy that it is infectious, do I have to leave.
As I looked into the ocean, I began to speak to God, determined to find an answer to my question what is your plan for my life. Walking, I listened intently to the ocean, feeling Gods presence near, a soft answer came to me to trust him in this season and see what happens.
I often find when speaking to God, I don’t take time to listen (anyone else feels this way?). I get so caught up in my mind and overwhelmed with eventuality type thoughts of what-ifs scenarios that I find it hard hearing from God, and at times when I silence my mind I start to think “okay my mind is silent so what is it that God wants me to hear?” , and again I am still not listening. But as I walked on the beach for a split second before my mind went into overdrive, I heard God, telling me to trust him a simple response with everlasting meaning.
I began to think about the meaning of trust and how that looks like. As I knew I trust God, then I realised, it is like a trust exercise you did when you were younger, the let go I’ll catch you bids or grab my hand type scenarios. In these exercises, the essence is to submit your trust completely, which means with full confidence without second-guessing or questioning. Relaying this to my relationship with God, I questioned myself, as at times I have second thoughts when asked to do something by God, and continue to seek confirmation about decisions, which is the absence of full confidence and faith.
But, God knows this about me, he knows everything about us down to the number of hairs on our heads, regardless we must still try to trust in faith knowing his promises have already come to pass because on the other side of our trust is a friend to catch us. So imagine trusting God and the miracles and blessings he has install.
Journey to the airport
Being in Bali and writing this blog made me realise that there is a lesson to be learned in every journey of life, so long as you’re awake and present in the life you live. This was especially true when I was making my way to the airport.
8:30pm. As I started to load the taxi with my suitcase, assisted by two women, whom I had the pleasure meeting at the last place I stayed. I give them both a final hug goodbye and like proud parents seeing me off to university, they wish me good luck and safe journeys, fading away in the distance as the taxi drove off. I fall into my seat, after looking out the back window and begin scrolling on my phone checking my flight details. The taxi man, a lovely man named Marco Putu, greets me and begins to speak.
10 minutes pass. The car comes to a standstill, as we were met with traffic, Marco Putu gently reassured me. Smiling, I continue to engage in conversation with Putu, he asks to have a picture with me, alarmed I resist saying no and then he begins to tell me that it’s for his kids, informing me about his families group chat, followed by a montage of the chats camera roll. That consisted of silly pictures of his wife and kids, which convinced me that his request was innocent, so to add to the family fun, I took silly pictures in response to his kids asking where he was.
Speaking with Marco Putu was extremely interesting, just from our thirty-minute conversation I learned a lot. He spoke with great delight about his family and love for Indonesia, as for him being a father was the best thing in the world. Which was very noticeable as he shared stories of his adventures with his children, one boy, and one girl both under 13. One of the stories was about the zoo, the thing that stuck from this story was the statement and quote, “I try to show my children different parts of the country, that’s our holiday because I want them to see beauty exists right here’. Speaking with immense joy reaffirming that Bali is paling cantik (meaning most beautiful) and that he is happy and blessed with his life.
Admiring Putu’s passion as he spoke about life, made me smile, his infectious joy and peace spilled into my heart. As I learned from a lovely taxi driver in Bali the purpose of life. Finding the beauty in everything and every situation. This resonated with me, as God says in John 10:10 that he came so that we may have and enjoy life, even in moments of despair and confusion, he promises to be our strength through his Joy, (the Joy of the Lord is my strength Nehemiah 8:10) and Marco Putu depicts this seeing life as paling cantik (most beautiful). So simple, but very powerful.
The rest of the car journey was filled with wisdom and laughs. Before I knew it we arrived at the airport, waving goodbye Marco Putu wishes me a safe journey, handing me his card in case I return, as I walk away I feel compelled and elated, Bali complete, time to return home.
So that was Bali. Did Bali transform me, some ways yes and in others no. The main takeaway from this experience is the importance of taking time for yourself, to breathe to relax and realign with your purpose and faith, whatever belief you have. The key message is to believe in something, anything, whether it be a dream or a higher being, trust in God and have faith in his purpose for your life. As, whatever you believe you can achieve.
Thank you for reading, below are some pictures and recommendations of places in Seminyak, enjoy.