Wednesday, August 25, 2010
I have just returned from Bali, and I think I am still recovering from what an incredible destination it was. I had expected to like it, but not to love it-- and certainly, not to love it as much as I did. The idea of 'Bali' seemed like such a cliche that I was sure it would be one big tangle of resorts, or perhaps just feel like a letdown. But this island was full of surprises. Like the seemingly endless miles of brilliant green rice terraces, hemmed in by bamboo groves and coconut palms. And the grandeur of the temples, trimmed with ornate details and surrounded by lush gardens. Or how incredible mealtime was-- the fresh bite of lawar, the richness of suckling pig, the flavors of coffee, vanilla and palm sugar. Or how neatly the quiet threads of ritual seemed to run through Balinese daily life. The island not only surprised me with every day, but it also shook me out of my jaded state, and reminded me of what I love about Asia-- and made me thankful that I'm able to live here.