One of the coolest trips I have ever taken happened to be one of the greatest vacations I have ever had – a trip to BALI. Yeah, I understand it sound like such a typical cliché. However, it was an amazing, but at the same time a weird experience in so many ways.
It all started with a trip planning. We, a group of four people, instinctively purchased four plane tickets to Bali. We did that without researching or analyzing our destination. We just heard that it’s such a cool and cheap place to visit, that we gave into the whole craze of the far eastern Asia. So, once the tickets were in our pockets, we had to find out more about the place we were about to visit. That’s where the fun began.
As we researched about Bali, we have come across one important question regarding visas. There was not a consensus whether or not a visa is needed. Then we thought that the best place to ask would be an embassy. Their answer left us in a light shock. They told us to have US$100 for visas in cash just to be safe. It seemed like they had their information from the Internet gossipers as well. So, just to be “safe”, we all had US$100 in cash lying in our wallets.
The flight from Europe was long and tiring, but after 13 hours spent in the air, and 3 hours spent in the connecting airport, we landed in Bali safe and sound. Emirates Airlines are believed to be one of the best for a good reason. Comfortable seats, nice staff and good movie collection made our flights as pleasant as they could be.
Once we exited the airport, the taxi drivers just swamped us. There were literally hundreds of them. But since we have educated ourselves with the help of unlimited articles and blogs giving advice of what and how to do in Bali, we walked right passed them and into the streets. After we stood there lost and confused for a moment, some random guy, clearly not from any taxi company, offered us the services of transportation. We agreed on the price, in accordance to the suggestions found on the Internet, and left for hotel.
The second best part of the trip followed immediately after we left the cab. As we paid the driver, he gave us his card with a phone number, just in case we need a driver to move from place to place. It was recommended to do so, because of how people drive there – like crazy. We collected our luggage, bags and all that and exited the cab. We entered the hotel and were already talking to the check-in person to check into the hotel. We booked in advance, but chose an option to pay in cash as we arrived. When it came my turn to pay, I realized that I did not have my satchel.
I got so scared and started panicking, as there was my passport and the majority of my money. I had some in my wallet, but I always kept some hidden somewhere else in the bags. But the money was not the important part. The first thought was “Oh no, I lost the bag”. This Baltic Domini bag was just given to me as a present. But more importantly, my passport was there. And without a passport I could not leave the country.
I immediately began calling the number given by that driver. I had no hope, and in my head I have already started thinking of alternative options, like contacting my embassy and crying for help. But after a few rings, someone answered. It was the driver. He spoke good enough English to understand who is calling and if he could see the bag on the back seat. It was on the ground in between seats.
I did not even have a chance to ask him if he could bring it back to the hotel as he said: “I bring to hotel”. And miraculously, in like 7 minutes he showed up with my bag. I was so happy that I tipped him 500,000 (around 40 bucks).
And so the vacation began. It could have turned out to be the worst vacation in the history of vacations (excluding those from the Locked Up Abroad series). But instead, I enjoyed every second of every minute in Bali. And trust me, there are so much to enjoy. Simply knowing that people there are so nice, kind and generous makes the whole far eastern Asia that much more attractive.
Essay by Chris D.