This January marks my second year of living in Jakarta.
Two years ago, I left cold Southampton for this Big Durian. It was hard when I got here. Everything wasn’t as expected, and I found myself getting frustrated with almost everything. Two years on, and it hasn’t gotten any easier. On the contrary, it’s severely draining me. While in Southampton I only came home for sleeping, in here I’ve become a hermit that chooses to stay at home at all times. Unless it’s absolutely necessary, I don’t go out. I avoid the traffic like the plague.
The only good thing about Jakarta is the family and friends I have here. Thanks to these friends, this year has gotten off to a good start.
People say you’d never get bored of Ubud.
This was my second time in Ubud this year, after going here with my friends last summer. This time, I stayed longer, and good thing that I was, as it was raining every day around mid-day, so we effectively only had around 6 hours each day to explore the area before it got dark. The rain was no joke, guys. I’m talking torrential rain with thunderstorms (the worst was on our last night in Ubud. The roof was leaking, forcing us to move immediately to a vacant room. A few minutes after that, there was a power outage and it was pitch black).
Despite the rain, we still had a good time. There were many things to do, lots of places to eat, and if I hadn’t come prepared I guess I would’ve been overwhelmed.
For this week 7 Things Series, I’m sharing my Ubud favorites, just for reference in case you want to go here for a vacation (hint: you should).
I’ve been to Bali a few times, and have explored many places on the island, from the north to the south, from the west to the east. From all the places I’ve visited in Bali, Ubud is still one of my favorites. The town has undergone many changes throughout the years, and yet it still maintains the artsy and relaxed vibes.
It’s not easy to see why it attracts many tourists from all over the world. Located 200 meters above the sea level, it’s (relatively) cooler than the other areas. The streets are lined with cafes, jewelry workshops, and art shops, selling things from colorful fabrics, pieces of jewelry, homeware, paintings, and much more. Surrounded by rice fields and forests, it offers an easy escape to nature for anyone who needs it. Last December, I went to Ubud again, this time with my boyfriend. We stayed somewhere around the Monkey Forest area, and every day we would walk up the street to the market and the plethora of shops and coffee shops around it.
In 2016 I read some amazing books, a few of them have even made it to the list of my all-time favorite books (along with The Little Prince, the Harry Potter series, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time, and South of the Border West of the Sun, among many others). It’s hard to narrow it down to only 7, but here they are.
As someone who has a soft spot for dogs, seeing the conditions of stray dogs in Bali really breaks my heart.
Stray dogs have become a long-standing problem in Bali. The lack of awareness or fund to sterilize and give vaccinations, even for pet dogs, have worsened the situations. Following the rabies outbreak in 2008, in 2014 Bali governor issued a statement to cull stray dogs as a way to control rabies, on top of telling dog owners to keep their pets confined to their homes. They even had ‘dog elimination day‘ for this program (warning: it’s a distressing article with equally distressing pictures). I really can’t wrap my head around this. Here’s an article from World Animal Protection explaining why culling dogs is ineffective and unacceptable.
Happy New Year!
The previous post is a bit on the grim side (as was 2016), so I want to start this new year on a more positive note.
Since it’s also Sunday, which is time for my 7 Things series, I thought this time I’d write the 7 things I want to do (more) in 2017. I’ve never been really keen on a long list of resolutions. I usually focus on a thing or two generally for the entire year, and it works really well. My resolution for 2016 was to be happy (I was in a crappy place at that time), and for 2015 to be wiser, and for 2014 to open myself up for every opportunities and adventures that came my way.
This year, generally, I want to try harder to be happy and to create things. I also want to keep doing things that I’ve been doing for the last few months, and here they are.
What a year you have been.
It looks like you didn’t make it easy, not just for me, but also for so many others. The world seems to be getting less kind and more violent. Maybe someday there will be a book telling the harrowing tale that is 2016.