Yes, the liquid is “Arak”, which is a kind of Indonesian coconut wine.
But what is this white stuff??
That is a COROCODILE’S DICK!!!
OH. MY. GOD.
This is arak with a crocodile’s dick.
They are expensive in Bali and when people need energy (for many reasons) they drink them.
Of course I tried.
No hesitation. If you see a crocodile’s dick arak in front of you, you have to try a sip.
And the taste? Oh, YUCK!!!
When it comes to “life in Bali”, you might imagine a gorgeous life in villas or nice hotels with pool but my life in Bali is just like the one I had in the Philippines when I was doing volunteer in a rural village.
I live in a small village in south of Ubud center.
A simple room with clean bathroom in a compound of an Indonesian family.
I am very happy to have a hot shower with strong water pressure and a clean flush toilet, which I didn’t have for last two years in the Philippines.
I wake up with sounds of dog barking, rooster roaring, and chanting-like Balinese traditional music and I see sunshine thrown through banana leaves outside of my window.
Sitting on a chair facing the garden, I drink a cup of coffee and eat some mangostins before they were found by ants while enjoying my favorite jazz music. I stare at the garden blankly, and a little guy shows up---a lizard. He enjoys sunbathing and eats a corncob that I threw away last night.
Yes, I am sharing the food with a reptile friend.
A daughter of the owner of this compound visits me and we play.
I bite a guava in the garden and watch a routine of the Indonesian family.
A wife of the owner places offerings and prays at every corner of the compound.
I start my day with smell of incense.
I am having a “quality life” in this place, which rent is only USD200/month.
I can experience real Balinese life and culture, which is not like something prepared for tourists.
The owner of my place, Gede, takes me to everywhere---his friend’s wedding, religious ceremony in neighborhood, full moon ceremony in his hometown, cleansing at holy spring…I can immerse myself into these purely cultural experience.
Moreover, I can get to know with tourists from all over the world who stay in my next door.
A canadian girl who teaches English in Japan, two nurses from France travelling together, a couple from Canada with cute matching avocado tattoos, an American English teacher who works in Thailand, Hungarian couple who travels all over Indonesia, a monkey expert from Canada, a Dutch guy who studies about travel writers…
People with a variety of nationalities and cultural backgrounds come and go every couple of days. And all of them are open-minded.
We enjoy the crocodile dick arak (just a sip!) while having a conversation about our own countries, about where we traveled, about our life, and everything. I hang out, grab a drink, or even have a short trip with them.
They are a kind of people who I can make friends with in 10 sec. I am not exaggerating. Each of them is very attractive in terms of their mind and soul. I feel I can talk with them forever because they have such a curious thoughts and a unique personality.
Honestly saying, I am not a fan of town of Ubud.
It’s too touristic for me---I am fed up with crowds of tourists (I heard it’s gonna get worse in May) and overpriced food and products (still cheaper if you compare with Japan though).
But I love my life in my little compound and that’s the reason I am staying here fore a while.
This is the life I wanted!
Oh by the way, it's not a goddess of rice terrace in this picture...it's me! hahaha
Thank you very very much for those who sent me messages and comments on my last post.
I sometimes lose confidence in what I’m doing now because I feel I am very selfish and self-centered for doing only what I love to do. Sometimes I doubt myself and such a question comes to mind as “Should I do something to help others instead of spending my time only for myself to enjoy my life?”
However, when some of you tell me that my post is encouraging and inspiring, I get confidence in the way I live and I feel that I am actually helping someone through my writing.
So, thank you so much for reading this blog and encouraging me.