It seemed to be in slow motion, inch-long, gleaming white teeth lunging towards me. The only thing that kept me from a bleeding arm and a series of rabies shots was my surf shirt that I whipped it with.
Half a second before I had decided it would be a good idea to save a tourists' bag from a wild monkey by scaring it with a little jump.
Luckily it growled and ran off, but not without showing me who’s beach we were on and giving my friend a good laugh.
If you ever go to the cave at Uluwatu, don’t try to be the monkey scaring hero.
Other than vicious monkeys and run-ins with the taxi/boat mafia, life in Indonesia moves slowly and peacefully.
Over the course of 2.5 months, I slowly sipped it in.
It’s nearly impossible to describe the feeling of being in the water on a surfboard as the sun is setting and the water all around you turns to golden ripples. The breaking waves reveal a moody turquoise that only shows during those cherished moments in the afterglow.
Or to feel the wind suddenly become brisk and cool as an ominous black tempest looms across the sky in your direction. Bringing with it a wall of rain that creates a mosaic of tiny splashes in every direction.
On several occasions, I had the privilege of listening for hours on end to my friend Ismoyo, an old, long-haired batik artist talk in celestial orbits about Javanese Cosmology and how we’re all like trees. "We may grow a branch to one side here, or another side.... apa (what)… But, we're always growing up.”
Traversing the island through traffic, on sidewalks and narrow rice paddy short-cuts, on a scooter loaded down with a surfboard and all my belongings nearly matched the adrenaline of catching the perfect wave.
Occasionally, I was delighted with a mural or two on these drives. I soon discovered, to my surprise, that the urban art scene in Canggu is alive and booming, with skateparks, apparel shops, and hipster cafes to match.
Tempe, Tofu, fresh vegetables with a touch of peanut and chili sauce make the perfect meal, and to top it off a fresh coconut on the beach while listening to live reggae.
If you’re not careful, Indonesia can make you quickly forget about life beyond the archipelago. But, that may not always be a bad thing.
Check out the art and scenery and sunsets of Indonesia below. (Unfortunately, the monkey chose not to be pictured 🙈))