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Bali - Sickness and a Sunset

So, I have not updated in awhile and a decent number of things have happened. I was swamped with midterm papers, presentations, group meetings, etc. for the couple weeks prior to recess week. Luckily, I just have 3 more papers to do, and then, I can "relax" until finals.

First off, I saw the play Wicked. I have wanted to see this play since I read the book a few years ago. While it was not my favorite play (Les Miserables will always be my favorite, I think), I really enjoyed the music. The props were unbelievable and the actresses voices were incredible. I would definitely recommend it especially if you have not read the book. In my opinion, if you could read the book with the musical soundtrack interjecting at the appropriate times, it would be perfect.

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This is the Grand Theater at Marina Bay Sands where I saw Wicked. Loved it.

Alright, so after a rough couple weeks with midterm prep and completion, I went to Bali for recess week! Sounds awesome right? I was so excited. I had planned to do an all day cycling tour of a volcano, rice patties, a coffee plantation, and have a meal at a native's house. I also planned snorkeling and a sunrise volcano trek and tour around the crater afterward. We also planned on going to Tanah Lot (more on that later). Of course, going to the beautiful Kuta beach was also a part of this plan. Want to know how much of that I actually did? I went to the beach for 4 hours total...over the course of 7 days. You may ask why. Well, I became really sick after finishing a crazy midterm week. I was feeling under the weather the day before we left, but I thought that I had dealt with worse, so I was still going to go. I mean, it is Bali. I was fine for the first day and a half, then all hell broke loose. I will spare you the details, but to put it in perspective, I did not leave my hotel room/lobby for 4 days.

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That's right, I find fantastic, cheap hotel rooms. I was also really lucky to be comfortable when I was sick. Otherwise, it could have been an even worse experience.

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Fish in the lobby!

Luckily, I was well enough to make it to an art market on the second to last day, and Tanah Lot on our final day. The art market was really interesting, and I am glad I went to it. I bought some pretty cool modern art paintings by the locals and a wooden fisherman sculpture.

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Main means of transportation. Side-note: traffic in Bali is insanity. We went through a grand total of 2 spotlights in a 1.5 hour drive to Tanah Lot, and the streets are incredibly narrow. So, when you get mo-peds darting in and out of cars while speeding towards oncoming traffic...it gets a little nerve-racking, even if you are not driving. Crossing the street is a whole other can of worms.

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Street Market. The sales men and women are very persistent and some of them cut off your path and corral you into their shop. I give them props for persistence, but as for the nagging...

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Last day at the beach...sigh.

So, for our final day, I was able to go to the beach for a few hours, which was fantastic. I did not think a place could be hotter than Singapore. HA. Bali is like a blow torch close to your skin. I was sufficiently tan within those few hours with sunscreen. However, one of the highlights was Tanah Lot. It is a temple on the ocean where the Balinese worship their sea gods. Due to erosion, 1/3 of the rock temple is artificial rock. Another cool fact is that you can only get to the temple at low tide. You have to walk across a rock face (to get to the back of the temple) that can become submerged in high tide; it, then, becomes highly dangerous to cross. Although you cannot see the temple itself (which faces the ocean) because you can only see the temple if you plan on praying, it was cool to see.

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Another rock formation (not Tanah Lot). There was a couple taking their wedding pictures there. Talk about a view!

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Not your average wedding picture.

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Tanah Lot at semi-high tide

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Tanah Lot still at semi-high tide. Where you can cross over is at the far left of the picture where the people are standing.

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Back to schoolwork, I guess. : /

Although I did not get to do the grand majority of the things I wanted to do, I can say that I was able to relax and not have to worry about school for the first time in a very long time.

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