“You are so bizz-ee! You never here!” The owner of the villa I am staying at exclaimed as I filled out papers he’d been trying to get me sign for days. “I never see you!”
Locals here are so friendly. Everything is about being kind and spreading good karma. Some shop owners leave their stores open unattended because they trust that everyone will do the right thing. A girl in my class was looking to buy a surfboard (she has been living in Bali for five months already!) and they offered it to her for the day without paying anything. Everyone treats you as their guest, their friend who they trust. The karma system works. If you do anything wrong, bad karma is a serious consequence.
That being said, karma is something I’ve really enjoyed about Bali. There are usually beggers outside of the main ATMs and whenever I get cash I look for a little girl to give a few dollars to. It’s funny because it’s like I’m giving her hundreds (the rupia was a huge adjustment) and it always makes me feel like I’ve spread even the tiniest bit of good karma. Tipping is like that too, some places it’s included some places it’s not, but I always make sure to give them more and it’s the most fun when they didn’t expect it.
As you walk down the streets in Ubud, you are offered Taxis left right and center. People want to work. “TAXI -BEE?” “Where you going young woman?” “Scooter? I take you to yo-gaaa?” Most of the time they are very kind, although annoying after a while. They are all very curious and want to know why you’re here what you’re doing for how long etc. I never feel threatened or unsafe, they are just so so so friendly.
Today is Sunday, my day off and I am having a relaxing day. Well trying. The thing is, except for on my mat in the middle of savasana or a deep yin practice, I have major troubles relaxing. I feel the née to always be busy and doing something and accomplishing something. Bali has taught me to slow down. “Lady you walk too quick hey?” “Where you going so fast? This is Bali time!” I think it’s a huge part of western society, and I am a prime example. The girl with four jobs, speeding from A to B and always planning something else. Living in the moment is a challenge and yoga has been my anchor for many years. Now, I am welcoming it as my way of life. We were taught to judge our self worth on what degree we earned, how big of a house we have, the car we drive, how successful your partner is. Pass, fail. Go, go, more, more. No wonder the depression rate of our country (particularly in middle aged women) is so high. The people here have the toothiest most authentic grins. They know something we just don’t. Life’s too short to be anything but happy and they exemplify it in their way of life.
So hey, slow down. It’s Bali Time.
This post was written by SOSA Graduate, Ty, and the original can be found here.