We rode to Seminyak this morning from Ubud. The drive took about 45 minutes, although if there was no traffic on the roads, it’d have taken maybe 15. Driving in Bali is pretty tough due to the masses of motorcycles and mopeds on the roads. Cars are constantly passing them, so it’s almost like there’s 3 lanes in the road which makes head-on collisions seem inevitable.
Along the way we ran into a procession to a cremation ceremony, so we pulled over and snapped a few photos. From what we understand, everyone is cremated in Indonesia and then the ashes are buried in cemeteries. When someone dies, they spend three days preparing the grounds for the ceremony and then the entire town gets dressed up and marches to the cremation grounds where the cremation is done. In contrast to western funerals, Indonesian funerals are lively events.
Speaking of non-western Indonesian customs, we’ve learned that Indonesians don’t make a big deal out of meals. In fact, families don’t eat meals together – the mother typically prepares food and leaves it in the kitchen all day for family members to eat when they want to. One of the expats we met told us that if you’re invited to a Indonesian’s house for dinner, the food is served buffet-style and you take some and eat it by yourself, usually in the corner. Very strange. I thought all cultures made food a key part of social events. It just goes to show that there’s an exception to every rule.
We arrived at our hotel, The Oberoi. Now this is a hotel! Even better than the Four Seasons, I think. And we once again have the privacy we wanted that we didn’t really have in Ubud. This should be a relaxing way to end our honeymoon. :) The only drawback is the lack of WiFi internet in the room, we have to go to the “library” to get internet access. But we still have dialup through TelkomNet, which seems to provide free dialup to everyone – we’re using the same phone number, account name and password that they provide on their site. Free dialup internet in Indonesia. Go figure.
A nice thing about Seminyak is that we can walk into town and to the restaurants and shops. No scheduling a driver here. And it sounds like there’s lots of good restaurants here, including a Greek restaurant that we’ve heard good things about.