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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Happy Nyepi.... sshhh, be quiet and don't leave!

Happy Nyepi everyone!

Most of the hotels are actually closed today for the holiday and NO ONE, I mean NO ONE is out on the streets!  Nyepi is a Hindu / Balinese "Day of Silence" that goes from 6am today (March 12th) until 6am tomorrow.  There are special restrictions for Nyepi: No lighting fires, no working, no entertainment or pleasure, no traveling (yes, even the airport closes in Bali!), and for some, no talking or eating at all.  In fact, according to wikipedia, "the only people to be seen outdoors in the town are the Pecalang, traditional security men who patrol the streets to ensure the prohibitions are being followed!"  I couldn't tell you if that was true or not, because we spent our entire day here, in room #1 of Lembongan Reef Bungalows on the hill.

But, we didn't mind being cooped up in our hotel room!  

Not with a view like this from our balcony!

Luckily, our hotel was really relaxed about Nyepi and let us use the pool... with the other hotel guests and even order food (which was all made with NO electricity or a flame)!  Not quite sure how they did it, but I was impressed! We were just so happy to have some real food and not have to rely on what we had stocked up on in our mini fridge! lol  #vacationdiet

I also didn't mind being cooped up, because while I'd like to say I'm a big reader, the truth is, I get antsy and bored with books and typically either never pick them up, or put them down after the first chapter! (I'm working on this and have a goal to read more books this year!)  So, with no TV, no internet, and no iphone games to distract me, I read and finished Look After Mom, which my co-teacher Okk had given me FOR MY BIRTHDAY almost a year ago.  -sad-  It was fantastic and I got lost in the haunting and sweet story within it's pages... not to mention, it reminded me of Korea, which still has my heart!  Thank you Okk!  

When I wasn't reading, I was laying out by the pool with these 5 kids!  Aaron and I lovingly gave them the nickname, "the kids" which they really didn't deserve, because while they do happen to be recent high school graduates, they are mature, cultured, smart and funny enough to be people we would call actual friends in real life!  They all graudated from the same high school in a small town 30 minutes outside of Heidelberg, Germany a couple months ago and are all traveling for between 3 weeks and 4 months!  Mom, can you imagine me traveling Asia with my friends when I was 18!?  Actually the 3rd one from the left (Larissa) and the 5th one, which is hidden by Cora, (Marie), traveled through Africa together before meeting the rest of the gang in Indonesia!  A.F.R.I.C.A!  These are some lucky kids here and we were pretty lucky to have them to hang with on Nyepi!

As soon as the sun went down, Aaron and I ordered some dinner and played cards, in the candlelight, on our balcony overlooking the black ocean in front of us, black sky above us and the black island all around us... until we drifted off into dream land in our candlelit hotel room on the hill...

Happy Nyepi from Nusa Lembongan, Bali, Indonesia!