Jessica in Australia

Jessica is a senior majoring in marketing in the Cox School of Business. During summer and fall 2011, Jessica is studying abroad with SMU-in-Australia. She’s eager to learn about new cultures, meet new people and experience life outside the United States.

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Bali

Ok, I finally have some time to tell you about my adventure to Bali!

To the people who live in Perth, Bali is a nice weekend getaway. Sounds strange, I know. To most Americans Bali is this exotic island about as far away as imaginable… Eat, Pray, Love style.

Early in August, my 5 closest girlfriends here and I decided we wanted in on this vacation destination, so we booked flights for the earliest weekend we could get. By weekend I mean long weekend… as in 5 nights in Bali weekend! It is winter here so it’s the perfect time to go north to the islands.

The time came, and we were off to Bali, only less than a four hour flight away! (That is closer than flying across the United States). Of course our excitement faded when we found out our plane was delayed by a few hours. At least there was plenty of time to shop in duty free for a new camera. Finally the time came and we were off the ground. Bali here we come!

As soon as I stepped off the plane I could smell the Bali smell… Asian spices and incense in the air. We breezed though customs and made our way to the taxi stand where we had our first bargaining experience…well there wasn’t much bargaining, but we managed to hire 2 cabs to take us to our hotel for less than $10. Our first discovery of how cheap most things would be in this country. After check in we headed to our new rooms, and did, of course… if you know me well enough you should guess… we ordered room service. After a long travel, food is the perfect end to the night.

 

We woke up early the next morning to all meet at the hotel’s buffet breakfast. We then made our first adventure out to the shops and got our first real taste of cheap Bali knock-off products and some professional bargainers. After a lunch break and some more shopping, we headed back to our hotel for an afternoon on the beach. Much like Mexico, you can barely settle in before people come up to you selling just about anything you can think of. Before we knew it, it was time to get ready for our night out on the town.

Deirdre’s birthday began at midnight so we were ready for a big night ahead. Of course being with 3 other SMU girls, we spend our first night at a Mexican restaurant. It was so much better than the Mexican food we found in Perth. We have all been deprived. We spend an entertaining night out on the town and crashed hard when we got back home.

Again, another early morning, but there were lots of adventures ahead to celebrate Deirdre’s birthday. We hired a driver and made our way to the most southern part of the island to see a temple by the sea. We paid a small fee to enter, and there were the monkeys… oh the mischievous monkeys. We made our way over to the temple, taking pictures and enjoying the scenery and history when all of a sudden we could see the ocean in the distance. We made our way closer and all of a sudden the view opened up to the most spectacular sight I have ever seen. Absolutely breathtaking.

We took plenty of pictures enjoying the scenery, then we decided to walk around the rest of the temple. This is where I discovered my fear of monkeys. They were so cute and innocent when they were playing with each other. They were even funny when they stole a man’s hat. As we were laughing at the monkey with the man’s hat, all of a sudden we heard a scream from Deirdre… a monkey had jumped from a tree onto her head trying to steal her sunglasses. We all looked in terror as she shooed the monkey off of her head and it climbed down her backpack and ran away. This was only the beginning. The monkeys now had control. There were so many of them running around stealing people’s water bottles and flip flops, but they would give everything back as soon as they were handed food.

We decided to get out of there and go to the other side of the cliffs. The monkeys were terrifying to walk by again, but we finally were away from their territory walking along the cliffs. It was gorgeous and hot and sunny. Just what we all needed after the rainy month we just had. We spent some time walking around enjoying the view and taking pictures. Before we left the area, of course we stopped at the few shops near the entrance and had a nice cold drink and an ice cream before we headed back to the hotel.

We cleaned up and took a cab to a delicious Italian restaurant for a three-course meal. It still surprises me how cheap thing were. We shopped around a bit then headed back to the hotel before going out. The hotel had delivered a cake for Deirdre’s birthday so we had another little celebration before heading out on the town. There happened to be a group of American boys we knew from Perth who were in Bali the same weekend, so we met up with them for the night.

After the long night out an early morning was pretty rough. We decided to have a pool/beach morning and another shopping afternoon. We were professional bargainers by then. We later went to dinner at Ku De Ta, a nice restaurant that overlooked the beach and ocean. We had a nice mellow night and early to bed.

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