This blog will be a little more photo heavy than usual. I want you to get an idea of what it was like living in Bali during the pandemic, At the time, I was living in Ubud which is always laidback. It was even more so once international tourism was halted.
Monkey Forest Park was closed. Usually the monkeys stayed in or around the park. This time, the monkeys were further along Monkey Forest Rd. They were hanging outside abandoned shops and restaurants along with the street dogs.
Streets once crowded with tourists– teasing the monkeys, buying ice creams, and taking photos were as quiet as a tomb….
Fear could be read on everyone’s face. People stood away from you. Everyone was paranoid of each other. I stayed above the little restaurant in Ubud and barely left the second floor for one month. I had my food delivered and probably watched far too much Netflix.
It was a time to do a lot more cooking and take classes on Udemy.
It was a time to explore Bali safely without any tourists. I got lost down small roads through jungles and villages–keeping my distance from villagers in case I was asymptomatic.
It was a time to donate to charities because a lot of people lost their jobs due to working in the tourism sector. It was time to help my beloved local businesses bounce back through social media.
Sadly, many closed their doors for good.
However, the Balinese always look at the positive side of life and started changing the way business was conducted.
Mask policies were implemented and foreigners who did not comply were deported.
I checked up on loved ones and we organized group Zoom calls for our sanity.
We did shots.
A lot of shots.
It helped us cope, so try not to be too damn judgemental. hehe
Strangely, it never occurred to me to rush “home.” Where was home? I’m from the USA, but it wasn’t home to me. Few good memories were had in Chicago. Shitty co-workers who did everything in their power to get me fired because my quietness meant I was a bitch. You see…gossips and brown nosers were loved and hardworkers were not. Most of my good memories were as a child in Acapulco, Mexico.
Bali needs you, but don’t be an a$$hole when you come here. Wear your damn helmet. Don’t drive drunk! Wear a mask when visiting villages (if they’ll let you in) OUT OF RESPECT. Don’t bitch and moan about your Western rights. No one cares. Leave your fucking privilege on the plane.
Do not give money to the cute kids on the street because they don’t get any of it. Instead, buy them food.
The sun certainly did not set on Bali.
If you like these stories, please show your support by liking and following my blog.