Indonesia · 1 Days · 3 Moments · August 2017

Iva's adventure in Indonesia


22 August 2017

Walking in Bali The lack of sidewalks, pedestrian crossings traffic lights and the lack of clear traffic rules in general will be the first thing that strikes any visitor who hasn't experienced the traffic in Indonesia. We had confidently decided that we will be walking for most of our stay in Seminyak but we didn't realise that being a pedestrian in Seminyak will be such a thrilling experience. At fist I find the countless scooters confidently zigzagging between cars, hurriedly swooshing past me and the honking taxis terrifying. I soon find out that strings of pedestrians, countless scooters and honking taxis all find a way to coexist in harmony on the narrow roads of Seminyak. I quickly go into the zen mode all local drivers seem to be in. The honking is not impatient or aggressive, it is a friendly greeting. Like a larger benevolent animal signalling that it acknowledges your presence and promising to do its best not to harm you.

21 August 2017

Day 1 We arrive at Denpasar airport after a short connecting flight from Singapore and exciting 7 hours of wandering around Singapore. The hot but fresh air of Denpasar is a relief in comparison to Singapore's suffocating humidity. We grab a taxi with a fixed rate from the airport's taxi office and we dive into the crazy Bali traffic. And it is crazy. In Indonesia the right of way is always to the biggest vehicle and never to the pedestrian for what it seems. Driving in Indonesia is a very interesting experience but walking is even more thrilling. We quickly find out that sidewalks, pedestrian crossings or traffic lights don't really exist in Seminyak. Strings of pedestrians, countless scooters and honking taxis are all meant to coexist in harmony on the narrow roads. And somehow they do. At first I am terrified that a hurrying scooter will sweep my shoulder or an overtaking van will run my foot over but I soon get in the zen mode that local drivers seem to be in.
It continues to amaze me how harmonious the seemingly chaotic traffic in Bali actually is. There is no impatience, no profanity, not the slightest trace of stress. It is beyond me how drivers manage to agree on who has the right of way. The only explanation I have for it is that the lack of clear traffic rules has developed telepathic skills in the local population. They communicate with each other through their smiles, through their honks, through pure energy. Their wide grins never leave their faces and there is a lively cheerfulness to the sound of their horns. Their patience and thoughtfulness for others around them is endless. Also their maneuvering skills are pretty damn impressive. I feel like a part of this thriving ecosystem of countless scooters, honking cars and fragile pedestrians. I entrust those smiling faces with my live and safety and I surrender to the Balinese infectious peacefulness and cheer.