5/20/18: A Revolutionary Grab Ride

I was actually really excited for breakfast today because I finally have almond butter!! I’ve been deprived for MONTHS, but I found some at Earth Cafe so now my breakfasts won’t be as sad anymore.

I got some toast from the hostel kitchen, spread the almond butter, and topped it with banana slices.

I wanted to go check out some bus companies that I had read about online while researching how to get to Java. They apparently had buses going to the Mt. Ijen area, which is where I want to go.

I got a Grab and headed to Downton Denpasar. The first place I had bookmarked, Damri Corporation, turned out to just be a big parking lot where they leave the buses, so that was a fail.

I walked north towards the other company I had bookmarked, Gunung Harta, and saw some other companies on the way. I stopped in, asked if any of their buses go to Banyuwangi, but it was a no from all of them.

I eventually got to the Gunung Harta’s office and asked if they sold tickets to Banyuwangi. They told me I had to go to the Mengwi bus terminal, which was way up north near Ubud. I didn’t feel like making the trek up there, so I googled a bit more to see if there was an easier way to get to Java— surely I didn’t need to take this one bus company.

I figured out that I really should just take a shuttle bus to the northwest port of Bali called Gilimanuk, take the public ferry to Java, and then a taxi to Banyuwangi. I’m not really sure how I missed this info before… but this was going to be my new plan instead of the bus.

I ordered a Grab to take me back to the hostel. Oh my GOD this bike was revolutionary. It came with a seat back, which made the ride exponentially better— I could sit back, do stuff with my hands like unscrew my water bottle, and actually RELAX. Why all bikes don’t have this game-changing feature, I do not know. Wow.

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GAMECHANGER
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I don’t even care that there’s an ad on it.

I got back and walked around to find some cheap lunch. I went into a warung a few minutes down the street and pointed at what I wanted: some tempeh, spicy water spinach, and steamed veggies. Really good!

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Langston Hues, a yoga instructor I had met back in Ubud, and I had plans to meet for a podcast interview later that afternoon.

I sat at the hostel and caught up a bit on YouTube in the meantime. I never have time to watch videos anymore!

Around 3:30, I left for Canggu.

I got to Koloni Cafe around 4, sat down with Langston, and did the podcast. It went well! He’s led a really cool life already, and he’s only 30. He grew up in Detroit, first started traveling as a modest street fashion photographer, who h meant photographing muslim women all around the world. Then he became an actor in Indonesia, and now teaches yoga as well. You can listen to the episode here.

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Me and Langston

I got back to the hostel and started editing the episode a bit, and left again at 7:30 to meet up with Hannah and Bonnie for dinner.

We went to Warung Malang. I got fried vermicelli noodles with veggies and tofu. It normally comes with meat, but I asked for them to do no meat and add tofu instead. I didn’t think it would work, since Southeast Asian restaurants don’t really understand the concept of modifying menu items, but they understood me and agreed to do it!! Yay!

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For dessert I ordered es buah. I thought it was just shaved ice with fruit, but unfortunately it came with condensed milk as well. I ate it anyway, just eating around the condensed milk as much as I could. I didn’t want to waste it. It also had bits of grass jelly in it, which I loved.

I was really tired by 9:30 when we parted ways. It was cool to hang out with the girls for a couple days!

I walked back and was in bed by 10:30.

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