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.

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.

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!


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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