Volunteer's Blog

On the Road Again

Volunteer's Blog

Bali, December 2018 (Adriano)

Life is like a road. You never know where it’s going to take you and there’s no road map. You never know who’s going along with you or at what point they’ll decide to take a different route. The only thing you know for sure is that’s it’s bound to be an adventure and you don’t want to miss a single moment of the journey. – Susan Gale

  Well, life is really like a road, it has bumps, cracks, stop signs, highways, shortcuts, and unexpected turns. However, in the end it always takes you somewhere, sometimes not where you want to go but where you need to go, even if you didn’t know why you needed to go there. This road, my road, has been as crazy and unexpected as the road life in Bali. But, let’s go straight to the subject: “What do you experience driving around Bali”.     Here, age is nothing more than a number, on the same day you can see a twelve-year-old kid driving a motorbike almost bigger than him, and five minutes later, a ninety-year old woman driving with her groceries staking two meters high on the back of the motorbike. Lanes … lanes are not really a thing here, it’s a free country, one shouldn’t be tied to this “lines and rules”. Signs are there, but they don’t really mater, if you go slow, there is no problem. Another thing that I notice is that phone is a mandatory. In Indonesia, they are all about being social. If you’re not texting/calling/tweeting/Instagraming while you’re driving, you’re falling behind. But, when a roundabout appears, drop your phone because you will need all your attention, both hands and feet, and even an extra pair of eyes, every person drives into this madness and try their best to get away. When it comes to being a pedestrian, here they have some kind of magic. The trick is walk slow and with a hand stretched out towards the driver and they eventually will stop, believe me. Roads don’t actually matter, at time, Indonesian roads may be an inconvenience, so it’s no surprise when sidewalks, footbridges, perhaps even a river becomes an impromptu route. In Indonesia, the traffic lights have a completely different meaning…   This can seem intimidating, but with time you start to realize that everyone is always aware of their surroundings and because of that, everyone has amazing reflexes, seems like somehow the road becomes more fluid and once you understand that you will feel really safe driving around here. There is more about this motorbike culture, a motorbike is not just a way of getting to point A to point B, as I said in my first blog. It’s the most valuable friend you could have, it can be a bed, it can be a dinner table, it can be your family car, where you and your wife drive with two children and the dog. It can be your mini-truck, they carry everything on them, from water jugs, gas bottles, birds, dogs, trees, even your own business.     For me, that’s the most amazing part about motorbike, its perfect isn’t it? Your small vehicle to go to work is actually your actual workplace. You can change place, the rent is low, of course sometimes you can get a flat tire, but even in that case you can just sell some food on spot and later fix the bike. With all of this I would like to say that the road has its ups and downs, cars and motorbikes, drivers and pedestrians, the road is meant to help you get to places, but in the end of the day, what matters is to enjoy the journey, you will get there anyways.