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Many Adventures of a Nomadic Poet A young poet with Asperger's makes travel his passion, and away he goes...

On the Back of an Ojek...

INDONESIA | Sunday, 27 January 2019 | Views [61]

For the last couple of days I've been a tourist: breakfast at the hotel followed by going to the beach. The monotony broken by a bit by flying Juliett (my drone) and then going to dinner at a touristy restaurant in the evening. This kind of travel is "unorthodox" in my words. For the few days I've experienced Oksana's travel style. Today however, I wanted to break Oksana out of her comfort zone and have her experience my travel style. Three years ago I got acquainted with a little place called Black White (BW) Cafe around the corner from my homestay. BW had only recently opened then and is a cool, funky cafe with various types of coffee and nibbles. Though not far away, this section of Bali feels a world and a million miles away from the party atmosphere of Kuta. Oksana had never ridden on a motor scooter, so her time was now. Flagging an ojek (motor scooter taxi) on the street costs much more than if you use the Go-Jek app: this is Bali's answer to Lyft and Uber, as you can also use it to have food delivered. Using Go-jek costs about 30,000 rupiah whereas it would cost about 100,000 if you flag one on the street. Oksana is getting a crash course on how I travel...

There were two of us and Oksana doesn't have a local SIM card so the girl at the hotel desk ordered a second ojek using her Go-jek app. Oksana was nervous, but with two drivers and two ojeks we all rode together as she saw "the real Bali." For more than 45 minutes on the back of a motor scooter, I could tell she was nervous. When we stepped off and gave our helmets back, we were in an area far away from the confines of the hotel. She playfully said "I'll take you to the poorest section of Ukraine" and with a smile I said "by all means go ahead."

You may wonder why we didn't just hire a motorscooter and drive ourselves: on my last trip to Bali I got into an accident on my motorscooter and I don't have a licence, and travel insurance won't cover you if you're driving without a licence. Furthermore, if I get into an accident, Oksana will get hurt as well and I wouldn't want that, therefore we played it safe and used the app. Oksana is gorgeous! 

Firman is the flamboyant owner of BW Cafe. As I sat with a coffee and onion rings whilst a million motor scooters roared past, Firman was pleasantly surprised to hear from me. He and I spent a number of hours on my last visit cleaning up rubbish on the street, with locals thanking us for our work. Today we discussed how strides have been made to reduce the massive rubbish problem that plagues Bali. Many stores are no longer giving out plastic bags, and many places have banned straws. Before leaving, we made sure to get some photos as well as a means of keeping in touch with Firman (which I didn't do last time). 

In reverse, Oksana and I would take ojeks back to Nusa Dua. She ordered a shot of rum because she was nervous for a good part of the day. Oksana at first baulked at the idea of going to BW Cafe but I think she really enjoyed her time as well as riding an ojek. Tomorrow we shall take a journey on the back of an ojek to Pura Uluwatu and see the sunset. 

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