Sima and Ali leaving Kuta, Bali


Friday I arrived at Internet Outpost after my usual morning ritual with a couple of appointments. The previous night I tried to wash some of the pollution out of my system with a little red wine, green tea and Bintang. Its seems to help…I think. Got to pick up one of those motorcycle masks from Bintang supermarket.

I’ve had the opportunity to meet 2 BootsnAll members recently here in Kuta and coincidentally they are both leaving today. Neither have met!

My first get together was with Sima Cutting who is finishing a long trip across Asia here in Bali and is heading home to her place in Cambridge England. We met at Taman Sari restaurant on Poppies II for a coffee and talked about how she has become something of a fixture here. Sima said that as she walks down Poppies II the locals call out ‘hello Sima’, doesn’t take long to get to know people if you are friendly. Kuta isn’t the best part of Bali but if you take it for what it is it can become an okay place to start your trip from.

Sima came with her motorbike driver from the hotel ( she had turned in her bike as she was close to leaving ) and I bought them a Coke. Sima told me she got him drunk the night before and had to carry him in, poor little guy. Its a good thing some western women are built like tanks.

I asked Sima what her future travel plans were and she rattled off half a dozen regions of the world and Indonesia. I hope she comes back to visit, there are so many bars we didn’t get to.

I waved her goodbye as she borrowed the fellow’s bike and went to pack her bags. I e-mailed her and said its a strange thing to know someone via the web, then meet them, then stay in touch via the web.

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A couple of hours later after jamming through e-mail I met up with Ali Nazar from San Fransisco who had been on his own motorcycle tour of the highlands and was leaving that evening. We had looked at a map a couple of days ago to figure out the best plans for his couple of days on Bali. I suggested making Kuta and getting together with me the least important thing on the list and giving himself the time to explore some remote places the most important. He rode a motorbike to Mt Batur and got caught in a freezing rainstorm on the way back. He enjoyed the small villages and the scenery up there, its so easy to step into an environment that is non touristy if you have the transportation.

We walked down Jalan Legian to Made’s Warung, a famous local place and sat adjacent to the street. I ordered Gado Gado ( boiled vegetables, salad and peanut sauce while Ali got the Nasi Campur ( that’s ‘champur’ if you want to order it ). Ali is from San Francisco and we discussed the upcoming war ( he’s against it ) and how media can block out and manipulate people, even intelligent ones. Ali has spent months touring Pakistan and other Islamic countries conducting interviews and will continue across the Pacific and in the US. His goal is to discuss the differences that seem to make America and Muslim countries seems always at odds with each other. Ali feels that its a good thing to be a believer in whatever religion who follow, over just going along without any particular faith ( like me ).

We talked about some of the people we’d met in Bali and back in the US and how their environment affects their actions. Both having spent considerable time in California we chatted about the mental attitudes to things there and Ali said in he believes in southern Cal a lot of people have a disrespect for certain moral values that people elsewhere hold strong. I think I agree and think the Hollywood, fast track media is largely to blame.

Anyway Ali is a great guy and I hope he passes through this way again and that the guys in Eugene get a visit.

We parted at Internet Outpost as Ali was taking a final trip to Tanah Lot that afternoon.

Stay tuned for interviews with Sima and Ali.