I woke up feeling brand new. I guess that’s what you’re expected to say when your birthday comes right? If that was the case then whoever made that claim, if there was ever a claim like that, lied.
It was indeed my birthday but I didn’t feel brand new. Feeling anew is complete hogwash. I felt the same as I did when I went to bed. What I knew for sure was that this birthday would be one to remember for years to come. I will say, I was extremely happy that I was now twenty 7 and not 26 cuz I’m not really a fan of even numbers. LOL. Weird, I know. Who am I kidding here? My birthday was here and I couldn’t have been any happier.
As most of my friends know, my birthday is sort of a BIG DEAL to ME. I always try to do something different each time. It’s like I have to compete with myself and outdo my last birthday event. So finally, I would be able to do that. If you just stumbled upon this blog, there are three more before this which will serve as the pretext to some examples. Check them out here; part 1, part 2, part 3. As mentioned previously, I was on a very tight budget. 500 USD could do so much and no more. Heck, I’ve lost track of the figures but I’m sure I was down to my last 250 USD. This would be the culmination of an epic adventure and I was ready blow all my money on this day.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY KEIRN
The staff came knocking at my door with the utmost urgency. They mentioned the ‘manager’ wanted to speak to me before I headed out. I was taken aback for a nano second then it hit me, this was a ruse to get me out in the garden for my surprise. When I made the reservation for Rudy’s Airbnb I mentioned to him that this was my birthday gift to myself and that my actual birthday would be my final day in Bali. It also didn’t help that on the notice board they had written down “Get Keirn a cake for his birthday”. Haha! I played along like I was completely oblivious to what was about to happen and quickly got dressed.
When I arrived in the garden, the ‘manager’ (I think his name was Theo), Budi and the fully recovered Wayan exclaimed the authorities contacted them because of my semi display of public nudity on temple grounds. I knew this wasn’t true but it was so creative. If I was any other foreigner, I probably would have fell for it but I’m too quick. The told me to have a seat and that they’d explain to me what will happen. I for sure whipped out my phone and snapped the whole thing. Wayan and Budi sat with me to try and sell the lie even more but they couldn’t keep a straight face. Out of nowhere, well out of the main area, Theo appeared with a beautiful cake and started singing happy birthday to me. Two other guests were in the garden as well and joined in. In true KT (that’s me) fashion I smiled the whole time. I was so happy. My cake was beautiful but I couldn’t eat any of it because I would be going to the beach and I needed my ab-less belly to look as good as it can. Can you blame a guy for trying to look good on his birthday? LOL LOL LOL. I mean, I’m no Tyson Beckford.
SOUTH BALI HERE COMES KEIRN
I really did save the best bits for last on this trip. Although I had a great time with Budi as my driver the day before, I was happy to have Wayan back. We had built a stronger bond as driver and passenger the first two days, that it was right he drove me around on my birthday. This I think is a major factor in determining how a solo traveler will enjoy his/her rides in a foreign country. I had photo shoot in mind the very first time I saw graffiti on the walls close to the villa and Wayan would be the perfect photographer for this. Upon leaving the compound, my phone rang with the first cellphone birthday greeting of the day. That call meant a lot to me because it was from loved ones whom I missed dearly. Tears.
Wayan did his thing with the camera and captured some really amazing shots. He even tried directing me. I had to stop him in his tracks. No one directs my photo shoots. I had planned this over in my head a million times. My only issue was the fact that I still couldn’t do a jump shot without looking awkward. HAHA. I crack myself up.
“I thought I was done with monkeys for the rest of my time in Bali but I was sadly mistaken.”
After the photo shoot we headed for another temple, Uluwatu. While on the way I started to change in the car because it was like 30°C and that black leather jacket and long black pants was a big no-no. The heat had us parched, so Wayan stopped at a convenience store so we could refresh ourselves. I think he was more elated than I was for this quick rest stop. I hadn’t gotten over the fact that the monkeys stole me Oreo cookies the day before so I bought another pack along with a bottle of water. Before we arrived at our destination, I made sure to thank Wayan for driving me around and for being my ‘friend’ for the past couple of days. I put friend in quotation because I had to trust him with driving me around, safely, and for listening and conversing with me. I’d have gone mad. Ha!
When we arrived, I realized I had to wear a sarong again so I had to change once more. I put my pants back on because it was long enough for me not to wear a sarong inside the temple’s compound. I had to, however, wear a sash of sorts around my waist. Wayan snickered. Curious, I asked why. He then informed me that this place had monkeys and that I should put my glasses inside my bag as well as my Oreos. I thought he was joking because after the episode I had with the monkeys in Sangeh, I didn’t think I’d encounter anymore, at least not this soon. Still in disbelief, I walked over to the ticket counter and there it was. A warning that visitors should be aware of the monkeys. I thought I was done with monkeys for the rest of my time in Bali but I was sadly mistaken. Why on earth did he bring me here? Why did I pay to go in? I did this once before so I should be able to this with ease.
Uluwatu was picturesque. It felt very Greece (well the touristy image of it) but instead of white buildings overlooking the sea, we were surrounded by trees with the temple at the top of what seemed to be a stairway to heaven, with the gorgeous ocean in the background. The sun was red. The heat was becoming unbearable. While walking and capturing pictures we came upon some monkeys. Oh lord! I began sweating profusely. Here we go again, I thought. Luckily, some other tourists were walking toward us and the monkeys dispersed. Moments later a monkey stole Wayan‘s hat and ran off with it. My Oreo was used as a ploy to get the monkey to drop the hat for Wayan to get it. I teased him the whole time cuz he gave me a warning he didn’t follow. Uluwatu was fun but I was ready to go.
ONE STOP AT THE MULIA PLEASE
One of the main things I had set out to do while in Bali was to live like a Bravolebrity. The Mulia offered just that. After seeing that epic storm off Tamra Judge did on their final night in Bali, I knew I had to see this beautiful place myself. The site was a sight to see. I couldn’t believe a place like this existed. I mean for an average minimum of 350 USD a night it had to be beautiful. The open space architecture gave The Mulia and ethereal feel. I felt like I was floating as I walked through the halls of this magnificent hotel. To be fair, it reminded me of Iberostar, Jamaica. I, however, had one mission and that was to reenact Tamra’s storm off and troll her with it on Twitter. I did everything leading up to the storm off until I got stuck. I couldn’t find the right angle where the producers captured the incident. I was beyond frustrated. I didn’t expect it to be like that. Wayan was trying to be supportive by saying I should shoot it anyways, but I needed it to be perfect. If I was going to be running through the halls of this hotel, I needed to do it right. Since I couldn’t get it done, I was now left with one thing to do, hit the beach. After all, I still hadn’t eaten.
DA DA BALI – GOODBYE BALI
After a long day, I needed to get back to the resort so I could pack because my flight back to Japan was just hours away. Before I knew it Wayan was taking me to the airport and shortly after, I was checking in. I had the best time of my life and I am so grateful to GOD for giving me another year of life and for the opportunities given to me. My trip was amazing and Rudy’s Airbnb made it very memorable. Da Da Bali.
Till next time.