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You know you are in Ubud when…

Once predominantly famous for its royal heritage (think palaces and traditional dance performances, literally fit for a king), Ubud has now transformed into a New Age sanctuary.

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9 Culture Shocks in Bali You May Be Unprepared For

Have you ever stepped into another country and go, wow – it’s completely a whole new world? It unsettles you – the way the locals eat, behave and even the the way they stare at you. It’s just so….different.

And so is Bali.

In fact, there’s nowhere quite like it in the world, and if you aren’t ready it’s going to wipe you out. Of course, we can never be fully prepared for culture shock until we’re experiencing it ourselves, but if you come from the other side of the globe, we’ve put together some things you can expect, especially if you intend to take a long summer holiday!

1. You’re Suddenly A Famous Celebrity

ou’re-Suddenly-A-Famous-CelebritySource: khabarsoutheastasia.com

It’s good news if you have always wanted to be famous – Bali is your red carpet. You get double points with your new Balinese fan base if you happen to be white and blonde as well.

But believe us, fame is tough. You’ll likely spend long days with village fans wanting to pose for pictures with their new best friend (that’s you), or simply watch you from afar.

Truth be told, all the staring may be creepy, but the photos are fun! Think of is as a way to meet new people, if you can manage 1000 smiles a day.

2. Everyone is Touchy-touchy

Don’t be too shocked when you realise that your newfound Balinese friends are a little… touchy. It’s their way of showing friendliness! Unlike many other Asian nations, touching in Bali is totally ok, and random people you’ve just met may force you into a hand-hold or a general stroke.

But take note if you’re pale skinned, because the Balinese will love you! It’s a superstition that the much coveted pale skin can ‘rub off’ and people are more than willing to test this theory.

And though Bali doesn’t have a large population of same-sex couples, don’t be surprised to see men holding hands with other men (same goes for women holding hands). This is actually pretty common, and is simply their way of showing their friendship!

3. Finger Food Takes On A New Meaning

sdc13447Source: unikabadi.blogspot.com

You’ve stepped into a local cafe, ordered some food and realized upon delivery that there’s not a spoon or fork to be seen.

All around you, everyone’s artfully eating with their hands, but you doubt your own abilities.

What should you do? Dig in! Eating with your hands is the norm in some local regions, and though you may think it’s harder than it looks, it can actually be quite fun.

4. Nothing is Private

The Balinese are really friendly folks – a little too friendly, that when they meet you, they want to know everything about you.

Your new Balinese friends will bombard you with questions, from where you’re from to how old you are, if you’re married and what your great-uncle Harry did for a job… (well, ok, maybe not that far).

And in an hour’s time, you would have told them a summarised version of your entire life story, which even your closest friends may take years to find out.

5. The Paradise For Reckless Drivers

bali-motorbike-hans-hanssonSource: bali.mehthesheep.com

If death-defying thrills aren’t exactly your thing, Bali’s roads might prove to be a little too much. The entire island operates with a distinct absence of road rules, favouring the unspoken guidelines: I’ll do anything I please, and you can get out of the way.

There’s no lanes, no seatbelts, no speed limit and most importantly, no limit to the passenger count on motorcycles, which are plentiful on the island.

6. What Time? It’s A Permanent Holiday

So you managed to snag a date with a gorgeous island dude/ babe, but he/ she turns up an hour late (and surprisingly still, you’re still patiently waiting), without any excuse.

Before you start giving him/ her the glare, or start sinking into depression that it means they just aren’t interested, we must tell you this – it’s perfectly normal. And be grateful that you were only made to wait for 60 minutes.

It’s not unusual for people to arrive up to three hours late for any occasion, simply smiling and claiming that time stretched away from them.

Bali is notorious for being a place where time has absolutely no meaning – simply running on jam karet (otherwise known as rubber time)!

This means time is leisurely stretched, which drives every non-Balinese totally crazy. Talk about having a perpetual holiday!

7. Yes, You’ve Heard That Name Before

P4190035Source: s37.photobucket.com

After a day in Bali, following yet another introduction with a Made or a Wayan, you’re definitely having a common thought: Why does everyone have the same name?

This (albeit initially confusing) oddity is based on the traditional Balinese naming system, on which everyone gets a name based on their birth order.

And once you hit four kids, it starts all over again, much to the despair of Bali’s visitors. Unsurprisingly, there are lots of firsts (Wayans) and seconds (Mades) floating around the island, so good luck navigating that minefield!

8. The Island Of Gods, Spirits And Black Magic

img_2833Sources: notesfromamessykitchen.com

For the Balinese, life is all about keeping the spiritual balance. Being a Balinese Hindu isn’t an optional choice. Neither is daily praying, regular ceremonial days and a belief in all things ghostly and black magic-related.

So be careful not to step on street side offerings – the Balinese would probably stare at you in horror (or mutter that you have offended some spirits).

Thick incense clouding the streets and hundreds of Balinese wandering around in traditional clothing is in fact a common sight.

9. Your Cheek Muscles Will Ache From Excessive Smiling

Looking happy in Bali is really important. (Note that we stress looking, as opposed to being)

In fact, it’s such a big thing that people walk around smiling all the time, regardless of how they actually feel. These ‘crocodile smiles’ are actually a way the Balinese spread joy to others, so why not test it out?

Read full article, here

Source: bali.mehthesheep.com

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10 Indonesian Island Getaways You Need To Explore

Indonesia is the world’s largest archipelago, with 18,307 islands there are just so many places to explore and discover. Some islands, however, are more worthy of exploration than others. Now, we’re not talking about the likes of Bali, Lombok, Komodo and Raja Ampat – these are pretty popular places already – wowshack.com want to show you some real hidden spots around the Nusantara so that you can enjoy your own secret getaway.

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Photos: Daily Selection (Feb.18,2015)

The best photos of today’s surf report, with some extra photos. Although bit smaller, waves are still fun in most of the spots. The entire selection you can see here. Where is your favourite spot?

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Which Countries Create the Most Ocean Trash?

China and Indonesia are likely the top sources of plastic reaching the oceans, accounting for more than a third of the plastic bottles, bags and other detritus washed out to sea, an international research team of environmental scientists reported Thursday.

Marine biologists and ocean activists have grown alarmed about the seaborne plastic that fouls shorelines and clogs currents from the Arctic to the South Pacific. But the actual amount and source of it hasn’t been known because consumer habits and pollution-control practices vary so widely world-wide.

In a new accounting of global garbage, researchers in the U.S. and Australia led by Jenna Jambeck, an environmental engineer at the University of Georgia, calculated the share that each of 192 countries could have contributed to plastic waste in the oceans. Their study is based on consumer data and waste-management information covering coastal populations around the world. The U.S. ranked 20th by the researchers’ estimates, deemed responsible for just under 1% of the mismanaged plastic waste.

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They reported their calculations in the journal Science on Thursday and presented them at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science here.

All told, Dr. Jambeck and her colleagues calculated that people living within 50 kilometers (30 miles)of the coast in these countries generated a total of 275 million metric tons of plastic waste in 2010. A small but significant fraction of it—between 4.8 million and 12.7 million tons of discarded bottles, bags, straws, packaging and other items—ended up in the world’s oceans.

In two dozen sampling cruises since 2003, other researchers have mapped vast vortices of plastic debris floating on ocean currents and measured trillions of almost microscopic fragments of weathered plastics suspended in the water at 1,500 locations.

Unchecked, the amount of plastic waste fouling the seas may double by 2025, reaching levels “equal to 10 bags full of plastic per foot of coastline,” Dr. Jambeck said.

According to the researchers, the coastal population of China generated 8.82 million metric tons of mismanaged plastic waste in 2010, about 27.7% of the world total. Of that, between 1.32 million and 3.53 million metric tons ended up as marine debris.

China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection declined to comment. Its State Oceanic Administration didn’t respond to inquiries.

Ma Jun, an environmental activist based in Beijing, said the government has greatly expanded waste collection and treatment in cities in recent years. Big supermarkets have reduced the use of plastic bags or have begun issuing biodegradable sacks.

But the rapid expansion of cities has outpaced such efforts, Mr. Ma said. The Chinese government “had made great effort to treat household refuse, but with the rapid development of urbanization, the ability to dispose of garbage is insufficient,” said Mr. Ma of the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs.

In Indonesia—the world’s fourth-most-populous nation—people living along the coast generated about 3.22 million tons of mismanaged plastic waste in 2010, about 10% of the world total. Of that, between 0.48 million and 1.29 million metric tons ended up as marine waste, the researchers estimated.

Government officials in Indonesia said they are working out the details of a 2008 law on waste management to improve conditions.

“Public awareness is getting better” when it comes to domestic waste, said Ade Palguna Ruteka, head of the environment ministry’s Bureau of Planning and International Cooperation. Regarding ocean waste, he said, “Indonesia must be concerned about it.”

“Waste management is improving” even if “a growing population has meant more waste,” said Ilham Malik, the ministry’s deputy minister for hazardous wastes.

—Kersten Zhang in Beijing and Ben Otto in Jakarta contributed to this article.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

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6 Balangan Beach Cafe Burned Down Last Night

Balangan Beach stalls are located on the edge of Balangan Beach, Badung, Bali, is burned down. Tribun Bali is reporting that the fire on the Bukit Peninsula beach in Pecatu started around 9 pm last night and took six cafes.

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Magic Mushrooms Will Send You to Prison, Say Bali Police

The Bali Police have warned all residents, as well as tourists vacationing on the island, to avoid consumption of “magic mushrooms”, stating it could lead to a prison term.

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Things You’ll See or Experience on Indonesian Roads

You know what they say, “if you can drive in Indonesia, you can drive anywhere!”. In truth, if you’re an expert ‘Indonesian driver’ then you probably shouldn’t have a license and you probably shouldn’t drive in any other country…except maybe Ethiopia, that place is crazy too.

wowshack.com make a list things we should expect to see on Indonesian roads. In the other side, Jakarta just crowned as The Worst Traffic In The World.

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Indonesia Wages War on Alcohol

Indonesian minimarts will no longer be able to sell alcoholic beverages following a new government regulation that takes full effect in April.

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Video: Mark Mathews On The Rocks

Aussie charger Mark Mathews gets cheese grated over the rocks on his return to Solander. While it’s not as bad as Tyler Wright’s latest encounter, it’s still painful to watch.

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