844 days, 20,256 hours, 1,215,360 minutes, or 72,921,600 seconds. That is the approximate duration of my world tour. I never wanted it to end and now, in a manner of speaking, I suppose it never has to. If you wish to go by country do so by clicking on one above. They are numbered in the order I visited them, more or less. If you enjoy reading about it even a tenth as much as I enjoyed living it then you will not have wasted your time. Grab a refreshing beverage, settle in a comfortable chair, and make a journey across the world, experiencing it as I did. Then get off your ass and check it out for yourself. You're not getting any younger.

Tegallalang (Bali, Indonesia)

For an updated version of this site, go here.

Jan 27th, 2009 – Whilst trolling the streets of Ubud on my 125cc mega-hog I cannot fight the urge to hum the theme from Sanford and Son (Listen here). It is irrepressible and I do it relentlessly. Kooky. I did a little rice paddy hopping today in the vicinity of Ubud (Tegallalang to be precise)….which was lovely. I have a tendency to detour frequently, exploring the nooks and the crannies I see along the way.

My deviations usually occur right after thinking, ‘Hmmmmmm….I wonder where that goes?’ It is mucho divertido but I normally end up riding down some small village road rarely seen by tourists (at least that’s how it feels).
Curious glances from the locals abound. I suppose I might react the same way if a stranger made their way down my little back road in Upstate NY doing three miles an hour on a moped and gazing around like a toddler in a fun house. Being a mega-mutant (by their standards anyway) probably does not help.

As I was taking a photo today a gentleman came out to the road and invited me to his home for coffee and bananas (In the immortal words of Gwen Stefani, That shit was bananas, B-A-N-A-N-A-S!!). Ketut was proud of his bananas and I have to admit they were delicious. And Balinese coffee is quite good as well, if not a bit strong. It was interesting to speak with him. His English is not all that good but we could communicate well enough. I am attempting to mutilate another language (this time Indonesian) so it was useful to be able to ask him how to say this or that in his native tongue. 

He offered to bring me to a cremation ceremony (i.e. funeral) on the 5th of February. You may think this strange but tourists are encouraged to attend these ceremonies anytime they are being held. They are literally a celebration of death. I was invited to one last week but the sweltering heat convinced me to wait for cooler climes. This time I will probably attend, assuming I am in the area. I’ve heard it is quite a sight. Apparently, these ceremonies are quite expensive. Only the higher castes (i.e. higher income bracket) can afford to hold the ceremony contemporaneously with a person’s death. The lower echelon put their relatives in the ground for up to five years until there are enough bodies (and contributing families) to cover the combined cost of a joint ceremony.

I have to admit I am a bit torn about attending one of these ‘festivals’. Although I cannot deny my curiosity it is difficult to overlook the morbid nature of the event. Imagine if when one of your relatives passed away you encouraged total strangers to come around and have a look-see. Picture going on vacation and hoping someone from an affluent Balinese family conveniently kicks the bucket during your stay so you can check out the spectacle. I envision conversations along the lines of “So Ketut, I hear your brother was hit by a bemo (bus). Cooooool. Mind if I check out the ceremony?” or “Mom, you’ll never guess what happened? My friend Wayan was trampled by a herd of cattle and I get to watch his family charbroil his remains. How awesome is that? Don’t worry, I’ll take lots and lots of pictures.” And it is full on. They wash the body in front of the crowd, carry it to the place of cremation, and light it up. They also crank Light My Fire by the Doors over loudspeakers (Nooooooo, not really). The whole process can take up to five hours.

My plan in the next few days is to do a little volcano hopping. I will probably leave tomorrow or the next day for a different part of the island. I’m going to load up my hog and tear ass into the sunset…or something like that.

Market in central Ubud

Temple in front of market. Offerings made to spirits to ensure brisk sales.

Holy Shit Nuggets!!!!


'Love me or hate me, but spare me your indifference.' -- Libbie Fudim