In 2009 I received a message from a friend from Toronto. He was hanging out on the beaches of Bali with people he had met there. At the time I was living in Bangkok spending most of my days training muay thai at Chuwattana Gym and recovering from training alone in my room. No internet, no furniture (I slept on a mat), no air-conditioning and I shared a bathroom with two Thai students who slept in the room beside me, but who I had yet to even see. I was working hard, training six days a week and my Sundays were often spent doing laundry, running errands and making it to an internet cafe. Occasionally I’d hit a mall or write a blog post for My Muay Thai. My friend suggested I take a break and head out to Indonesia.
It was an incredible idea.
Bali for me was a hit of Western culture I hadn’t experienced in a while. Going to shows to see bands playing originals not covers, speaking English daily and being able to run around in a bikini were all welcome changes. I spent the majority of my time in Bali relaxing on the beach.
I had attempted to surf a few times but I was on the tourist heavy Kuta beach; it was packed with local and foreign surfers. On one occasion while surfing, someone got too close to me and their surfboard shot out and hit me in the head. I thought my money and time was better spent elsewhere. I had always wanted to learn how to surf, but not under the conditions presented at the time. Idleness on the beach with friends was a much more attractive endeavor.
While in Bali I was able to see Indonesia’s The SIGIT play twice. I also interviewed them, my friend who is a photographer was working on pitching Vice with the interview at the time. Unfortunately the interview was never published, but I was introduced to an incredible Indonesian band whose live shows were exactly what I needed. Much of the music I was exposed to in Thailand at the time were songs about love and heartbreak and going to see a live show generally meant listening to Thai cover bands. The SIGIT were raw.
On that note, I’ll leave you with the following as a soundtrack to your photo viewing experience.
Learning To Surf….