I’m in Negara (I’ve never heard of it either, and I swear it’s not on any map) at the moment, which is one of the two reasons for the lack of posts… One, It’s in the the nearly internet-less badlands of West Bali, Two, there’s nothing to eat other than rice and hard boiled eggs. It’s amazing how much a group of 17 American/Canadian/Australian/British people can talk about food. I’m serious in that there is close to nothing (decent) to eat. The breakfast at the hotel consists of plain rice, fried rice, and rice porridge. Plus some scary chicken and toast. Lunch is hit-and-miss, ordered every night from a funky (and not cool Portland stylie funky, more like Riggins, Idaho funky) Indo place. After almost two weeks in this lovely little place I’ve figured out that Gado-Gado is the safest lunch. It’s a salad-ish thing; cabbage, sprouts, other veggie matter, and the spiciest peanut sauce on earth. Plus a boiled egg.IMG_0762 And dinner is at various odd little places billed as “Italian” or “Chinese” but really they’re all your basic nasi goreng and mie goreng spots, plus weirdy pizza or sweet and sour sauce. Finally me and my compatriots have found that our hotel actually has pretty trustworthy and decent food; chicken soup and rice vermicelli plus some yummy stir fried veg. And after dinner I’ve developed a nice little dessert made with available ingredients– hot milk and dark chocolate Toblerone. And for breakfast I make an interesting little quasi-healthy-granola meal of Rice Crispies and yogurt. You may wonder where I’m getting Toblerones and yogurt. An interesting “store” called Hardy’s. Strangest grocery store on earth. Enter near a pirated DVD shack, walk through knock-off perfume stalls, pass the eyeglasses shop (where you can get pink D&G frames for 25,000 Rupiah, aka $2.50), and then you finally arrive at the beating heart of Hardy’s, the grocery store. Which carries a ton of cassava chips, a ton of halfway spoilt fruit, a ton of Pocari sweat, and a few actually useful things, such as dark chocolate Toblerones, yogurt, and plain Lay’s chips. And at Hardy’s today my new pal Jackie and I got matching hats embroidered– red and white with “Bali Balla” across the top. Serious fashion …for only $7! But to get to the Baliween point.DSC02987_2 As a supplement the sad meals we eat, hard boiled eggs have become a major major part of all of our diets. And as we eat our eggs, dipped in sambal or ketchup or sometimes salt, we all dream about food from home, or even a real restaurant. Oft fondly spoken of foods include sushi, steak, real tacos, soup dumplings, waffles, hummus, pasta… the list goes on. I mostly just want Rus’ bread and Mom food. And the ever-craved bagels. But I just have to settle for imagining, as I sit in the hot dust of Bali, that my hot-sauced hard boiled egg is maque choux or something delicious. And in the spirt of egg surplus, I decided to dress as an egg for Halloween, aka Baliween. My new Canadian/New York pals (The Canadians, JackieBariChelsie, are traveling around Asia for a few months, and their adventures-plus more Baliween pics-are humorously chronicled here) and I decided to force Halloween upon the rest of the people on the Habitat for Humanity trip (oh by the way, I’m on a Habitat for Humanity trip, building a house in the tropical wilderness). Nicole and I both dresses as food related things, me as the egg, she as what she’ll look like when she gets home; aka she taped rice and bread to her body in the most unwanted places. Rather clever, I’d say. anyway, Baliween was a total hit. Everyone really felt that Halloween  spirit, and there were some very nifty costumes, especially taking

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into consideration the materials at hand. Bari, my Canadian roommate, was a charming little mummy with a big toilet paper bow in her hair, Chelsie was a fabulous Cleopatra, Jackie was a fancy training tape skeleton, and others dressed up as zebras, cats, and black eyed peas. After the Baliween festivities finished (around 11, because we’re all so pathetically tired from digging dirt and mixing concrete all day) we immediately recommenced the food-daydreaming. At least, I did.

 

 

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