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Tuesday, October 17, 2006 

Big Al visits Bali

So despite the numerous bombings on Bali I have decided to go against the US Travel Advisory and visit Bali, Indonesia. Getting off the plan after a quick stopover in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia felt a little creepy. This place definitely changed post-bombing.

The first weird thing that happened was that when I went through passport control, the agent asked me for a tip. I was like "what"? Anyways, I tipped him $5 and then he stamped my passport. Check out the visa for this place:

I then toured the island a little bit over the last couple of days. My colleagues here have driven me around and taken me out to eat, but you can't help but feel that this place is just different - like the calm before the storm. The bars are empty. The streets are empty. The street vendors are more desparate for cash. It's a little depressing.

So I managed to starty my PADI Advanced Open Water diving course. I selected night diving and wreck diving as my electives in this course. I was able to complete 3 dives on Tuesday. The night dive was the absolute best. I felt really clausterphobic under the water without lights. I also saw a few white tipped sharks and a giant pufferfish that was the size of a small/med dog. Crazy!

My dive guide did some spear fishing during the night dive and caught about 5 rabbit fish. This dive company is pretty cool. It's not everyday that you get a private instructor - business must be really slow. They even provided me with lunch. Peanut butter & jelly with the crusts cut off:

Anyways, I have a few more days here. I'm mixing in work and and pleasure. I have 2 more dives. I'm thinking of doing a hike on top of the volcano here. If I do it they'll pick me up at 11pm so that I can get up there for sunrise. I'll let you know.