About 2 weeks ago, I was notified that the company will be sending me to Bali for a meeting with other ASEAN utilities. My initial response was a bit of shock because I initially thought my days of travelling overseas for business is no longer in my agenda of sort due to the nature of responsibility I am currently holding. In addition, I was also asked to lead the reps from the company in one of the working group that already in the middle of an ongoing project. Well, I took this as a recognition to myself and thus I response to the trip quite favourably. However, for some reason, the trip worried me a bit because the week I am suppose to be in Bali is the week for the big departmental surveillance audit scheduled for the office, of which currently I am in charged of. I trust my staff on this and I have full confident that they can take care of this audit task seamlessly.
Before the trip, I was thinking to bring along my DSLR but eventually I forgo this idea and just carried with me my Canon G7 compact as I was anticipating busy schedules ahaead of the meeting. Besides, the memory of Bali bombing some two years ago also made me kinda worry about what to expect while I was there. In fact, the organiser purposely selected the Kuta city centre as the meeting venue. This is the place where some two hundred plus people were bombed to death and it is just about one KM from the hotel of which we were staying. I guess the organiser just wanted to stress the point that Bali is secured from any terrorist activity now and judging from the bustling Kuta streets, I think they might be right.
After completing 1.5 days of meeting and discussion, we were taken to a 'technical visit' tour to Ubud and Tanah Lot. The only technical about this trip was we are to savour and learn some Indonesian culture of Bali. Hindu is the main religion on this island and you can easily tell by the omnipresent of temples virtually at every corner of this island. However, what I can gather is that the Balinese is a mix hinduism with animism and spiritual subjugations. Islam is a minority here in Bali and finding Halal food is quite a challenge here. I did not regret bringing my portable travelling cooker since the food served at the hotel is freely mixed with non-halal food though we were told that halal food is halal if served in the hotel. How can I be sure when pork ham is served side by side with cornflakes :-)
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