Living in Bali #1 – COVID19, saving money & staying positive

March 17, 2020

It’s been a while, Hey! Currently writing this from our livingroom in Bali, Indonesia. So, long story short the boyfriend and I moved to Bali 2 weeks ago cause why the fuck not. We needed a new environment to relax and find out what makes us happy and how we are going to do this together. Of course we chose a nice spot for that. A place that feels like home to both of us. 


Our  first week went by like crazy. We went out for dinner with our Amsterdam friends, met loads of dutch people that stay here in Bali as well, bought stuff for our new home such as kitchenware and groceries, explored our neighbourhood, visited the beach for a tan, and tried loads of Indonesian food. We also went clubbing a few nights and I got really really drunk one night, then got sick for 3 days because of a hangover ha-ha. I usually don’t drink so that is something I need to be careful with. Alcohol is different here. The food is super cheap, we are still amazed by the fact that 1 lunch for a person can cost around 1,50 euro’s. This contains rice, veggies, sambal & chicken. Simple, but we don’t need to eat expensive. Our first promise was to save money where we can. My boyfriends dad has been living in Bali for the past 20 years. He built two houses and one was empty so we decided to move in the empty house. That is also the reason why we barely pay rent to answer your question. The house is a little bit old but it has everything we need and it felt like home from the moment I walked in. My boyfriend grew up in Indonesia as a baby so everything is familiar for him. For me its my second time.


We knew about the corona virus, we actually never stressed about it cause it doesn’t make the situation any better. We left Amsterdam with a heavy heart and I did not want to trigger my mind with a situation like that. Both my boyfriend and I are positive, healthy and we try to stay alert and follow the rules where we can. In the first week we had no idea what was going on back in The Netherlands until in the second week we saw all the crazy video’s about empty supermarkets, that restaurants, museums, schools, gyms and clubs were closing until the 6th of April. People are working from home, they need to stay inside and even though Bali acts different, we still follow the same rules as back home. So this week we have stayed home.


Staying inside for us is no punishment cause we have a big swimming  pool, mostly sun during the day, 2 houses so we can switch environments and a shitload of dvd’s so we can watch movies 24/7. My boyfriend is doing a few DJ stuff on his laptop and  I try to enjoy graphic design stuff here and there. We also try to cook at home, we sometimes go to the market which is across the street to get rice, chicken and veggies and then make our own nasi goreng. I also have been sleeping much cause I get tired from not doing a lot. We exercise in the swimming pool & I start meditation tomorrow to clear my head. I also like to write, I have a diary with me where I write down all my thoughts and feelings. I’m glad I’m not alone in this, my boyfriend and I support each other to the fullest and we’re in this together, we got this and I believe in that things will get better soon.


Indonesia has just started testing people recently so we have no clue how many people are affected by the virus. For now we stay inside, only go out for groceries, we wash our hands multiple times a day, we don’t drink water from the tap, drink more water, I take extra vitamins (vitamin B complex & vitamin d12) to strengthen my immune system and we cancelled all our outdoor plans for the next few weeks. There are less tourists, most beach clubs and restaurants are empty but still open. Schools are closed for the next 2 weeks, the euro is worth a lot more now and villa’s/hotels are getting cheaper. I think most of the locals don’t really care because they need the money so they keep on working. I also feel like most of the tourist don’t care because the beaches are quite busy for these times and people walk around with out masks on the streets. Most locals also eat with their hands, grab food with their hands with out gloves (in supermarkets) and they hang around in groups. Most families live together so I’m not sure how Indonesia is gonna handle the virus if it really breaks out, one thing is for sure, healthcare sucks big time here, and thats the only thing that concerns us. BUT everybody is calm and there is still toiletpaper and food in the shops.


I got many questions about the food we eat here. Well its simple. I’m a picky eater, I don’t eat fish and the only meat I eat is chicken so I always go for places that have Indonesian food or something like pizza/pasta. I can eat at sushi places cause I just order the things with chicken. But our favourite thing is to eat from the market which is really really cheap and also very delicious. I will make a ”The List”” Bali edition so you guys can follow all my favorite spots. When we go to a warung or market we just randomly pick one. Not everything is very clean but its just typical Indonesian and we just go with it. If we get sick from food, thats the risk.


The first thing I told my boyfriend was that I wanted to save money while staying here. This means no beach clubs, no villa’s and no unnecessary expenses. We have a pool back home so why would I go to a beach club and pay money to sit there while I can go to the market, get food & drinks for 5,- and swim for as long as I want in my own pool with my own music? Even if you have a villa I would recommend to stay there and chill if you want to save some money. We also know where to get our groceries. We have visited over 10 spots and now know where to get our daily stuff such as bread, drinks & snacks. We eat breakfast at home everyday and make our own coffee. We have one scooter instead of two, mostly because I’m scared to drive on the other side but it does save money. A scooter is around 50 euro’s per month so yeah if we can save that why not?


Lets start with the fucking mosquito’s, tiger mosquito’s to be exact. They got me the second day until now. My whole legs, back and arms are full of bites. And I scratch them open while sleeping so now they become scars. I have tried almost everything but taking pills now so I hope the itching will stop and the longer I’ll be here the more I get used to it. Then the cockroaches, gecko’s, caterpillars in overload….. It’s insane how many insects I’ve seen in the past 2 weeks. But I mean.. I’m also getting used to that. For now we have this bug spray we use to get rid of the insects (sorry). Last week we smelled gas, and we only had cold water. It’s fixed now, but waiting for your water to get hot while smelling gas was very dangerous. It also has been raining a few days, mostly in the evening when we already were home but because of the heavy rain we had leakage from the rooftop. We now have installed our leakage proof bowls and we placed towels everywhere. Oh and when it rains really really hard, the streets are full of water until my ankles. I’m used to rain, but not to water until my ankles.

We love living here so far, cant complain. The people are very friendly (except for the ones that steal your phone out of your hands while driving a scooter), the food is amazing, most of the things are super cheap, the island is beautiful. Our parents are both Indonesian so my boyfriend and I both grew up with a part of the language, culture etc. It’s the perfect place to clear your head and get some rest. So far so good. And for you guys, stay healthy stay safe and stay positive <3


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