AROUND THE NEIGHBORHOOD + BEST FOOD IN CANGGU

For three and a half weeks we settled into Canggu and fancied ourselves locals. We got a membership to Dojo Bali, a co-working space for fast wifi to work on a few projects (internet is of course, rather 3rd world-y here) and spent the rest of our time at the beach, exploring the neighborhood, memorizing rice paddy field shortcuts and attempting to speak Indonesian. 

These 2 chickadees look like they're about to drop the dopest rap album of 2015. 

These 2 chickadees look like they're about to drop the dopest rap album of 2015. 

Kids here go to school 6 days a week with only Sundays off. Many classes are in two shifts, morning and afternoon sessions, so throughout the day you see uniformed kids hopping on the back (or front) of their parents bikes and heading to and from school. 

Kids here go to school 6 days a week with only Sundays off. Many classes are in two shifts, morning and afternoon sessions, so throughout the day you see uniformed kids hopping on the back (or front) of their parents bikes and heading to and from school. 

We rented villa (about $18 total a night) at the Taman Dayu villas near Echo Beach and I thoroughly enjoyed walking into our temple-like lodging each day. I never actually used the pool (because why use a pool when the ocean is right down the road?) but I appreciated the view, nonetheless. 

We rented villa (about $18 total a night) at the Taman Dayu villas near Echo Beach and I thoroughly enjoyed walking into our temple-like lodging each day. I never actually used the pool (because why use a pool when the ocean is right down the road?) but I appreciated the view, nonetheless. 

There's a joke in here somewhere.

There's a joke in here somewhere.

Scott at Machinery - a colorful cafe owned by a cute Indonesian-Australian couple. 

Scott at Machinery - a colorful cafe owned by a cute Indonesian-Australian couple. 

Iced cappuccino at Koi. 

Iced cappuccino at Koi. 

Crate Cafe.

Crate Cafe.

Even though I found out I can happily eat Nasi Goreng (fried rice) every night without getting sick of it, we certainly sampled the extensive (and cheap!) dining options. Here's the best food in Canggu:

BETEL NUT CAFE: For fresh giant salads and perfect smoothies.

CRATE: Best (and cheapest!) place for early morning takeaway coffees before you ride to the beach to check the surf. Also best banana bread I've ever had in my life. 

KOI: Cute cafe with smiley staff and solid iced cappuccinos.

COFFEE N OVEN: European style bakery with straight out of the oven fresh croissants and killerrrr mango jam. 

CANTEEN: Delicious lunches with a retro surf style decor. 

BOOTSTRAP: Beautifully designed cold brew coffee brand. They do a white brew made with coconut nectar which needs to be exported to the USA ASAP. 

Big Betelnut Salad (4 different salads in 1) at Betelnut Cafe. 

Big Betelnut Salad (4 different salads in 1) at Betelnut Cafe. 

Sunset at Old Man's beach.

Sunset at Old Man's beach.

The entrance to Dojo, the only office I've ever worked in where you leave your shoes at the door. 

The entrance to Dojo, the only office I've ever worked in where you leave your shoes at the door. 

CangguMotorbike
Note the peace sign. 

Note the peace sign. 

My Indonesian hasn't gotten much further than simple greetings and exclamations ("bagus!" = "great!") ... which is about the same as my Spanish, Italian and Latin even after 2 solid years of studying each of those. Indonesian has been a super interesting language to learn about though. Since it evolved to enable negotiation in marketplaces (within the various islands of Indonesia that all had their own language) the unified "Indonesian" language is a simple one:

-there's no plurals, you just double the noun. "anak" = child, "anak anak" = children

-there are no tenses, so they stick time words into sentences to indicate past, present or future: i.e. "I pay you yesterday", "I pay you tomorrow" 

-words can be very vague, "besok" which means "tomorrow" can mean the day after today or sometime in the near future. Walking down the street here, when you get hassled for a "taksi" ride and politely decline, there's an immediate follow-up of "maybe tomorrow?!" which made a lot more sense after I learned this quirk. 

Hearing Indonesians speak English made me think they weren't translating well (like the way I massacred the Italian language in Naples, asking "please I have pizza?") but many of their direct translations might actually be spot on to how they speak Indonesian. Makes me think Indonesian might be the language I could excel at, without having to bother with those pesky plurals and tenses.