I was an English-speaking tour guide in 1982, but in my spare time, I taught myself Italian with the help of an English-Italian dictionary and an Italian-English grammar book.
This is how I self-studied language. I’d study two hours per day, spread out (sometimes early in the morning, sometimes in the afternoon, and sometimes late at night).
I was successful in committing two new words to memory each day.
Although I had a lot of trouble learning the grammar because it is so dissimilar to the grammar in my mother tongue, Balinese, and Indonesian, I was determined to be successful in my endeavors. I finally understood it after working on it daily, weekly, and month by month.
In October of 1982, a good friend of mine who operated a travel agency in Bali asked me to take care of his customers for him. They were of Italian descent and could communicate in some English. That was the first time I had the opportunity to use my Italian language skills. When I first met them at Bali International Airport, the first question they asked me was, “where is the best place to dive?” I had to give them an answer. I was completely honest with them that I did not know the answer, but I promised them the good news the following day.
When I went to the home of a friend of mine, Bli Monyoh and a fisherman who lives in Sanur, a village located on the southeast coast of Bali, were there to greet me. I was aware that he was a very skilled angler with a high intelligence level, which he used to shoot fish while diving with basic dive gear.
Mr. Bli Monyoh consulted the Balinese calendar on his wall to determine when it would be prudent to go to the coast. During our conversation, we discussed locations for diving, and he advised me that to find the reefs that offer the most exciting and memorable experiences, I should split my time between two and three distinct regions of the fascinating underwater world. My customers were extremely enthusiastic scuba divers.
He took us to Semawang at Sanur on the first day in his outrigger sailboat. He was in the vicinity of Sanur Tourist Beach at the time. Dives at a depth of just a few meters were rewarded with breathtaking underwater panoramas, table- and trophy-shaped coral and sponges, and the passage of one thousand colorful fishes in kaleidoscopic profusions. I am not a proficient swimmer or diver. While waiting for them to arrive, I sat on the boat and prepared for their needs. It was a beautiful day all around.
On the second day, Bli Monyoh brought a gun (exactly an arrow) that was unwound by a strong rubber band made from a tire. Agung Toya was Bli Monyoh’s companion, and his name is Agung Toya. Before settling in Sanur, Bli Monyoh went to a temple, presented his god with a gift, and prayed while offering fragrant incense. Along the road, which took about an hour and a half to travel, he pulled over several times to pray at the temples for god’s blessing, safety, and luck.
When we arrived in Buitan, a very traditional fishing village in the district of Manggis Karangasem in eastern Bali near Candidasa, I was amazed by the beauty of nature, a spectacular panorama of terraced ricefields, rural ambiance, and the Majestic Mount Agung in the distance, which is the place of the god “The Navel of the World” for Bali. The ocean was stunning; the water was crystal clear and untainted by modernization, making it irresistible to everyone, especially those who enjoyed going to the beach and scuba diving. Buitan is home to a five-star hotel and a few charming bungalows decorated in the Bali style.
We set sail at nine in the morning, and the sea was relatively calm. We made it to the coral reef about fifty meters from the shore, where the waves break naturally. When preparing for the dive, a friendly local approached us and offered to let us use his wooden boat for free in exchange for bringing in much fish. If the weather was just right, we might have been able to observe a magnificent underwater world among the coral reefs.
What a fantastic day it has been! My Italian customers with PADI licenses came prepared to dive with their gear because they brought it. The native divers, on the other hand, made use of their equipment. We put a lot of time into fishing (only selected fish). One of the surprises was when Bli Monyoh received four king lobsters.
When we returned from our journey at eleven o’clock in the morning, a local man was already waiting for us on the beach, all set up with a woods fire, chili, onions, garlic, salt, and coconut oil. After having our fish grilled in a laid-back atmosphere on the beach with the refreshing breeze of the ocean, we sat down to a delectable cowboy-themed gala lunch. Wow, that was incredible; the day was full of fun.
Dive sites in Bali include Nusa Dua, Sanur, Padang Bay, Gili Tapekong, Tulamben, Amed, Nusa Penida and Lembongan, and Menjangan Island.
As a result, if you enjoy the ocean and scuba diving, you should consider making Bali your next travel destination. With its fascinating underwater world, this enchanting island awaits you. Make travel arrangements, check your preferred hotel, or contact a travel agent.