Monday, December 24, 2007

Bali, xmas eve day events

It felt like another normal wonderful day here in Bali Rained all day long though, that was the first long rain i experienced here..the rainy season has is still fairly warm though, so you can go without a shirt and be OK if you want....I have been sleeping wonderfully lately since i got rid of my wrist watch, i decided to try living my life without know the time constantly, now I am sleeping more soundly and I only get out of bed when i cant possibly sleep anymore, this is usually after about 10hours of sleep..I use the Natural Hygienic approach of rolling over if still able to sleep, or rolling out of bed if I have had I didnt participate in any excercise and I layed in bed for 3-4 hours awake reading my books and listening to the rain and having a lazy Xmas Eve day....Since I have got rid of my watch, I also have enjoyed going on my morning runs, swims, yogas, workouts, or surfs without wondering the amount of time that is passing, I just go by feel. I also like to listen to my stomach about when it is time to eat instead of looking at the clock, this is more how the Indonesians eat too (maybe a contributing factor to their overall slenderness)...In America it seems we tend to eat by the clock and we tend to be more overweight as well. I am sooooo amazingly fortunate to live a life without needing to know the time of day.

I met a nice French guy today while eating two huge fruit salad and two mango/papaya smoothies...He is an actor that lives in Paris, he is here hiking volcanoes in Bali...I plan to see him in France when I go travel that country with my sister Shonda in the next couple years.

Today, I had a dinner date with a new girl friend from Holland named, I did need to cheat and ask people what time it was a few times to be sure I was on time at 7pm. I took her to Aroma's Cafe in Legian, an exotic vegetarian restaurant. We had Salad, then Bean, tomato, lettuce, salsa, and avocado tacos on stone ground organic shells, and some vegetable Indian Samosas too. Nice to share xmas eve with a pretty, interesting lady!...
then I went walking all around Kuta and Legian Beach to be around people and feel some xmas eve spirit. I went to Hard Rock Cafe/hotel to possibly meet an Indonesian girlfriend named Delfi, but I didn't see her there. There was a band playing some xmas music so I watched for a while...then I ate some Dark Chocolate and some baked Crackers with MSG (lots of products here in Indonesia have MSG in the ingredients..i believe this is very bad stuff, I must research it on the net and stop eating it).
I then went walking around some more and watched a few more bands and there were many many tourists out and about tonight, mainly Indonesians that are not celebrating xmas, but are on their end of the year was nice and windy tonight with a perfect temperature and occasional light rain, and the ocean was very loud and windy...
then i went by an Indian Restaurant and got one Poppadom to go (crunchy spicy bread), then I walked by some dance clubs and went inside some to watch a drum circle for a while, many people from all over the world (UK, AU, Indonesia, Sweden, Holland, France USA, Japan) getting wasted and dancing...I ate some popcorn...then I walked around some more and found a place to eat some home style french fries with catchup and mustard and spicy sauce....i chatted with a guy from Texas who lives here and gets paid disability from the American Military, he has an Indo girlfriend now and exports Gemstones to the USA
...then I went to another place to feel a different vibe and have a blended Banana juice and eat some more of my dark chocolate i was carrying around...its been a lazy day of reading, resting, walking around people watching, experiencing different environments and establishments, meeting different people and eating a variety of foods I have been craving lately.....having a different xmas eve then most others which have been amongst my loving family...maybe i was looking to replace the family love with food..oh know that would be 'emotionally eating', could it be true? hehehhehehhe

Friday, December 21, 2007

You Tube, Steven The Vegan, very funny 2minute!

This guy is very silly, he is in his kitchen explaining what vegans do and don't eat and he throws a temper nephew loves it..

Bali, video, 2minutes, surfing in Bali

Great surfing video in Bali I found on You tube...


Thursday, December 20, 2007

eating words...

"The beef industry has contributed to more american deaths than all the wars of this century, all natural disasters, and all automobile accidents combined. If beef is your idea of 'real food for real people', you'd better live real close to a real good hospital."
-Neal Barnard, MD

"Barnard, who has long advocated a diet free of dairy porducts, eaggs, fish and meat of any kind, said the obesity epidemic in this country is fueling a secondary epidemic of type 2 diabetes, which used to be called adult onset diabetes."
-Nancy McVicar

"People do say Í bet (veganism is) hard', but test drive it for three weeks, people may fall off the wagon, but just get back on. And as time goes on, people don't want to slip. Tastes change remarkably quickly."
=Neal Barnard, MD

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Bali, Durian stories and pic

This is a new friend Josh, and expatriate from Australia, he has been living here 2 years and works with cleansing and fasting retreats...the other guy is Sagge, he is from Brasil living here....he tried Durian with Josh and I, his first time..he liked it...Josh and I are HOOKED on it though..hehheh

I took another durian adventure I road my motor bike up to Central Bali towards Bedugal again to gorge on durians and bring some back to me place near the beach in Legian. Apparently Durian season is late January here and it will be available more close to me, although a one hour motorbike ride in Bali can be pretty fun, adventurous, educational, and exciting. I stopped and bought a rain pancho this time and luckily i did, because it started pouring 5minutes later..(rain poncho $5)....i found my favorite durian seller...Maday..she seems very fair..i checked the prices at the other roadside sellers to get an idea of the current market, since it isnt season it is more money....I arrived with a smile and Maday smiled also...she began picking the best durians out for me and I sat on their big sitting bench under the shelter and began to sample what she brought me....I did wait 15minutes before this to look around at her fruit and eat a 6 or 7 mangosteens, a delicious fruit with deep red or purple outside and white sections inside, juicy and sweet, known as Queen of fruit. This process of delaying my durian intake is rather exciting for me as I am anticipating my gorging of durian...( it really feels similar to a kid awaiting to open his first xmas present)...very few westerners will have this same love for durian...I believe I do because of eating a vegan diet for about 4 years and mainly fruit the last year, so I am preferential to durian more than is soo delicious to me!!! here is a description from
"Imagine the best, most delicious, and sensuous banana pudding you can imagine, add just a touch of butterscotch, vanilla, peach, pineapple, strawberry, and almond flavors, and a surprising twist of — garlic??!! Like many of life’s greatest experiences, eating durian cannot be adequately described with words. Durian has a characteristic delicious flavor, creamy texture, and tantalizing fragrance that is just... durian! — the king of fruits, Nature’s most magnificent fruit gift."
Anyways so I ate more than my share of this amazing fruit...and experienced differnt flavors.....KANI BALI, was the best to me.....I paid about $33 dollars and this covered about 10 durians the size of a common canteloupe.....I ate about 3 or 4 there in one hour...i was full like i used to be on Thanksgiving day eating the Standard T-day menu...... The next day I was craving the durian again, I waited until pre dinner time and ate one I am back to eating more relistic amounts each day...about One durian...this gives me room in my tummy for other fruits I love and I still eat a vegan cooked dinnertime most of the time: Indonesia food, Thai food, Indian food, other varieties, or rice, or pasta, with big salad.....The salty spicy flavors in the cooked vegan food I eat are more addicting to me then durian, otherwise I would only eat fruit and durian every day all day....I plan to someday transition to this form of eating: fruitarian, as I feel best and believe it is better for me...but for now I must forgive myself and enjoy my cooked food addiction while It lasts...ehehhehe.
I must say, I love the smell of durian also now....when I come back to my room, I smell the smell and it is stronger then ever, as my ripening durians are getting more mouth starts fact one time I awoke at 3am in the morning and started eating some durian half asleep without being hungry at all..that can me dangerous.

Bali, Friends, Jim and I eating

Jim came and stayed one week in Bali.....we had a great time together..lots of fruit eating and beach time. Jim injured his back doing Yoga in Thailand so he had to take it easy here, but we still enjoyed ourselves....thanks for coming to visit me JIM!!!

Bali, "Friend Not Food", Conscious event, DC pictures

While eating at this wonderful "Earth Cafe" in Seminyak, Bali a couple weeks ago, I met the owner, Leat. Leat liked the shirt I was said "Friend Not Food" and has a picture of a Pink Pig on it. She told me about an event she was having in a couple weeks and asked me if I sell these tshirts...this planted the seed in my mind and I decided to start printing these tshirts here in Bali...I found a contact to help me named Mai.
Mai is a Japanese Expatriate that lives here and exports things to Japan....she was sooo wonderful...Today I had my first 100 t-shirts completed and forsale at this wonderful Vegetarian 'Earth Cafe' event!! Everyone loves the tshirts, I sold some.....I want to export to the USA soon....anybody have any Agents in California or Oregon to help receive shipments please let me know....looking for ideas.....My cost is $5/tshirt here and I will need to pay several fees to get them to USA, but I should have plenty of room for profit if I sell them for $20-$30 at vegan stores and vegetarian events and The Raw Spirit festival in Sedona next year...what a dream to be working on something I am soooo passionate about and make some money too!! I used to do business just to make money, now I must Love and believe in what I do first, and the money will follow..exciting...wish me luck.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Bali, "Helmuts for Kids", picture of cute kid

The kids dont even realize what is going on when we give them a helmut, it is rather funny to experience. I enjoyed helping out and plan to do more giving in the future..please see address for mailing donations on previous posting.

Bali, "Helmuts for Kids", pictures of Darrick and families

Bali, "Helmuts for kids", picture, family likes their helmut gift

We stopped this family on the road during rush hour...they seemed very suprised that some white boy was giving them a helmut for their little boy..
IF you want to donate to the "Helmut for Kids" fondation, see previous post for mailing address.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Traffic in Kuta (Bali)

This shows some of the traffic and many of the motorbikes around Kuta beach area of Bali.

Bali-"Helmuts For Kids", I give Bali kids new helmuts today, after pic

Here is the picture of the family after I gave the kids their new helmuts. See previous Post for Details and donation opportunities!

Bali-"Helmuts For Kids", I give 2 kids new helmuts today!, DONATION ADDRESS HERE......

This is a wonderful family I stopped on the rode today to provide helmuts. As you can see the kids are on the motorbikes without helmuts. Apparently it is legal for kids to be on motorbikes without helmuts, so parents don't bother purchasing them due to the cost (about $7). After learning this, I started thinking that maybe I could help.
I went to the helmut store and bought some helmuts and had an english speaking Indonesian help me by standing near the busy road to flag down families on motorbikes. He would explain to them that I have some free helmuts for their kids. Then we would take a before and after picture (see next post for photo of kids now wearing the helmuts).
If anybody who reads this has interest in helping to possibly save a kids life should they get in a bike accident (apparently many bike accidents here, because so much traffic), the holiday season is here, great time to be generous!
please send your donations to:
Darrick Cook
4110 se Hawthorne blvd #637
Portland, Oregon 97214
(make checks payable to Darrick Cook)
Choose any of the following options:
$15-provides 2 kids with a helmut
$30-provides 4 kids with a helmut
$45-provides 6 kids with a helmut
$60-provides 8 kids with a helmut
$75-provides 10 kids with a helmut
$90-provides 12 kids with a helmut
I negotiated discounts for larger purchases:
$200-provides 40 kids with helmuts!
$300-provides 60 kids with helmuts!!
$400-provides 80 kids with helmuts!!!
$500-provides 100kids with helmuts!!!!
You may do a one time donation OR you may also set up an automatic payment system to donate monthly using your free online bill pay or using .
Please send your check on the 1rst of everymonth, so I can anticipate helmut purchases and be ready.
Also, It may be a great time of year to give some taxdeductible donations!
See next post for after pictures and more family pictures.....
Feel free to comment on this blog and let me know your check is in the mail, otherwise I will have my sister checking the mail box occasionally...she will then deposit the funds in my account, so I can withdraw them here in Bali with my ATM Card and go on my Helmut shopping sprees!!!
Anybody can come join me anytime!!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Bali- Pacung and Bedagul, Hunt for Durian

I expanded my comfort zone by heading to Central Bali on my motorbike in search for Durian. As it is not durian season everywhere here until February, One has to take extra measures to indulge in massive quantities of the God of all fruit. I had been paying a local Balinese guy to drive one hour ($10) and get me durian the last few times, but i decided to go explore some other areas in Bali away from the coastline and find durian was a fun ride through beautiful scenic roads with many rice fields and green lushness to view on the way. I saw my first durian roadside seller and pulled over as the rain had been coming down very hard and I was soaked and cold...i took shelter under the makeshift fruit stand and the accomodating, witty, some english speaking lady there named Madee, started opening some durians for me, the smell was strong and I began salivatating...i devoured about 2000 calories worth of fresh, ripe, sweet, creamy, custardy, smooth Durian in that next hour of Bliss....i met another local Balinese couple there eating it felt like a we were all participating in a recreation druguse circle, we were so into our durian and the overwhelming flavors.

I ventured up to Bedagul and found a place to stay for about $9/night with hot water..i took my first hot shower in Asia..i was very chilled from the long rainy motorbike trip....
The next Day I hiked a volcano that was about 6000ft in elevation....3hour up and back trip, very the top there was a hindu temple and people had left things for the, coconuts, etc... i drank a few coconuts and felt ok about it.
When i came backdown i stopped at a little roadside stand for water....lots of flys there landing on my legs, it didnt bother me at all....i thought how one fly might tickle and/or irritate me, but 20flys on my legs felt fine, no big deal...and the Balinese lady looked like she experienced this constantly with no i went to the fruit market..masssive quantities of delicious ones too......they had grapes and strawberries here too, rambatons, salak, mangos, papaya, etc....i ate and ate....
then i notice two busloads of 17year old girls on tour there from Jawa...they saw me and all came over to get photos with me one by one....this took about one hour, but i felt honored....i did get hungry so i was eating some mangos during some of the photo shoots, also to inspire them to eat more fruit..
I headed back to Legian and stopped for more durian....i ate another 1500 of durian calories and brought some back to legian too...i spent about $20 for 10kilos.
My friend Jim showed up to stay in Bali for one week....we are friends from Tony Robbins, Platnum partners last was fun to hang out with him tonight and catch up...he was staying in Bangkok for the last month, but is living in Colorado......i showed him were to buy the best $1.50 fruit plate on the beach (in front of Legian Beach hotel from a lady named Dayou and her sister is Dayou also....9-6everyday), he loved the mangos the best.....he tried durian and liked it also.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Indo-Bali, Legian--get the kid a helmut!

I finished my dental treatments here...i had painful 2 root canals with crowns that needed completed..i paid $200 each (would probably be $1600 in the states each)..the dentist i went to has been here 25 years and services most all the people living here from EU, Au, USA, Japan, etc....he has a remarkable reputation and about 20 assistants that he delegates alot of the dental work to (Dr. Indra, Jl. Patimura 19 Denpasar - Bali Tel : (62 361) 222 445, 234 375).

Ive been stayin in Legian which is a busy place with tons of restaurants, salons, massage spas, stores, internet cafes, bars, is right by the beach basically, but it seems to be about 1 square mile.....being on the beach allows me to still get away from it all, but be very near all the action and entertainment and other travelors from around the world.....i can go sit down by the water and only hear the waves and not hear the traffic or noises of the city...i have rented a scooter for about $3/day that has a surfboard rack, so i go find surf each morning within 45minute scooter ride.....thousands of scooters on the roadways here...most families only own one scooter if they are lucky and their whole family of 3, 4, or 5 can be seen riding on one scooter all the time together, its cute....not wearing helmuts is not soo cute though....i bought a great helmut today and I bought my taxi driver a little helmut for his 8year old boy (about $8-$12 for a kid helmut!), his boy didn't have a helmut because they are too expensive on his salary of $50/month working 29 days a month....I am learning how the people here work soooo hard every day doing various jobs:taxi, server, security, selling retail etc...and they never can get ahead, never, never, never..because they already work 12 hours each day and never take a day off just to live there current lifestyle...We are sooooooo damn spoiled in our country of opportunities....if these people came over with their work ethic, they would probably all be multimillionaires.......they can't even get ahead or save $10 a month, but then again who says our way is better, maybe they are more fufilled and happy?......I took one 45year old taxi driver to the movie with me for his first time ever, and a movie is only $1.50 here (it was some lame movie with Laura croft in it) seemed he felt out of place in the fancy shopping mall and theatre...(there are tons of HIGH priced stores here in Bali, BIG BIG money places for tourists and the Wealthy indonesians (top 5% only probably) is easy to live here and spend Thousands of dollars each month with soo many things to buy and see and do for those that want to spend a ton....The daily lifestyle for me is getting more and more fun the more i learn about a different culture and continue to be more and more grateful for my gift of life....i must say, the Balinese are very family oriented and have an amazingly trusting culture.....the Hindu religion is soooo prominant here that I see ceremonies going on every day every where i look....i think this emmersion of religion in a culture keeps people more honest..crime is very very low here, different feeling then Central America.
I went out to eat dinner with two local Indonesian girls, they were very fun to chat with, both speak english well, they took me to a hip local joint...only friends though as they have boyfriends....i met them at the Lombok Triatholon i did nov/07..Delphi and Ratna.

Online Articles: "Don't you get lonely?"

"You are traveling alone. Don't you get lonely?"
People have made the mistaken, though logical, assumption that I wrote an article about loneliness, because I'm lonely. Sometimes, I do get lonely, but I wrote this article because I've been asked the above question a hundred times.
I'll start my answer with a true story - A week ago, I was sitting at a bar on the beach, alone. I was thinking about loneliness and scribbling the notes that would later become this article. Then, a hot Finnish blonde and her hot German redhead friend sat down on the barstools next to me. They tell me that their Mexican (hot brunette?) friend is on her way. I put away my notes. It was like the Charlie's Angels had joined me for a drink.
Unfortunately, the Charlie's Angels don't always appear to cheer you up. Traveling the world alone does sometimes get lonely. But it isn't that bad. When you get lonely you just retreat into a novel. The rewards of traveling alone certainly outweigh the occasional loneliness.
Oddly, the times that I feel the most lonely are in the most touristy cities. There are tons of people. Plenty of people speak English, but no one is excited to meet a tourist. The locals ignore you, or want to sell you something. The tourists are involved in their own activities and chat among their friends. Bangkok is like this. There are times that, I'll sit in a restaurant with 40 other tourists, but cannot find a way to join their conversations and will have no one to talk to. That's a lonely experience.
When you do get lonely, you rarely stay lonely for long. If you have a good book you can retreat into that for a while. Otherwise, your loneliness quickly overcomes any shyness and forces you to introduce yourself to strangers.
More often though, the problem isn't meeting people, but remembering all the names. Backpacker guesthouses are very social places. You walk in and almost immediately have a dozen new friends. The friendships tend to be brief and shallow. Only rarely do you make enduring friendships. The conversations get very repetitive: "Where are you from?", "How long have you been traveling?" It's not the same as hanging out with friends that you've had for years, but it is enough to keep you from feeling lonely.
Off the beaten path, you're actually rarely lonely. The few travelers stick together and help each other out. When you meet the other travelers in places like Indonesia and East Africa, there's an instant bond and an implied friendship.
Way off the beaten path there may be no tourists at all. You may not be able to speak a word of the local language. There may be no one for you to talk to. But way out there, I find that I'm completed sucked in by the adventures or struggles (depending on the day) of traveling. I'm busy absorbing the sights, the sounds, the smells around me. Thinking about being lonely rarely ever occurs to me.
Then there are places like Myanmar. All of the kids run out and shout "hello". All of the pretty girls smile and wave. It's very hard to feel lonely in a place like that. Way off the beaten path the locals tend to be most friendly. You don't need to speak their language to feel welcome.
Email also helps. The internet is there if I am ever feeling depressed (not often), or have a need to share a story. It's not the same as being in the same room with friends and family, but at least I can easily enough keep in touch with them.
I'm also often asked: "Why don't you travel with a friend?" The easiest answer to this, is that none of my friends have the motivation and nerve to travel for years through some of the more dangerous places of the world. Some of my friends have said that they're going to fly out and join me for a while, but none have yet. In part, that's my fault. I have a vague plan, but not a schedule. I never know when I'll be anywhere, so it's hard to catch up with me.
But, also I'm very happy traveling alone. I can live my life on a whim. I feel like staying in and reading a book today. I feel like climbing a mountain today. I feel like taking the night train to Budapest in search of a bagel. There's no debate or compromise. There's no effort in making a decision. The total freedom you have when traveling alone is amazing.

My 'office' on Ko ChangYou also meet many more people when you travel alone. First of all, loneliness is the instigator which forces you to introduce yourself to people where you ordinarily wouldn't. But, you're also more approachable when you're alone. Individuals and groups often invite you to join them. Ironically in places where I'm making lots of friends and having a great time, I meet couples who complain they feel lonely: "No one talks to us". People assume that couples want to be left alone, but they often end up feeling excluded.
So, that's it. I get lonely, but the loneliness isn't that bad. There is no question that I'm happier now, occasionally lonely on a beach in Zanzibar, than I was spending all day behind a desk.

This is me and my wonderful Nephew, Josson In October/07. He leapt into my arms at the airport to give a wonderful goodbye hug. I was heading for my departing flight to began my vagabonding journey to SE Asia.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Helmuts for Kids

I was riding with my taxi driver to the dentist in Denpasar and asking him random questions since he spoke english...i noticed many families on their motorbikes and the kids dont wear helmuts, but the parents do.....he said its not illegal for the kids to not wear helmuts, so parents dont purchase them because they are too expensive (about $8). So after the dentist, we stopped at helmut store, I needed a good one for myself and I bought his kid one too....he seemed soooo grateful and said thank you many times to me.......
I am getting some ideas on how we can help....keep posted.

motorbiking to surfspot, relaxing at beach warungs

The daily trips to the Bali surfspots are interesting on the many motorbikes and scooters on the road, seems like more then cars.
Explored a new spot for surfing today Serangon..i enjoyed seeing a new place....many warungs (little restaurants that sell drinks, fruit, rice, snacks, nasi campur, etc..), are on the beach in Serangon....i chose one to park my motor bike and eat 4 delicious mangos and 1 banana, then went surfing, then returned to relax on their chairs and sunprotected places to lay down and nap for a while and watch the waves and the surfers.
I saw a lady scrubing her pot down on the beach using sand and saltwater and thought about how we have to purchase s.o.s. pads to scour our pans at home in our domesticated inland life....its fun to notice the suttle differences in culture.
Heading to yoga at a place called Desa Seni, here in Bali, near Canguu.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

DC with friend pics

my first Blog, in Bali currently

Today I awoke at 5:20am and layed in bed as i thought whether to get up and go surfing, or sleep more. The surf is typically less crowded in the early ours and many times the waves are better also....i decided to get up. I stretched and did yoga for 10minutes as I usually do first thing upon arising to loosen up and get limber and awake. I but my surfboard in my scooter rack and off I went to check waves at Cangu, Bali (25minute morning fresh balmy air scooter ride, with less traffic).....i took a wrong turn but it paid off because i found big fresh ripe, sweet papaya slices at a morning market for 1000rupiahs (about 10cents).
After arriving at the beach I ate my papaya and contemplated surfing the waves i was looking at....i got tired and not inspired by what i was seeing, so i layed down on the beach next to a warm wall that blocked the morning air (which was about 75degrees, but i am a wimp lately and have become acclimated....most Balinese wear big coats on their motorbikes event at 85degrees, I can see that happening to me too).
After a 1.5hour drooling beach nap, I woke ready to surf....i was sweating by then and ready to get refreshed in the 82degree clear, blue away I went.
Lunch was at Bali Budha, a very eco friendly hip place in Cangu area...i got a huge organic salad, 20dates, 4mangos, 7small tomatos and had a fiest..then at two small bananas...this will hold me over for 5hours....
I got my hair buzzed off today, a crewcut!! feels great and fresh ($1).
looking forward to an nice evening sunset surfsession, followed by another amazing vegan restaurant i love, called "Earth Cafe".
I am working on getting some tshirts printed here that say 'FRIEND NOT FOOD', and have a pig on them.....i plan to sell them at a Health festival here in Bali on DEC. 15th.....The cost per shirt is about $5.50US, so I plan to sell for $8.50US, to make a little, but mostly to keep them very affordable...i want to see everyone who believes in this phrase wearing these shirts around the world!