The things that surprised me the most were about the differences between our western lifestyle and the Asian lifestyle, especially the balinese lifestyle. I knew before to go there that Balinese people were happy and nice but I did not expect that much. They are always here to help you and really wants you to be happy as much as they are. Their happiness is communicative and now I feel more appease.
I was also surprised by the poverty on the island, when you live in Bali, you see the hidden part of the local life. For many tourists Bali is considered as a luxury destination with high standing hotels and big villas. But all this part is only the visible part of the iceberg. Behind these appearances, I saw poor peoples who are working hard to win few IDR to live.
I saw many slums and I did not expect that, I thought that the population was living in good conditions, not as much as in Europe, but in good conditions and it was not the case.
I see it every day, when I want to buy things and when I see salesman fighting for me to pay like 50% more. It is nothing for me, sometimes only 1€ but I see the importance of 1€ for them and I think the tourism in Bali should be profitable for more people and not only for the owners who are generally not Indonesian.
But I like this people, they are always positive and living with them change my point of view on the life we are living in Europe and in France.
I was also shocked about the trashes and the pollution on the island. People here do not take care about the environment, they throw their trashes in the street and it is totally normal here. There is no garbage management system in Bali, the population must burn the trashes alone in the street. I think it is sad because the landscapes are awesome but they are really polluated. Even the beaches are full of old papers, plastic bags, etc. But for the local people it is not a probleme because they do not have the same relation to the ecology as we have.