Woke up at the crack of 8.30am to the happy sound of roosters crowing. Not a bad thing by any stretch of the imagination.
Up for a shower & breakfast in the hotel’s lovely dining area, nice view of the fairly ornate nearby rooftops.
Then we were off to have a look around through Kuta. it’s quite a heavy experience walking around on these streets, not for any reasons of safety, I never felt threatened, but you just can’t take a step without someone trying to sell you something, to begin with it was mostly "Transport, transport", touts that hang around on the street and offer a lift to any passing tourist, but we also enjoyed countless offers of hairbraiding, manicures, watches, jewellry, and marijuana.
We got bottles of juice, water, and some some snacks from Matahari in the middle of Kuta, then wandered to the beach to have a look. Big mistake, we were absolutely swarmed by merchants, it was horrible, having 5 people sitting around us trying to get our attenting (and rupiah), the wouldn’t leave us alone, so we left the beach.
We learned a lot about dealing with the annoying sales people, and any other visits to the beach would have been much easier, but on our first day we really had no idea.
One of the jewellry guys, who I’d fobbed off due to none of his rings fitting me, caught up to us as we walked along the beach, I couldn’t help but be a little impressed by his persistance (I mean, he’d had to use a motorcycle to catch up to us), and when he presented me with a very plain little silver ring, I took it (but only after getting him down to a 6th of his first price, though this was still a very generous purchase – I look at it this way, a dollar here or there doesn’t make any difference to me, but to these people, it’s everything). A small silver ring is, believe it or not, one of the things on my very short list of things to buy, so don’t think I was totally bowled, his sales pitch was pretty bad – other items I want to pick up include: a nice new watch, a straw hat, and casual shirts.
I couldn’t help thinking, while talking to the seller, that all the advice I’d read was that you shouldn’t buy a single damn thing from anyone until you’d been here a couple of days, I’ve always been better at giving advice than taking it.
Back to the Nathan, and its wonderful pool, then a quick order of room service (actually pollside service, in this case), guzzled down some chicken & fried potato. Lovely.
Sitting on my lounger I felt something on my foot, and thinking "bloody insects" I looked down and found myself face to face with a tiny little lizard. Much much cooler than a fly or ant, or at least I think so.
Here we are, louning by the pool in Bali, enjoying a background of Indonesian music, and with nothing more taxing on our minds than "where should we go for dinner?"
The dinner conundrum was solved by our Rough Guide, and we headed off to TJ’s on Poppie’s 1 for what turned out to be really exceptionally good Mexican food, and a couple of very nice drinks – including a Space Kadet, super yum. Made up for our lack of a tip for the taxi driver last night with 10,000 for the waiter.
The waiter also taught us an important lesson – you just can’t ask anyone from Bali for advice, as everyone has something to sell. He didn’t mean to teach us this lesson. I’m sure he teaches it to a lot of diners (whether they learn the lesson or not is doubtful, given how many of the tourists here are Australian).
Oh, and I think that drugs are now the number one product I’ve been offered, mostly pot, but also exstacy, speed & hashish. One of the dealers was so aggresive and persistent that Claire ended up shouting at him, when he answered her back I did some shouting of my own, then he shut the fuck up and left us alone. Smart boy.
I did regret it, all the same.
Really digging on the DVD shops, spotted the Band of Brothers box set for about $9, for example – this is about $160 or $180 in NZ, I think. Didn’t buy any. There are a lot of DVD shops, so we’ll need to look around a bit.
Tomorow we’re probably heading to the Waterbom Waterpark. According to the marketing guff, their second fastest slide gets up to 70km/h, no rating for the fastest.