Day 7 - Wiggle wiggle wiggle yeah.....
I have to be up front, and let you know, this blogs being written with a bit of a headache. In the interests of cross cultural exchange of information, we wandered into Balis more seedy side last night. The aftermath is a massive hangover, dehydration, and a bunch of stories I may not be able to elaborate on.
The day started with a bit of a rain squall, and quite overcast. It is still quite warm though. After breakfast (sausages, bacon etc) we sat around for a while, catching up on news, and me writing the blog.
Plans were to head back down to Garlic Lane in Legian and go back to KETUTS and also try and find "Miss Debbies" for some more girl clothes. Hopping in a cab, we have become pretty good at negotiating the prices for the non Bluebird metered cabs, paying only on average 50c more a trip than we would using a meter. My suggestion to any Bali virgins, is to get into a Bluebird cab your first trip, work out the distance and fare, and then use this as a guage for future trips after you have looked at a map. We have had some stupid stupid initial first prices from cabbies here. The best yet, was a AUS$15 quote for a $1.50 distance. They really do try it on with tourists. Our taxi driver this morning, thinking he was onto a good thing if he pleased us, decided to try and knock Mark Webber off pole position at the next Formula one Grand prix. It was the fastest trip from Seminyak to Legian yet. His complete lack of respect for the centre line was impressive, and I am sure a few scooter riders are now wondering how they are not splattered on his windscreen.
Hopping out at the corner of JL Padma and Garlic lane, we wandered South towards Ketuts. I had been told that Miss Debbies was pretty much opposite the lane going down towards Ketuts. I still couldnt find it, as all the shops look pretty much 'Same Same but different". I asked a guy if he knew where it was, and he pointed up... We were next door LOL. Miss Debbies is a much smaller shop (or so you think). A variety of clothes, and sundry bits adorn the walls. They also had sunglasses, which Ketuts didnt have. Litsas looked around, picked up a few items, which were similar prices to Ketuts, then the owner, told us that he had much more "out the back". OK, lets go have a look. You then get led down the lane opposite Ketuts for about 100m and walk into an amazing area that looks a bit like a temple. WOW... everything is laid out in massive piles, arranged by type, size etc, and there are rooms EVERYWHERE. It was so much easier shopping here than in Ketuts. The maze of rooms held a treasure trove of goodies. The prices were all fixed, cheap and the variety was excellent. We bought a few homewares, some more sarongs and ladies clothes, and waited for Andrew to get a couple of pieces of art taken off the frames for easy transport. I would happily suggest to anyone who thinks they must go to ketuts, to go to Miss Debbies instead. Way less claustrophobic, easier to find stuff, more or less the same prices. I am pretty sure the Ketuts fans will be up in arms, but that wasnt just my opinion.
We then hopped into another Bluebird for the $1.70 fare back to Kuta Plaza for a revisit of Baggus Watches. Litsa hadnt had a big enough Tiffanys fix the first day we went, and wanted to have a much longer look in case she missed out on another bargain. We walked out with another AUS$70 worth of stuff (insert big sigh here).
The REAL Miss Debbies... heaps Bigger than Ketuts
We couldnt avoid Kuta beach anymore. We simply had to go have a look. To say you get swamped by hawkers would be an understatement. We had read the day before, that the Govt was very happy that the quarterly quota for tourists was actually above budget, but everyone we speak too, asks where the tourists are ? This being the case, ANY tourist seems to get jumped on with an offer of a Chair, hair braiding, foot massage, Bintang (tempting at this point) a bottle of water, a kite, a funny looking thing with an elephant motif etc etc etc. We lasted all of 10 seconds before retreating back to the footpath and behind a large brick wall. This kind of activity was a complete opposite to what we had seen at Seminyak beach a few days previously. This was the Bali you are warned about. We legged it up the beach road past all the resorts and restaurants and decided to stop and have lunch at the Tequila Club attached to the Samudera resort. For the foodies out there, waiting eagerly for one of my trademark food blogs, log off now. Today won't be of any interest to you. Serious food will be lacking in this report (as you will see).
Lunch was burgers, fries and a side salad. Yeah yeah... we could had McDonalds you say, BUT.. these burgers were great. Juicy pieces of meat, with just the right amount of fat, covered in lovely garnish on a Brioche bun. I really enjoyed mine, as did Litsa and Kathrine. Andrew had chicken sate, which he said was "OK". Bintangs were AUS$2.50 here, and we had a couple each to quench the thirst.
After lunch, the call was to go home and rest up for an afternoon session of beers on the beach.
I had a bit of a Nanna Nap until 4.00pm, and we left the villa just on 5.00pm. We caught a cab with the destination the beach end of "Double 6" (JL Arjuna). There was some kind of ceremony going on, and we ended up having to walk the length of double 6. Not a good start to the afternoon. We ended up on some bean bags at "La Plancha" for the sunset, had a couple of drinks, but moved South to "Crystal Palace" as the toilet facilities were much better for the ladies. This whole beanbag on the beach thing really needs to catch on in Australia. Its such a good way to relax and wind down after a hard days negotiating with Taxi drivers.
About now, most sensible people would be interested in dinner right ? Well, we did order a mixed sate plate to share. But that was IT ! "Eatings cheating" I heard someone say. "there is a steak in every Bintang" was another call made earlier. Its best for the non drinkers amongst you out there to start shaking your head now. The rest of the evening kinda went like this.........
Stay at crystal palace for their $4.50 cocktail special till 7pm. Then overstay and pay $7 for another hour. Bintangs were $2.50 (not bad considering the location and toilet facilities)
Head South of Double 6 looking for more venues to drink at. Stop... look at menu.. have a Bintang (between $2.50 and $2.75), ask if they have free wifi, get Kathrine to "check us in" on facebook so we will have a record of where we went for the night. This part was repeated a couple of times before we ran out of beachfront places to drink.
Heading back to the Double 6 corner we tried to find a cab. I must warn ANYONE who goes to this area to have your wits about you. Bluebird cabs are apparently not allowed to pickup down that end. Some other Taxi mob own the rights to it. You hardly see any cabs there, only private cars. We asked about getting a cab into Kuta and were quoted $15 YEP... FIFTEEN DOLLARS, and they guy was serious and wouldnt budge. Laughing in his face, I walked off and asked another guy.............$10... WHAT THE ??? Just then a Bluebird cab was dropping off a couple heading to dinner. We piled into it, but the driver had a horrified look on his face. He told us that he didnt want to get into a fight with the other drivers there, and we really should get out. He managed eventually to talk the other guys into letting us go with him, and we took off to Kuta.
We got out near the memorial again, and ended up in an empty night club called M-Bar-Go.
We are all mid to late 40's people, but litsa and I particularly, do love dance music. We spend a weekend here and there partying in Fortitude Valley in Brisbane with some good mates of a similar age, who enjoy similar music. Until this point of the trip, we really hadnt heard any dancey stuff, so we were enjoying the chance to here some tunes immensely. Anyone who does go clubbing in Aus will understand, that when we were begged to come in, handed 2 for 1 drink cards till midnight (making a bourbon and coke only $2.50 - FULL STRENGTH) and we were in shorts, t-shirts and THONGS, will have a good laugh no doubt. RSA and Nazi Door staff do not exist here. For the next hour or so, we drank our heads off, and marvelled at our footwear and where we were. The door lady, the gorgeous woman, kept coming over and handing us complimentary shots, and more 2 for 1 drink cards. Gotta love Bali. At one point, I was just wandering out of the loos when I heard "Levels" by Avicii start up.... I raced back to the dancefloor, and it was empty all except for Litsa who was squealing like a small child with happiness... Its currently her favourite tune. We both danced like nobody else was watching and then realised the mix was actually Levels AND Gotye's song "somebody that I used to know" - Litsas SECOND favourite song! It simply couldnt get any better. I am sure we made the rest of the 20's something crowd laugh at our antics as we cartwheeled back and forth across the floor. Have I mentioned that we were also dancing in THONGS yet ?? LOL
After about drink number 8, we decided to move on and have a look at another club. We entered "Sky Garden" next to the memorial, Kutas biggest Super Club. As we climbed the steps, we were hit by a wall of smoke. It was like being in the smoking room of a very busy Chinese ariport. 3 of us smoke, Andrew does not, but even I was choking. We turned around, used the toilets and bailed quick smart. Its not a place I will be rushing back too.
Visiting these bigger clubs, has for us all been a bit of a concern. These are the sorts of places that were attacked all those years ago by the bombers. I have to say that security at all of these venues is pretty tight. Everybody gets bag searched, wanded for metal objects, and I even got a pat down. I wouldnt be too worried if you do decide to head out into Kuta these days.
We dropped back into M-Bar-Go for one more round, as it was just before midnight, then hopped into a cab home. The drive back to Seminyak took no time at all. There was no traffic, and the roads were eerily quite. As I said before, Bali is not very busy yet.
Once home, we sent Andrew off in search of food. He managed to find sandwiches at the Champagne Bar around the corner, and came home with 3 large, quality sandwiches for us to share. Litsa and I decided to sit outside around the pool, have a swim, and then the 2 of us, like to 2 kids, sat on the daybed listening to music till 2am. That last hour, with just the 2 of us chatting, laughing and flicking through old playlists was one of the best moments of the trip.
For the people who are yet to visit Bali, here is a short list of words we have found useful.
TIDAK - means NO - as in....... TIDAK TIDAK TIDAK I do not want to buy another T-shirt
MAHAL - means EXPENSIVE - as in ...... Your T-shirt prices are too MAHAL
BAGGUS - means GOOD- as in ..... Your T-shirts are very BAGGUS
TEREMA KASI - means THANK YOU... you can also use the Balinese version SUKSUMO
SELEMAT PAGI - means GOOD MORNING... nice to say to the villa staff when they come and cook you breakfast.
Today will be a little quieter methinks. We are nursing hangovers. The plan is to go to Tanah Lot this afternoon for the sunset.