Bali 2.0


Let me start off by saying that it's incredibly hot. Like, incredibly. Thankfully my room has air con, but I'm sitting in the open air lobby right now, dying in the heat; I'll get used to it, eventually... I hope.

We got up to quite a lot in the past few days, lots of going out, and lots of adventures. Today is Wednesday (I think) and we are spending it just chilling in the hotel by the pool, going to a pool party later at a fancier hotel, and then going out tonight - a pretty chill vacationesque day I would say.

I can't remember everything we did, but I have a few stories for you guys:

Playing Temple Run in the Temples
Yesterday we hired a car for the day, and somehow (I still don't know how we even did it) managed to navigate our way through the insane - signless streets of Bali, across the entire island, to two separate places on opposite sides, and back to our hotel; it took us 12 hours, but was insanely fun.

The first place we went was the Besakih temple, (not counting the small local temple we stopped off at first). We had to purchase sarongs (which are like little skirts to cover your knees) and wear them at all times inside the temple. We also had to pay for a tour guide, and tickets in (probably a scam) but it only ended up costing us about 8 dollars in total, which I'd say is not too bad.

Our tour guide took us on a tour or the largest temple in Bali, and we learned a lot, and got to take some amazing pictures of the 1300 year old place. We also were pressured by a 6 year old girl named Jimjam (that's not her actual name, it's just what I remember it to be) into buying her post cards for "ten thousand rrrrrrrupiahs"; she was an expert salesperson.

After the temple, we went on to the Monkey forest in Ubud, where we got to purchase bananas and feed them to the monkeys... Now, don't be fooled by the pictures - I enjoyed this location, but the others did not. The monkeys were viscous. The moment we walked in, one clinged to Rachael's sarong and started growling at her for her bananas. Sean was attacked, and even bitten by the monkeys (which are probably rabid) but it didn't break the skin, so they're all cool.

I suspected (from observation and common sense) that the fat ones were the more aggressive dominant ones, because they could scare tourists, and get bananas, ergo get super fat. We were told not to hide the bananas from the monkeys, because they could find them, but I decided to take my chances, and was very successful, only being attacked by one monkey. I decided to feed most of my bananas to the small monkeys, which were much less aggressive, and would even climb you to get the bananas.

As we were leaving, Beth got some crisps, and as soon as she opened the bag, a monkey dashed out of the park, across the road, across all the traffic, jumped, grabbed the bag, and ran up a tree with it.

Overall though, it was pretty fun, it kept freaking me out how much like humans they resemble, and how predictable their behavior can be based on our own basic instincts and impulses.

Angry Spanish ladies and pouring rain
This one is a story where my mother will be proud of me for. After we returned the rental car, we were absolutely starving, due to the fact that collectively we had eaten one popsicle, and a few fantas. We decided to go to the first restaurant we found, but something seemed off about it.

Everything was good after ordering our food, and everyone seemed into high spirits. 45 minutes later, and our food still hadn't arrived (despite being the only ones in the restaurant, and the most complicated dish being chicken parm) we were not too impressed, and I was basically falling asleep at the table.

Finally the food comes, and me and Shaun got what we ordered, a Margarita pizza each. I took one bite, and told the table it's the worst pizza I've ever eaten; Shaun agreed. After eating half of it, because we were starving, we couldn't eat anymore, because it was actually making me feel sick. It was not fully cooked, it was cold, and it felt like I was just eating cheesy dough.

Now... I don't normally complain, so I kept my voice down for the initial things. I was just going to be quiet about it, but Shaun talked to the waitress and wanted some sort of compensation, like a discount. The waitress was really nice, and tried to balance our needs, with the manager's wants, but the waitress kept coming back saying that the boss said that she would give no discount, blah blah blah... Long story short, the boss came over.

She was a Spanish lady, who had a tone of... let's say "sallope-ness" to her. She immediately came over and said "Who's pizza was not cooked?" to which Shaun and I put up our hands "I tried it myself, it was fine" she replied, to which Shaun said something along the lines of "the crust was not cooked at all" and something else. She immediately replied "well, we are a restaurant, not a pizza place, we're not equipped to cook the crust" in an extremely condescending tone...

That was the point where I lost it. 

I don't really remember much, because I go into like, some sort of anger/frustration/confrontation blackout when I talk to someone, but I basically said the following to her, without interruption;

"You have to understand where we're coming from here. My friends and I rented a car for the day, and drove all over Bali, and the only thing we've had collectively between us was a popsicle and a couple of fantas. So when we come to the restaurant, and we're waiting 45 minutes for all of our meals, and I'm falling alseep at the table, I'm not too impressed. Then on top of that, when we finally get our food, it's not cooked, and I eat half of it anyways, because I'm absolutely starving. I'm not trying to be mean, but to be honest, it doesn't seem fair because after this we're probably going to have to go somewhere else to get some more food, because this mean isn't satisfying, because when I come to a restaurant, I expect to leave feeling more satisfied, not more sick than I was when I came in."

Add awkward pause.

"Well we wouldn't want you to feel sick" and then she walked away.

The waitress came back later and told us we'd get 35% off our bill, not much, but a lot more than the previous 0%.

I'm not normally a complainer, but honestly, if you're not equipped to cook pizzas properly, don't put pizzas on the menu. If I'm paying 75,000 rupiahs for a pizza, I want it to be good, because I can go somewhere else and get it for 50,000.

Part 2
We spent the night out, and a few people in the group did mushrooms (which are legal here, despite marijuana evoking the death penalty... I don't even...). Despite the legality, and low medical risks, I don't think it's something I'm going to partake in. Of course I've always wanted to experience synesthesia, but I just wouldn't feel safe being in this country and not being in control of my own actions (which probably explains why I'm not drinking either). Oh well, c'est la vie.

Anyways, after the bar, Rachael, Beth and I decided to walk home. We tried to get cabs, but the drivers were demanding 70,000 rupiahs, when we had gotten them before for 30k... not happening. As we were walking home, it started pouring, and we absolutely loved it. We walked through the streets, trying not to fall in the holes in the sidewalk through a bloody thunderstorm... Not the safest thing, but these are the things you will remember. We were singing the entire way back.

Rachael almost got robbed by children, who tried to sell me bracelets because I was in the front, but when I walked past them, they swarmed her at the back, and I saw them go for her purse. I stopped and got behind her, and told her to clutch it, and they all ran away... Crazy... We actually tried to get pick pocketed by a family and their five under 10 year old children.

All in all though, it's pretty safe - just as safe as Curtin and Karawara, and I'm enjoying it. I'm really considering dreads at the moment, but we'll see.

Anyways, gotta go to a pool party, so I'll see you later!

P.S. I didn't go to the pool party, we're going to the beach instead!

P.P.S. - Mum, I'm not buying new shorts, these ones have history, and work just fine. (See picture above). 
Life's too short... Travel the World!: Bali 2.0

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Bali 2.0


Let me start off by saying that it's incredibly hot. Like, incredibly. Thankfully my room has air con, but I'm sitting in the open air lobby right now, dying in the heat; I'll get used to it, eventually... I hope.

We got up to quite a lot in the past few days, lots of going out, and lots of adventures. Today is Wednesday (I think) and we are spending it just chilling in the hotel by the pool, going to a pool party later at a fancier hotel, and then going out tonight - a pretty chill vacationesque day I would say.

I can't remember everything we did, but I have a few stories for you guys:

Playing Temple Run in the Temples
Yesterday we hired a car for the day, and somehow (I still don't know how we even did it) managed to navigate our way through the insane - signless streets of Bali, across the entire island, to two separate places on opposite sides, and back to our hotel; it took us 12 hours, but was insanely fun.

The first place we went was the Besakih temple, (not counting the small local temple we stopped off at first). We had to purchase sarongs (which are like little skirts to cover your knees) and wear them at all times inside the temple. We also had to pay for a tour guide, and tickets in (probably a scam) but it only ended up costing us about 8 dollars in total, which I'd say is not too bad.

Our tour guide took us on a tour or the largest temple in Bali, and we learned a lot, and got to take some amazing pictures of the 1300 year old place. We also were pressured by a 6 year old girl named Jimjam (that's not her actual name, it's just what I remember it to be) into buying her post cards for "ten thousand rrrrrrrupiahs"; she was an expert salesperson.

After the temple, we went on to the Monkey forest in Ubud, where we got to purchase bananas and feed them to the monkeys... Now, don't be fooled by the pictures - I enjoyed this location, but the others did not. The monkeys were viscous. The moment we walked in, one clinged to Rachael's sarong and started growling at her for her bananas. Sean was attacked, and even bitten by the monkeys (which are probably rabid) but it didn't break the skin, so they're all cool.

I suspected (from observation and common sense) that the fat ones were the more aggressive dominant ones, because they could scare tourists, and get bananas, ergo get super fat. We were told not to hide the bananas from the monkeys, because they could find them, but I decided to take my chances, and was very successful, only being attacked by one monkey. I decided to feed most of my bananas to the small monkeys, which were much less aggressive, and would even climb you to get the bananas.

As we were leaving, Beth got some crisps, and as soon as she opened the bag, a monkey dashed out of the park, across the road, across all the traffic, jumped, grabbed the bag, and ran up a tree with it.

Overall though, it was pretty fun, it kept freaking me out how much like humans they resemble, and how predictable their behavior can be based on our own basic instincts and impulses.

Angry Spanish ladies and pouring rain
This one is a story where my mother will be proud of me for. After we returned the rental car, we were absolutely starving, due to the fact that collectively we had eaten one popsicle, and a few fantas. We decided to go to the first restaurant we found, but something seemed off about it.

Everything was good after ordering our food, and everyone seemed into high spirits. 45 minutes later, and our food still hadn't arrived (despite being the only ones in the restaurant, and the most complicated dish being chicken parm) we were not too impressed, and I was basically falling asleep at the table.

Finally the food comes, and me and Shaun got what we ordered, a Margarita pizza each. I took one bite, and told the table it's the worst pizza I've ever eaten; Shaun agreed. After eating half of it, because we were starving, we couldn't eat anymore, because it was actually making me feel sick. It was not fully cooked, it was cold, and it felt like I was just eating cheesy dough.

Now... I don't normally complain, so I kept my voice down for the initial things. I was just going to be quiet about it, but Shaun talked to the waitress and wanted some sort of compensation, like a discount. The waitress was really nice, and tried to balance our needs, with the manager's wants, but the waitress kept coming back saying that the boss said that she would give no discount, blah blah blah... Long story short, the boss came over.

She was a Spanish lady, who had a tone of... let's say "sallope-ness" to her. She immediately came over and said "Who's pizza was not cooked?" to which Shaun and I put up our hands "I tried it myself, it was fine" she replied, to which Shaun said something along the lines of "the crust was not cooked at all" and something else. She immediately replied "well, we are a restaurant, not a pizza place, we're not equipped to cook the crust" in an extremely condescending tone...

That was the point where I lost it. 

I don't really remember much, because I go into like, some sort of anger/frustration/confrontation blackout when I talk to someone, but I basically said the following to her, without interruption;

"You have to understand where we're coming from here. My friends and I rented a car for the day, and drove all over Bali, and the only thing we've had collectively between us was a popsicle and a couple of fantas. So when we come to the restaurant, and we're waiting 45 minutes for all of our meals, and I'm falling alseep at the table, I'm not too impressed. Then on top of that, when we finally get our food, it's not cooked, and I eat half of it anyways, because I'm absolutely starving. I'm not trying to be mean, but to be honest, it doesn't seem fair because after this we're probably going to have to go somewhere else to get some more food, because this mean isn't satisfying, because when I come to a restaurant, I expect to leave feeling more satisfied, not more sick than I was when I came in."

Add awkward pause.

"Well we wouldn't want you to feel sick" and then she walked away.

The waitress came back later and told us we'd get 35% off our bill, not much, but a lot more than the previous 0%.

I'm not normally a complainer, but honestly, if you're not equipped to cook pizzas properly, don't put pizzas on the menu. If I'm paying 75,000 rupiahs for a pizza, I want it to be good, because I can go somewhere else and get it for 50,000.

Part 2
We spent the night out, and a few people in the group did mushrooms (which are legal here, despite marijuana evoking the death penalty... I don't even...). Despite the legality, and low medical risks, I don't think it's something I'm going to partake in. Of course I've always wanted to experience synesthesia, but I just wouldn't feel safe being in this country and not being in control of my own actions (which probably explains why I'm not drinking either). Oh well, c'est la vie.

Anyways, after the bar, Rachael, Beth and I decided to walk home. We tried to get cabs, but the drivers were demanding 70,000 rupiahs, when we had gotten them before for 30k... not happening. As we were walking home, it started pouring, and we absolutely loved it. We walked through the streets, trying not to fall in the holes in the sidewalk through a bloody thunderstorm... Not the safest thing, but these are the things you will remember. We were singing the entire way back.

Rachael almost got robbed by children, who tried to sell me bracelets because I was in the front, but when I walked past them, they swarmed her at the back, and I saw them go for her purse. I stopped and got behind her, and told her to clutch it, and they all ran away... Crazy... We actually tried to get pick pocketed by a family and their five under 10 year old children.

All in all though, it's pretty safe - just as safe as Curtin and Karawara, and I'm enjoying it. I'm really considering dreads at the moment, but we'll see.

Anyways, gotta go to a pool party, so I'll see you later!

P.S. I didn't go to the pool party, we're going to the beach instead!

P.P.S. - Mum, I'm not buying new shorts, these ones have history, and work just fine. (See picture above).