A four night five day trip with family to Bali, we are first timers. Matt and Sam who are regulars wanted us to experience Bali before their wedding next year. Wise move because…
I have never been so flipping hot in my whole life for such a long length of time.
Relentless humid heat for the uninitiated. Wearing makeup? Forget it. I made my face up lightly each day, and ten minutes later I am wiping the perspiration away along with my face powder and sunscreen. Each day we fronted up for breakfast, the lovely staff looked at me and asked where I wanted to sit. Under a bloody big fan I replied.
By the third day my husband pointed out that my neck and cleavage was covered in tiny tissue balls, created, by me wiping not patting away perspiration, unfortunately my face protection is glued to my sunscreen and just leaving a god awful mess. There went my dignity.
Well what can I say, pfffttttt! We walked in the HEAT, perspiration dripping down our backs and legs and settling in every bodily crease known to man kind. We cast eyes over all the stock which is pretty much the exact same thing in each stall, of which there are hundreds. The game is to see how low you can go (barter) for and then you win (especially if you walk away). It’s exhausting. I can handle an upfront price and make my own decision, please. Or I walk away.
These beautiful people shouting in and surrounding their stalls (cubby houses) at me, you buy watch, you buy handbag, you buy t’shirt, blah blah blah. I learnt not look at anything specific, didn’t help, still hassled. They didn’t understand the western culture of window shopping. In the tiny stalls we entered surrounded by their wares, stall holders took one look at me and suggested that I stand under the helicopter (fan) while my friends and family shopped.
These retailers can sure spin a white fib to coax you in. Game on as you battle out what they promised to initially sell for as to what you pay.
Massages are on offer everywhere. Stall holders beckon you over, with wide toothed smiles and dimples. Now Lisa bless her, demanded I have a massage, I raised my eyebrows and her exact words were.
‘You want massage’?
‘You want massage, Lisa give you nice massage.’ I looked, smiled, nodded a no. Lisa raised the stakes along with her eyebrows and said, ‘Do you want massage or maybe more! She bellowed. We walked faster. To the echo of ‘You ask for Lisa’.
We had the best driver our own personal taxi, his name is Senna. I learnt so much from him about this beautiful culture, there beliefs, their faith, the history of their statues. I am grateful for his explanations and patience.
Money changers beware!
The many money changers and their booths scared me. Thankfully Sam and Matt knew what they were doing. My paranoia settled uncomfortably on my shoulders. Not knowing who or whom I could trust. They count money with speed, place it in their laps, another dude sidles up to distract you and so on. Sam shouts at them asking what they are doing, they then decide it isn’t worth trying to rip her off. She’s loud and savvy.
No one would allow me to wander away alone, in case you know, just in case. They took to calling me a little vulnerable woman an easy target for bag snathchers. At least they didn’t call me old.
We saw a bit of Kuta, Seminyak and Ubud and drove through Legian. Next time I want to visit Legian, they had shops, real shops.
All the resort staff where we stayed are exceptional, I was saying please and thank you constantly, feeling very welcomed. Or is it just for show? The pools are like a luke warm bath, a swim up bar I guess makes up for the water temperature. Some in our party were counting how many Bintangs guests consumed against how many times they left the pool for the toilet. Nice thought to leave you with!
Ubud is where we will be headed again next year for daughters wedding. There is a multitude of stairs, plus two lifts and then a further never ending series of stairs. a river, and wall to wall green beauty. It will I know be an amazing stunning experience.
The wedding will be at the base of a ravine.
I see an opportunity to clench and exercise those butt cheeks going up and down those stairs. There’s always a positive. I think this mother of the bride will be wearing a Kaftan!