Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Barefoot in Bali

I am struggling to catch up here.  It's been over a year since I started the blog and this is really the first time I'm lacking motivation as I endeavor to begin (again).  I don't know if it's that I'm still trying to write about events that happened over a month ago, if it's because I am feeling a bit apathetic about my return to the routine of life or something else entirely.  On that note, forgive me if I seem a bit lackadaisical.

Additionally, that catch up is going to take one blog post longer.  I went away again.  I feel a bit embarrassed in blogging about yet another place I've gone, though this one wasn't outside the confines of the archipelago. I don't mean to be boasting or rubbing it in anyone's face.  I accept the fact that we get a heap of holidays from school at a price; namely a reduced salary and no vacation days I can choose.  I get so many days via the Indonesian, Korean, religious and school term holidays that I can't put in for any others. My friends working at other international schools get housing stipends, medical insurance, a months bonus at the end of their contract, a flight home.  We just get holidays.  Would that I could split the difference, but alas, no such luck.  Instead I save up and head out at every opportunity.

Monday was Korean Thanksgiving, also known as Chuseok or Harvest Moon festival. Three day weekend! I booked my flight Wednesday for less than a hundred dollars.  This also guaranteed that I got sick on Thursday.  Friday I managed to make my flight and I arrived in Sanur at about 1030pm. Sanur is much quieter than Kuta, home to half the rowdy Aussies under the age of 30 and more than a few rowdy retirees. Kuta has a great nightlife and a better, but always crowded, beach.

The Big Pineapple, my hostel, was a good place to relax and meet people.  Saturday was a solo day taking in Sanur beach.  It's nice because it is so quiet.  There are boats, bikers, walkers, locals, etc.  Lots to sit and watch.  The water was cool but not cold. When the tide went out it went way way out.  I could've walked over a mile and the water still would only have been to my knees. It was that it was a longer walk to the beach.  I stick this in only because by the time I had spent all day there and walked a couple kilometers on the beach the walk back felt like an epic journey. A high note of my day at Sanur was the fresh king prawn dinner accompanied by a drink called an Arak Obama (arak is a local spirit).

Saturday night I met three American boys (Blake, Neil and Tyler) and a Dutchman(Shawn) at my hostel. Minus Tyler, we went out to Kuta for a riotous night. A few big bottles of Bintang kicked the night off.  Next was Sky Garden to catch the pre-midnight drink specials. We broke into two groups and lost each other among the eighty-six mini levels in SG. Ok there are really only maybe nine levels but when you're in there and it's packed I dare you not to think there's more. Shots, drinks then onward to Bounty.  Anyone who's been knows what a riot that is. Utter ridiculousness is all I can say. After that we blundered upon a bar playing Nirvana.  My hopes quickly dissipated when then rock music faded after two songs. A quest for hamburgers ended in a scuffle and we lost Blake.  The next hour was spent searching for him before we gave up and found him lounging back at the hostel.

Sunday brought a 12:30p wake up and quest for Kuta beach. I say quest most earnestly.  Blake and I spent over an hour on the motorbike to get there. It felt like we drove around the entire island.  An hour or so stroll on the beach and then we got lost on the way back to the hostel and that was over an hour too.  Tyler, Neil and Shawn were on two other bikes and we lost them almost immediately. They returned after we did having eaten. Blake and I nearly died in a fiery crash.  I don't know how he managed to go from 80 km/h to stopped without hitting the guy who cut us off..  We knackered from epic drive. By that point none of us could be asked to go out any farther than a Japanese resto ten minute walk from the hostel.

Monday I had an amazing lunch of Tong seng.  Its Chinese influenced Indonesian food.  Beef and cabbage in a dark cinnamon/chocolatey broth. Then a lounge about to watch a rugby game from the World Cup (I've seen 2.5 games already and it just started Friday). Off to Kuta beach for a wee shop (only bought four things) and a snooze on the beach.  I stayed until sunset and then headed off for dinner at TJ's Mexican.  I'd been there last time and it didn't disappoint. I was surprised how much had changed on the main strip in Kuta since I was there a mere eleven months ago.

It's typical of my luck.  I got an ojek to the airport.  We got a flat on the way.  He went the wrong way twice as a road was closed for construction (that's been going on for months) and then he couldn't take me in so I had to walk.  Finally the flight was delayed.  Siiigh.  Oh well.  I got my tan touched up and got to some fresher air for the weekend. Now I'm back, slogging away at work. Aduuuu

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