Thursday, 21 February 2013

Day 4 – Big shopping in the BIG rain

Weather: 29 degrees | overcast | 79% humidity
Exchange: 9,690 Rupiah = $1AUD (hotel) | 9,900 Rupiah = $1AUD (street)
I’ve been awake since 5:45am.  Now I know that’s because my body clock hasn’t changed over, because there is no reason other than to catch a plane, for me to be awake at that ridiculous time of the morning.  I’m relieved to hear complete silence, but after a coffee and sorting the laundry (18 items: total cost 150,000 Rupiah after 25% discount) the sound of light rain falling becomes clear and constant.
Today, we are planning on getting to all the shops on the list we haven’t found yet, including the place that caused us to walk way more than we had planned yesterday, Biarritz, resulting in very sore muscles today.  I think the high chance of rain today is a good excuse to travel around in a taxi – maybe it’s time to buy an umbrella?
So, we borrow an umbrella from the hotel and order a taxi to take us straight to Biarritz.  It’s raining quite steadily, but being dropped the right at the door makes the rain ok.  As we enter, a shop assistant greets us and informs there is 10% off everything today – must be morning/rain price.  We spend a good hour there, with me checking out every single item and hubby holding in the rage for having to endure more shopping and what's worse, the shop assistant is eagerly hovering at our heels.  You might have guessed that he hates shopping (unless it’s Bunnings, of course) and what’s more, he hates crowds or being crowded.  We manage to buy some amazing items, including ornaments, coasters, jewellery, wooden bowls/utensils, flags, singlets, a kite, etc for the grand total of 747,657 Rupiah (including the 10% discount).  Hubby really deserves a prize for his behaviour – I think I’ll buy him a carton of Bintang.
We decide to attempt walking in the rain; after all, we have the hotel umbrella.  We get as far as Jl Kunti and already hubby is drenched and only my top half is dry, the puddles are nearly half way up my leg.  I’m always amazed at how much water collects on the streets, but as soon as the rain stops, the puddles disappear almost instantly making you wonder if it actually rained that bad at all?!  We continue walking until we reach Jl. Raya Seminyak, checking out a few clothes shops on my list – some aren’t open (I suspect due to the weather) and don’t find anything I like.  We head towards Bintang Supermarket, but think we may have miscalculated and duck for cover at the supermarket right next door.  We take shelter there for about 15 minutes because the rain is so heavy.  I decide to pop in and check out the wine store, not leaving before I purchase a bottle of Bali Wine: Hatten Wines, Aga Red (cost = 12,500 Rupiah).
The rain dies to a drizzle, so we keep moving but decide to skip Bintang Supermarket and attempt to find the 3D Buddha shop mentioned on Trip Advisor with no luck.  The weather is really not suitable for street shopping and our feet and legs are so sore, so we decide to jump in a taxi (which is not easy as most are in use) and head to Carrefour which is a much better shopping choice, where we can stock up on supplies for the trip home (instead of doing later). 
It’s about 12pm when we arrive and debate whether to have a quick bite to eat, but decide to go straight into Carrefour instead.  I detour to Bata Shoes and pick up a couple of bargains for Miss 7 (two pairs of shoes for 120,000 Rupiah – no pictures this time, Miss 7 will have to wait till we get home for the surprise).  We spend over 2.5 hours wandering hubby really deserves that carton of beer!
I get enough toiletries that I hope will last until our next trip back, some plastic boxes and lollipops to take to Pejenkawan School on Saturday, a few more snacks/water, a wok - yes, a wok and of course that carton of Bintang.  We collect our bags and special purchase items from the storage area and buy some Balinese cakes from the stall out front –Klepon and Lupis.
We wait for much longer than usual downstairs for a taxi to arrive (normally they are lined up waiting for customers).  We return to the hotel with our purchases and I realise I have left the trusty hotel umbrella... somewhere... urghhhh!  I confess to the Reception staff and accept the charge of 95,000 Rupiah – I really should have bought myself an umbrella, they were selling on the street for 50,000 Rupiah.
We unpack our goodies and I am so hungry after skipping lunch and all that walking, so cannot resist the local cakes.  I love them, hubby is not fussed and they certainly wouldn’t be to everyone’s taste (I know someone who hates coconut and would not like these delicacies at all).  I’m still peckish, so tear open a pack of Pop-smile Popcorn.  Now, if that special person who got me addicted to salty and sweet popcorn is reading this, I can confidently say that I would have no problem living here now that I have found this.  Do not let the “cheddar cheese” flavour fool you... it’s almost identical to my favourite at home.
It’s just gone 5pm and hubby is crashed on the bed... I think I will join him.  Let’s hope we wake before it’s too late to eat tea.
We wander down to Reception about 6:30pm, they call us a taxi and we go to a restaurant called "Bloody Sweet" on Jl Legian, just around the corner from Jl Patih Jelantik.  It’s a rather large open restaurant, that offers a variety of cuisine from Mexican to Chinese – we’ve noticed this place each time we come to Bali, but have never eaten there.  We order Prawn Spring Rolls and Yam Dumplings to share, Hainan BBQ Chicken/Pork Combination, Pork Ribs Sechzuan, 2 Large Bintangs and 1 Mix Max Sparkling Wine (total cost = 370,260 Rupiah).  The food was nice, hubby says he’ll come back, but I spy the Japanese restaurant tucked back next door that I suggest we really need to try.

We catch a taxi back, through the crazy Kuta traffic and stop by Reception to see if our laundry is ready.  The hotel staff member, Eddie who collected us from the airport has grown fond of us and jumps in to assist.  He makes a call and explains we need laundry urgently and promises us it will be here soon.  Ten minutes later, we receive a call from Housekeeping, with many apologies stating they will bring our clothes up right away.  Clean clothes delivered with that wonderful Bali look and smell, although a little more expensive than I had calculated due to the surcharge (total = 193,752 Rupiah).
An early night tonight, as we need to be dressed and fed for our driver, Alex to collect us at 8:30am tomorrow morning.  We will spend the day sightseeing on our way to Ubud, where we will end up and check in to Beji Ubud for two nights and make our visit to the school during this time... can’t wait!

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