Monday, 25 February 2013

Day 8 – More shopping?

Weather: : 31 degrees | partly cloudy | 68% humidity
Exchange: 10,500 - 9900 Rupiah = $1AUD (street)
We take our time moving this morning, with no schedule to follow or plans to keep.  Eventually we go down for breakfast around 9am.  After breakfast, we leisurely walk around the corner to check out ACE Hardware store.  This store is not bad at all – heaps of variety – kind of like a Bunnings and BIG W all-in-one.  We purchase a few incidental items, but most importantly buy an electronic luggage scale (we left our other one at home) to ensure our bags are evenly packed and don’t go over the weight limit for the return trip.
We take our items back to the hotel and consider jumping on the free shuttle to Kuta, but find out it’s already fully booked.  Oh well, I’m sure the $2.50 taxi ride won’t break the bank.  We call for a taxi and have him take us to Beachwalk Mall.  A quick walk through the new mall – it’s definitely not my kind of Bali shopping, but I can see how it would appeal to others – we head back out towards Poppies 2.
Another long walk around the block, we decide to purchase some DVD’s (only a few series sets – one that we cannot get in Australia just yet) - the usual, buy 10 get 5 free, 10,000 Rupiah each disk, a total of 100,000 Rupiah and walk back up Jl Legian to find a reputable money changer.  There are many along the street offering over 10,000 but I would rather lose a few cents for less hassle and a moment of air conditioning.  We walk quite a way (nearly to Legian) before settling on 9940 Rupiah per dollar, then turn around and walk back towards Kuta on the other side of the street.
My main goal for today is to find some of those compact little purses with 2 or 3 zips that easily hold my phone and money (I have managed to buy one each time I visit, but this time wanted more as eventually the strap wears thin).  I spotted only a couple in as many stalls, but they were not to my liking.  Hooray!  I find the perfect stall with a really nice lady selling; with a great selection of what I wanted (the only stall I have found with this many to choose from and I have been looking since we arrived), I decide to buy 3 different purses for me, one larger one for Miss 7 and a gorgeous black/white Jimmy Choo-ish handbag.  We barter with minimal fuss and I’m happy to hand over 400,000 Rupiah – maybe a little more than I could have paid elsewhere (especially for the handbag) but I was so happy to have found my purses that I didn’t really mind.  Obviously happy with my find, I bump into a cheerful little girl selling those leather strap things and although I usually just say “no thanks” with a smile, I give her an Aussie gold coin and she gives me two straps.
On our visit three years ago, I purchased one of those ever familiar Bali Batik style bags that pretty much go together with the Bintang singlets in the category of traditional tourist Bali purchases.  It’s the best value Bali thing I’ve bought, staying strong through every one of our return trips – zips and seams still intact (touch wood).  It carries so much stuff and I can wear it across my body, so when on a spending spree can hide items well and avoid the “why you not buy here” taunts (of course, unless it’s another bigger bag that won’t fit).  As an example, when at the market yesterday I fit the mortar/pestle, deep frying implement, peanut sauce blocks, bottle of water and other personal effects with the only trouble being how much it weighed.  Many stall sellers often want to sell me another bag and I’m always willing to look (for a spare – just in case...), however every bag I try across my body never sits as well as the one I have (mine is quite long for some reason, and I’m certain it hasn’t stretched).
We wander into many other stalls with sellers’ promise that their bag will be “long one”, try bags for size, but none are right.  We get hassled to buy more Bintang singlets, get dragged down a side alley with many stalls, have an argument with some very pushy sellers and high tail it out of there.  A little peckish, we grab a hot dog and steak sanga, with 2 Large Bintangs and 2 Smirnoffs for the grand total of 197,000 Rupiah at Redin’s Cafe (Poppies 2). We go back up to Jl Legian, turn left on to Jl Pantai and come across a rather large clothing stall where I hope to find some nice dresses for Miss 7... Success – six for 300,000 Rupiah (and an Aussie gold coin for good luck)... I hope she likes them!
We walk back down (or up) Jl Legian, so I can check out Miss Becky shop.  The style of clothing is not really my type, but I’m excited when I spot these little Balinese (Cabbage Patch type) dolls that I have not seen since my first trip in 1991.  I bought one from a restaurant called “Yanies”, which back then was quite popular and owned by an Aussie who imported Heinz tomato sauce and Cottees toppings – it obviously no longer exists.  I still have my Bali doll sitting on a shelf in my bedroom and every time I set eyes on it, it reminds me of my very first amazing trip.  I don’t buy one, but keep in the back of my mind – maybe I should get a girl doll to go with my boy doll back home?  I should have asked the price...
As we are close to the 100% Genuine Fake Shop, we call in one more time so that I can get another pair of those coloured flip flops I bought a few days ago (they are so comfortable) and I spot a Genuine Fake Chanel satchel which would be perfect for work.  50,000 for the shoes, 110,000 for the bag and we grab a cab back to the hotel.  Once back at the hotel, we relax in the pool for an hour or so, drinking at the swim up bar and chatting to one of the staff.
Earlier today when walking to ACE Hardware, I located the only day spa within close vicinity to the hotel and grabbed a brochure.  The prices were great, but there were no opening/closing times listed.  At about 7pm, hubby and I walk over with the plan that I’ll stay for some pampering and ring him when I’m done, then he’ll walk back over to collect me.  Unfortunately, the place is closed – it’s no surprise as the area is very secluded and probably wouldn’t be frequented by tourists.  We then catch a taxi back into Kuta, and after scanning Trip Advisor think we’ll try out the Dog and Dragon Restaurant on Jl Benesari.  However, once seated we scan the unappealing menu with very limited choices and decide to leave, walking back to Stakz – another high TA recommendation.  Stakz had a much bigger menu selection and wasn’t too badly priced either.  We ordered Mixed Grill, Tuna Steak with Vegetables, 1 Iced Coffee, and 1 small Bintang (total = 208,000 Rupiah).

Back at the hotel, a quick phone call from our driver Alex who is excited to let us know that a TA connection has contacted him on our recommendation to book him for next month.  He confirms our pick up tomorrow morning... no set plans – we’ve decided to leave it up to him although he did suggest travelling around the East side of Bali.  The part I’m looking forward to the most is finally getting to meet his wife and children!

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