Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Day 9 – Teman = friend

Weather: 31 degrees | partly cloudy | 73% humidity
Exchange: 9930 Rupiah = $1AUD (street)
Must say... getting a little bored with breakfast selection now, but I guess that happens when you stay at the same place for an extended period.  We finish up around 9:20am and decide to quickly go to the supermarket around the corner when we spot our driver, Alex who yells out to us “where you going” – “10 minutes” we say.  We rush back to meet him out front and he takes us to his rental house located on the outskirts of Denpasar.
When we arrive, we are greeted warmly by his wife – his daughter is glued to her side.  Dressed so smartly in her royal blue and white uniform; she has already finished school for the day.  His son is a typical busy boy, out on his bike, playing with his friends before he must go to afternoon session school – so we do not get to meet him today.  We are asked to sit in the living room, a fan is pointed in our direction and we are offered snake fruit, coffee, water and some delicious traditional sweet treats Alex’s wife makes to sell at morning market.  We relax for some time before I attempt to befriend his daughter, but she is too shy – we confirm later that we are the first white Australians she has ever been this close to.  Before we leave with Alex, I hand to his wife a gift bag of stationery items I have put aside for his kids – they are most grateful.
Once in the car, Alex throws around some suggestions of places to go / things to see, but most of what he mentions we have either already done or would prefer to wait until Miss 7 is with us next time.  I suggest to Alex that we head back towards Ubud and attempt to locate the gorgeous little ceramic pots kept in our hotel room at Beji Ubud and the Jasmine scented shower gel inside that I absolutely loved.  As he drives, I phone the hotel and Alex chats with the hotel staff, but they cannot confirm where the items were purchased.  I remember to show Alex a photograph from my camera and he says he knows somewhere else close we can try.
A few minutes later, we are in front of a store called Jenggala (Jl Sunset Road) that has a decent range of ceramic items for sale.  I spend a little while in the shop, but do not find the items like those at Beji or anything even close.  However, on the other side of the room, I come across some very nice teapots and teacups and purchase a 2-person set for 385,000 Rupiah – just perfect for that lemon grass and ginger tea I have developed a taste for!
Alex then takes us pretty much across the road, which of course is the long way in Bali.  We enter a shop named Bali Tangi, which sells massage oils, soaps, lotions, and other aromatherapy/beauty type products.  This is where Alex tells me I can buy the Jasmine Shower Gel – they have none in stock but promise to get me a 1-litre bottle by 1pm.  Hubby spots a pair of absolutely divine ceramic bottles – not like the ones at Beji, but definitely more than acceptable.  The shop assistant puts them away for me and we agree to come back later.
Back on the road, Alex asks “where to now”.  As we still haven’t really decided where we want to go, Hubby asks for him to find as a decent motorcycle shop in the hope to find some new mirrors – one guess where (not our first choice as most of you would know Hubby rides a Honda and Harleys aren’t really his thing).  We have a quick look, but no mirrors for sale, so back in the car, quick look at the map and we decide to go to Jatiluwih.  A nice couple of hour’s drive to serene and peaceful countryside once we get away from the hustle/bustle.  30,000 Rupiah to enter the area, another 5,000 Rupiah as we get closer (apparently for parking - I guess this is no different to paying tolls on certain Aussie highways) and the views are rice paddies for as far as the eye can see.  Alex pulls into a nice looking restaurant, Billy’s Terrace Cafe with great views and we ask him to join us for the buffet lunch.  I’ve always been meaning to try an Avocado Juice (I’ve heard many rave about) and finally get to order one – the few times before I’ve ordered, the Avocado has “run out”.  Alex also has an Avocado Juice and of course Hubby has a Bintang.  The meal was pretty average, but the view and the juice was awesome – total cost 348,000 Rupiah.
We finish our meal and go for a stroll in the rice paddies.  It’s a little tricky to navigate and we get so far before a father and two children call out to Hubby and Alex for help.  They’ve spotted a snake and are too scared to move – they come from France and he says he’s never seen one before.  Hubby and Alex run to the rescue and discover the snake is dead – I ask Hubby to take a photo but he says you can’t even see it properly.  They give the three French tourists the courage to move and we all head back to the top of the road.  It was really quite funny – you had to be there.  We tell the French man to be careful of snakes if he ever goes to Australia and he tells us they are going for a few days in a week (to Darwin).  Of course Hubby takes this opportunity to exaggerate about Australia’s deadliest animals and I think the French family have changed their mind about going.
All three of us are still laughing as we drive away and make out trip back to Kuta.  We can see Alex is getting weary – he tells us his daughter did not sleep well last night and kept him awake.  We keep up with the idle chit chat to help him stay alert and encourage him to pull over, but he will not.  He tells us usually he keeps chillies in his door pocket to pop in his mouth and wake him up when he feels this way, but he forgot to grab his stash this morning.  I offer him a wet towel for his face and all is good.  We are soon in Seminyak and Alex willingly takes us to pick up our items ordered earlier in the week: 1. Miss 7’s stunning red leather jacket and 2. Our Julio painting.  We then return to Bali Tangi and I collect my items from this morning, plus can’t resist throwing in another smaller bottle of Body Milk and Mud Mask (total 410,000 Rupiah).
 Finally Alex drops us back to our hotel, but not after we’ve agreed for him to collect us at 12:30pm on our last day once we have checked out of the hotel.  He will then takes us back to his house and we will share a traditional lunch together, cooked by his wife – we feel so lucky that he wants to invite us into his life.  We will spend the afternoon together before he takes us to the airport.  As we get out the car and are greeted by the hotel staff/security, our friend Eddie who collected us when we arrived asks what we have done today.  We tell him where we visited and one of the security staff is so happy he shakes our hands and thanks us immensely, as this is his village.  It’s so easy to make friends in Bali!
I’ve pulled some muscles in my neck and use this as a good excuse to book in for a massage at the hotel.  It’s been a while since I’ve had a massage and haven’t really made the time to have one yet in Bali.  Agustin works her magic and cracks my back numerous times, but no matter how hard she tries, cannot get the knots out of my shoulders.  I feel moderately better, and decide to book in again for the morning we leave.
Hubby and I decide to walk into Kuta and try out the Japanese restaurant we spotted the other night, Fuktaro I (Jl Legian).  We go a bit crazy as we didn’t eat much at lunch and order Gyoza Salmon, Pond Snails (hmmmm – Hubby’s choice) and Mixed BBQ Grill Skewers to share for Entree; Super Box for Hubby and Rainbow, Spicy Salmon and Spicy Tuna Sushi Rolls for me; a large Bintang and another Avocado Juice (total 618,200 Rupiah inc. 16% tax – our most expensive meal yet, but easily a pub meal cost for three back home).  We decide to walk off our evening meal and head back to the hotel, before calling it a night.
Another day in paradise comes to an end, and I’m sad to say our time here is running out.  But one thing that’s only just beginning – the start of a new friendship that distance will only make grow fonder.

1 comment:

  1. We'll be there to pick you & Adrian up Friday morning. I've enjoyed reading your blogs they've been quite newsworthy. Enjoy your last day at Alex's home. Beth