I was trying to remember the pointers given to me by a salty old surfer in a caravan park on Cabarita beach just a few weeks ago, as our young Balinese porter helped us to our first room, our first night.
"Just remember a few words..make an effort - they'll love ya mate!! Indo?? Ah mate it's a fuckin' pearl.."
But how to say "Thank you" in Bahasa Indonesian? He'd told me, and I'd remembered his words as we were given Frangipani leis and briefed during the shuttle to our hotel.
"Tear-out-ma-car-seat mate! That's how ya remember it! Just ... tearoutmacarseat and a smile!"
But was it tear out..pull out..or rip out?? I remember the guy in the taxi had rolled the r in the first syllable. I turned to Kimee "pretty sure it's tear".
I didn't get a chance to use it. The porter opened the door to our flight-centre recommended 'cheap-but-nice' digs.. No critters scurried under beds but the rest of the scene was set - budget accom, Legian beach, Bali.
|We weren't expecting Italian marble, but..|
Culture shock, unpacking and resolve to source something better, we left to lift our blood sugar levels and orient ourselves. Dodging ankle breaking holes in the sidewalks, and through alleyways with 8ft walls on both sides (shared by scooters and pedestrians alike..) we found the beach.
It took little convincing to seat us at Jeff's bar. With a few of the cold, ubiquitous but tasty Bintang Pilsners, we relaxed in our plastic chairs to enjoy a world-class sunset. No food and a couple of beers later, we're laughing - the good vibes of the beach leaching away the dingy memories of our first home away from home.
Day two. Plan well..hydrate..attack! Time to improve our situation. Our preparations were solid, our intentions so good! But everything lies to us!! Isn't this place meant to be easy? Maps don't match each other, directions... everyone just points in off the street behind their shop, even when you know what you're looking for is either north or south from where you're standing. Even Google maps lies. Our feet are sore, a scooter is a tempting thought, but tomorrow..we need to get new accommodation sorted first.
|..but finding lunch was worth it.|
|"BEEEEEP".. *CLAP CLAP* transport? .. "Hey, you moto? Where you go??".. "Lookit my shop".|
Kimee stopped me on the side of the street to apply some sort of sun-screen-lip-balm. I purse my lips and embrace it, much to the knee-slapping joy of the two Balinese blokes across the road. Intermittent glimpses at them between the relentless traffic was enough to share a grin.. when I puckered my lips in response to his mocking body-builder pose, his whole face joined his mouth in that most infectious type of laughter. Nobody seems to take themselves too seriously here.
We're off to rent a scooter today and possibly learn how to deal with the Indonesian traffic cops. Petrol stations are everywhere in the form of roadside food stalls (Warung) with shelves of Absolut vodka bottles filled with something combustible (petrol or some equivalent) and a funnel.
It's friendly, ad hoc and avant-garde, and for all my complaining I like it. Time for for some scenery.
5x 1.25 litres of water
10...thousand x solicitations. Scooters and other.
3x emails to flight centre
- An accurate map of Kuta, Legian and quite possibly Bali
- Jamie Durie and a home reno. crew to Bali Bakak hotel
- An approval for Australian Dept. of Immigration form #100, giving Kimee her permanent residency in Australia.
Kimee & Hedge