Walking the streets of Bali – Beep, beep. “Hey boss, want nice massage”? “No, thanks”. “Hey mister, want nice girl maybe?” “No, thanks”. Then the ones I like best. A guy rides up on his motor bike – “Hey boss, want some Viagra”? “No thanks”. Next guy on a motor bike – “Hey boss, want some Cialis maybe? extra strong”? “No thanks”. Beep, beep. This occurs many times a day, every day. Beep, beep.
Jumped into a cab with Rudy, the driver. He didn’t speak much English, and well, you know how much Indonesian I speak, so it was a quiet trip, except for our coughs – we both had good ones – think he won the competition. Lot’s of mind-blowing sights along the way to Tanah Lot, a Balinese Hindu temple, up the west coast from where I’m staying. Some of the sights along the way.
Riding along in the cab for ages/kilometres. You look down at the metre. It reads R19,850 and you think “holy crap”, then you remember that’s about $1.98! Drive on Rudy.
Petrol station for motor bikes – Absolut vodka bottles are popular.
The road to Tanah Lot Temple is lined with junk. “Hello papa”. Shop, shop – “no thanks”.
There was a school trip on, ~100 kids in uniform with their teachers. They all headed into the temple for something special – don’t know what – we tourists weren’t allowed inside. Kids were fun – giggling “Halo, halo” to me all over the place, thinking “look at the funny white geezer in baggy shorts”.
Reminds me of Billy Connolly’s advice on staying looking young – “whatever you do, don’t walk around in baggy-ass pants – so better get me some new tight ones?
Little girls are the same everywhere – arm-in-arm giggling and singing – brings hope to your day.
Think this is the main temple (other small prayer spots around – BTW, got in and out without catching anything, far as I can tell). There wasn’t anything to read and haven’t checked on the internet yet. Zoom in on the cave – to pass the guy with the bamboo pole on the left, you had to enter the cave, wash your hands 3 times in small spring, wash you face, drink a little, then they stuck some rice on your forehead and placed a lotus flower behind your left ear (jeeze did I look good) – free to enter.
Some ‘obligatory’ water shots.
Rented a lounge chair and umbrella on the beach for $4 yesterday – it’s yours for the day. Along came a guy wanting to sell me flip-flops/thongs. The automatic “no thanks”. Then I realized he couldn’t talk. We sort of communicated by waving hands. We shook hands in the way they do it – the western way combined with a sort of flip-up grasping thumbs. He noticed my IPOD, pointed to it and touched it and so I showed it to him – guess he hadn’t seen one before?? He sat down with me on the end of my lounge. I put the earpieces to his ears so he could hear Bob Marley (perfect for the beach mon). Then he made me understand that he was also deaf. WTF!!! He sat with me a while. We didn’t wave hands. We just sat and gazed at the beach, the bodies on lounges, the sky, the sea …. after a time he got up, signaled with his hands, smiled and walked off. Gotta start taking pictures of the people. Here’s my piece of North Kuta Beach on a cloudy afternoon.
Today, I look out the window and it’s raining. But, it’s the dry season here in Bali – same like Darwin (you start to talk like the locals after a short time – same, same). A Balinese was complaining to me about the crazy weather – ain’t it so everywhere?
The Balinese people are wonderful – kind, gentle, helpful. Their smiles could thaw the coldest heart. Sure, there are those who want your money, but hey, wouldn’t you like my money? I’d be happy to have yours. Eka, the sweetest, most charming young woman, gave me some tips this morning and said “don’t hesitate to ask if I can do anything during your visit to help you” – she’s one of the staff clearing tables. You know the offer comes from her heart and she speaks with such enthusiasm about her homeland.
Off to Ubud at 7AM tomorrow on the back of Eka’s (this one’s a guy) motor bike. More to come from Bali.