Friday, 3 July 2009

Bali Bound & The Nightmarish Kuta

We had a long drive to the port to catch a ferry to Bali. I talked further with the Polish couple, and was amazed at their trip. They had 2 months in Asia and wanted to do Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam and Cambodia. I suggested that was an insane schedule. They said No, and proceeded to fill me in on their tour so far. In 3 months, they´d done South America (every country), India and Nepal. Flying everywhere, and just a few days in each place. Sounds like a waste of money to me.

I was dreading Kuta, the Aussie holidaymakers´ ghetto. And it was worse than I thought. Driving slowly down the main drag, the Bintang vest-wearing masses came into view. Staggering around with their shorts hanging off their arsecheeks. It´s like their version of Magaluf. And apparently they think bali is a country, not an island in Indonesia (I didn´t meet another Aussie anywhere else in Indonesia, in fact). The (shit) music blaring from each bar merged into one eardrum-splitting cacophony. It would be unfair to blame it all on the Aussies, but they are in the majority here. And while the bombings were horrific, I can understand why the Javanese are offended by the behavoiur here. People throwing up and pissing in the streets, fighting (Ika was attacked a few days after I left, for asking an Aussie girl to stomp bumping into her...all her friends joined in the assault).

The stallholders shout at you in the street "Hey mate, g´day mate...how´s it going, mate?" in a cod Aussie accent. I had to ask Ika for the Indonesian for "I´m not a fucking Aussie". It does get rather tedious after five minutes. I wasn´t going to be here long, I knew that much before I´d got out of the taxi.

Ika hired a bike the next morning, and we set off for Padang Padang...a much quieter bay 17km from Kuta. She knew a Costa Rican guy there who´d never gone home, choosing to set up an excellt (if a little pricey) Mexican cafe called the Sunset Grill. It was that good we ate there on the way home, too. The beaches there were beautiful and, if you´re a surfer, great waves. The massage women are cheeky swines though, re-negotiating or asking for tips halfway through. I was having none of it with mine, and suggested she should be paying for me letting her get her oily hands on me?

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