Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Makcik, Bir Bintang satu! Catching and Bali-ing Days Pt 1

Ah Bali, a blend of clubbing, sightseeing and shopping paradise all in one. We got to know about the company trip to Bali even way before CNY. The problem is I am just not excited about it. Especially not after hearing about the recent Aceh tsunami as well as the Bali bombings a few years back. To add to that, of course I am broke after moving into my new place not too long ago. The company was kind enough to provide us with RM 300 spending money each in addition to the transportation as well as accommodation. Melisa even went as far as paid for the 1st day of the sightseeing tour (it sucked however as it revolves more towards jewelry, stone, wood carvings and art galleries.)

We checked into our hotel on Friday and proceeded to move out for lunch after finishing our welcome drink which consists of orange juice and something else (can't seem to taste 2nd ingredients). It was extremely hot in Bali and we walked down the road to search for a decent looking restaurant with authentic Balinese food. The day was hot but it did not take us long to locate a quaint shop with moderate decoration. There is no air con by the way as with most shops unless its a boutique of some sort. A friendly waiter by the name of Alex served us and I had pizzas together with Sae Junn and Jason. It's worth a mention that food here is NOT cheap, well it is possible that we are paying tourist prices as my pizza is around Rp. 24 000 which is around RM 12. It sucked.

I finished my food and beer (yay) relatively quick and I stepped out to have a look at a pirated DVD stall next door. ( to be the first among the 10s of hundreds I will see later) They sell a huge variety of movies just like Malaysia and are going for Rp. 10 000 a piece. So it sums up to around RM 5 for a DVD 9, sounds reasonable and I bought my first souvenir from Bali, pirated DVDs Daredevil and Pet Sematary LOL. After filling the tummies,we continued our walk and soon ee nuff, started to sweat like pigs under the 40 degree sun. Lead by Sae Junn; Jason, Chee, Vernon and Boon took off their clothes one by one to show of their 'magnificent' bodies. Most of the shops along the road were convenience kiosk, hotels, DVD and souvenir shops. We did not stop at any and came to a new mall named Discovery, directly opposite the mall was Waterboom, a water theme park and next to it was a 'Flying Ball', identical to the one I saw in Gold Coast. How it works is you sit inside the ball, strap yourselves and the ball up shoots up, up and away attached to 2 elastic strings. There was this local couple trying it and the girl had tudung and skirt on, so it was quite a 'sight'.

We came to Kuta beach after passing rows and rows of shophouses and Hard Rock Bali is just directly opposite. It is quite suprising though as we were expecting a crowd of tourist with a bevy of beauties from different nationality strolling about. We were very wrong, the streets were empty other than a handful of 'em walking about. We split our ways here and the guys went to explore further north while the girls decided to stay in the area to do some shopping (girls will be girls). Worth noting too that Ninja also stayed back (for shopping? too tired to walk? I will never know).

The walk was very uneventful other than lotsa local ladies offering their services in massage and manicure, an old man tried to sell me an interesting blowpipe for Rp. 30 000 and I almost obliged until I realized that it will be impossible for me to bring it into Malaysia. Jason checked out his surfing lessons and we walked into the heart of Kuta at Matahari. Matahari is a focus of surf shops and we spent 2 hours here while Vernon tried on his new Quiksilver slippers and Jason, Hon shopped for their surf pants.

We walked back to Discovery Mall to meet the girls and there we bought our groceries for the 4 days. Take my word NOT to try food like Singaporean Char Kuey Teow as I assure you that it won't taste anything like it. The plate I had was sweet and the meat tasted like rubber, to top it up I ordered Siow May (siewmai) and it tasted so bad I offered the rest after tasting just one.

We walked back to the hotel (Sae Junn and co. stripped again) while the girls took the taxi (Ninja took the taxi too). We took a dip in the pool after coming back to the hotel and it was only a slight consolation on the hot weather as the water seems to have taken beating from the heat as well. However lukewarm water is still better than nothing and we enjoyed the swim while reminiscing our first day of visit.

No trip would be perfect without gambling and Sae Junn, Hon, Vernon and myself played Black Jack after taking our baths. Vernon went to bed after a few games and the 3 of us proceeded to Chor Tai Dee. We were playing at a base of Rp. 2000 with every card at Rp. 1000. Although trifle when converted to RM, it sounds huge in terms of the Indonesian currency. Hon's face turned white when I scored a triple and white again when it happened a second time. I won 3 games and Sae Junn won 3 games as well. Hon was slightly peeved by the end of the game as he lost all the leftover he had from buying the surf pants. I fought hard to control myself from laughing at him. We all went to bed and not long after that, we could hear Hon's snoring all the way from the living room...

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