I didn’t sleep very well last night. I love my own bed. In fact my bed & I have an understanding. I’m not allowed to lay in other beds. I must suffer the cost of my infidelity by waking up every time I roll over. I roll over a lot.
I don’t really mind waking up early – literally with the birds. At sunrise they are all engrossed in their tuneful conversations. A welcome change from the magpies & kookaburras from home – often they don’t have the manners to wait until the sun comes up before launching into their birdsong & heckles. The other sound I always associate with early morning in Bali is the sound of a groundskeeper rhythmically sweeping the flowers & leaves off the stone paths with a ‘sapu lidi’ – a broom made from dried coconut tree fronds (thank you Google). The sound made me smile.
Then I heard the harsh grind of a chair being dragged across the tiles next door and again was reminded where I was. Lift the f*ng chair, can’t you? I’m trying to have a moment here!
It is amazingly quiet here. There is a distant hum of motorbikes if you stop to listen, but it is not intrusive. I haven’t heard the usual roosters crowing or dogs barking/fighting so far. My stomach growls. Time for a quick shower before breakfast.
Inside the shower cubicle is a row of hooks to hang your towel. Ok, the cubicle looks big enough to avoid wetting the towel, I’ll give it a go. The shower head is one of those annoying ones that squirts skinny streams of water out in odd angles rather than just downwards. I get a stream in the face (thanks) & try to work out where I have to stand to avoid getting my hair wet. My shower cap missed the list. The flip master tap is tricky too to get the water temp just right.
My hair – OMG it’s frizzing. Its a few years since I’ve had a bob cut. My hair is long now & is getting curlier with age. If I have time I straighten it, but I’m on holiday & happy to let it look feral. Thank God my coconut hair serum made it onto the list & got packed or I’d have an affro. Day 2 & I’ve already ditched the mascara. I’m letting my standards slide.
As I leave my room, an elderly couple walk past – she’s using a wheelie frame, bless her. Her hubby gives way to me & we walk up to the restaurant together. He says this place is like a retirement village. His wife chides him, I laugh & say my disco days are well & truly over so I welcome the quiet. It is nice in that brief moment to feel young. When my knees play up I’ll blend in nicely as I limp along here. There were a few young couples & kids having brekky, so back to being old again!
An American breakfast is included in my tariff – scrambled eggs, bacon, toast with condiments, juice, tea & fresh fruit. The fresh fruit was 1 inch thick pieces of watermelon, papaya, pineapple & a whole banana still in its skin, with half a lime. I made a rookie mistake by eating most of the fruit & paying for it later in the afternoon – stay tuned!
At the base of the steps to the restaurant (which incidentally has a steel handrail – smart move & very handy!) is a small pond, home to 4 turtles of varying sizes. They have a red stripe on either side of their heads. Called red-eared sliders. Are you impressed with how much Googling I’m doing for you? A guest was feeding them small pieces of papaya. Cute.
Back in my room, the cleaning fairies had been & all was made new again. I could see out the window that people were on pool lounges already – it’s only 9am!
It has been a long time since I’ve been in Bali in August (like never) & I can’t believe how different the weather is. It’s not nearly as humid & there is a gentle breeze. I sat out on the terrace, which would have been more pleasant without the smell of a smoky woven runner on the table, & started writing. I bought a small Bluetooth keyboard that I can pair with my iPhone 6 plus, making typing a breeze. The birds were twittering away in the shrubbery snapping up insects. I identified an olive backed sunbird for you. There is a tree next to my terrace that is a bit spindly looking, with a few green round fruit the size of coconuts, that look too heavy to be supported. I wonder what they are? The skin is smooth & they look like green coconuts but it’s not a coconut tree. They are perfectly round so not guava I think. Google is unhelpful in this instance. Any takers?
I decide to go out, seek lunch & go to Hardy’s supermarket for supplies. I walk along the road & pass 3 roads to the left & only one goes all the way through to the main road, but I’m not sure which one. I’m trying to remember the taxi ride from last night. I come to a bend in the road which I’m pretty sure we didn’t take. So about face. I declined an offer of transport twice to the same tout once on the way past & once on the way back. He must have short term memory loss, poor man. I went down one street, but it’s a dead end. Back I go. As I round the corner, I see 2 motorcycles & a van turn down the road furthest from me & closest to my hotel. Bugger. Where’s wifi when you need it? My sense of direction sucks.
I make it to the side road & start down it. There is supposed to be a good warung down here called Lilla. I see a small empty warung but it has no name, just a symbol of a red chilli on the roof beam. There is a menu on a stand out front, but it is glued to the stand so I can’t read the cover. I still don’t know if this is the place. I’m hot & my knees hurt so I’m going in regardless.
Once seated & given a menu, I recognise some of the dishes from the review I read. I am at the right place. Bring it on! You will notice a lot of food references in my writing. What can I say? If you saw me you could tell instantly that I enjoy food. A lot! I’m detoxing from Pepsi max so no soft drink for me. I order water (halo aglow) & decide on the Nasi Goreng Deluxe, which consisted of fried rice with a sunny side up fried egg on top, a piece of crispy skin chicken with a spicy chutney type sauce on top, 2 chicken sate sticks & a grilled prawn in its shell. One of my sate sticks had chicken still raw in the middle, which considering their size is not good. The crispy chicken piece & prawn was nice but the rice was just bland. Where’s the chilli? Very disappointing. I don’t fancy anything else from here so pay my bill and walk down the road. There is another warung close to the intersection that had a board up saying pizza. Brain cells buzzed & filed that away for future reference.
Finally – the main drag. I instantly recognise where I am by surrounding hotels & restaurants. I can’t remember how far it is to Hardy’s. To grab a taxi or walk? I’ll walk. As I walk, I pass The Porch where I went for breakfast a few times on my last Sanur stay. It’s very busy. I spy a small table on the porch (truly – there is a porch) and sit & peruse the menu. Scones. Jam. Cream. Sold. Yum. Just sitting there for 20-30 mins was enough for me to get my second wind & for my knees to stiffen up. Arthritis is a bitch.
Waddling down the street now, a little penguin-like I fear, around the bend & see Hardy’s at last. I know it wasn’t far, but it was my Everest at the time. I go in & find a mobile stand & buy a SIM card with data. That was more expensive than I expected. I have little cash left, so go to the information counter, ensuring I am standing in the downdraft of the AC & enquire where I might find the nearest money changer.
Back out on the street & across the road. Crossing the road was a bit dicey but I was able to take advantage of traffic turning into Hardy’s to scuttle across.
Sidebar: is it just me? I like my cash in order. Smallest to largest with the note denomination in upper left. Ok, I might have a light dusting of OCD.
Now armed with some neatly sorted cash, I head back inside & enter the supermarket. I didn’t realise until later that my basket should have 2 handles, not one. I spot a plug-in mosquito repellent, so pop that in the basket. Found a spray on repellent which only word I recognised on it was DEET. So hoping I don’t die from its use, I pop that in too. Now my basket has an ominous dip. I have to carry the basket itself now. Shower caps? No can find. Vented hair brush? Nup! I wander into the snacks aisle & pick up some Mr P cashews & peanuts (honey roasted & chilli roasted) & head to the registers. Whilst queuing I couldn’t help but notice the check-out girls were clones of each other. Same uniform, hair in a bun, wearing heavy make-up including seriously pencilled-in eyebrows. If it were just one or two I wouldn’t have noticed. Conformity to the nth.
So I’m back out on the street & a taxi toots me. He’s going in the wrong direction. I nod & he turned around in the supermarket car park entrance perfectly then clipped the wheel guard on the back of a parked motorbike pulling in next to me! I got in, he didn’t check for damage so I didn’t bring it up. The meter hadn’t even moved when I returned to the hotel, giving you an idea how far I’d walked, not taking into consideration the scenic route I’d taken on foot. I’m not very fit at the mo. (sigh)
I made a hasty buttock-clenched return to my room. Disaster averted by a mere millisecond to my eternal gratitude & relief. Delicious tropical fruit – 1, Travelan – 0.
I whiled away the rest of the afternoon alternating between lying on my bed & sitting on the terrace. I have a data package now, so when the wifi dropped out, 3G stepped in so I was able to catch up with FB, post some photos to Instagram, finish my blog & post it.
I was weary so I had dinner at the hotel restaurant, as did quite a few other guests. I had lumpia (spring rolls) which were delish & then one of the specials – chicken stir fry with capsicum, onion, chilli & basil. It was fantastic & could stand on its own in any Thai restaurant at home. At last, a chilli hit!
Walking back to my room I noted a few people in the open-air library/bale in the middle of the garden. I could hear chatting on terraces as friends met up – possibly to go out, it was still early. A few of the senior cits were soaking up the peace on their terraces too.
I am embarrassed to say how early I went to bed. What a nanna!
Ciao for now.