So another restless night, waking often. Just as well I’m on holidays because yawning every 5 mins is not a good look at work. The morning birdsong woke me again, followed by the keening meow of a nearby cat. My back is niggly from the bed. The mattress is comfy, just not a waterbed.
I am planning on having a lazy day. After my usual fare at breakfast I changed into my bathers & claimed a pool lounge under a frangipani tree overrun with magenta-coloured bougainvillea. The bougainvillea created a canopy of speckled shade a couple of metres above my head. I’m not one for sitting in the sun for extended lengths of time. Besides getting too hot, I have the skin of a redhead, pale & freckled, prone to burning & more freckling. I’d love to have a gorgeously bronzed beach body but that was never in my destiny. There are plenty of melanoma-ripe contenders lounging by the pool to emphasise my paleness. Thanks for that.
Tiny sunbirds flitter amongst the foliage above & I spotted a couple of white butterflies too. With the soft breeze, every now and then a dried bougainvillea flower flutters down from the canopy & startles me out of my reverie as it gently lands on me, as I’m thinking it’s a bug.
My peace is interrupted by a gaggle of children. The pool is a magnet for joyful splashing & squealing. Not quite the environment I’d choose if I had the choice but I can tune them out as I explore Trip Advisor, Bali Travel Forum & Facebook. Well, until one of them has a tantrum & is hauled off to their room by their scolding parent.
I wait & sure enough the children get bored & leave the pool. Mental fist pump! I have nothing against children – I used to be one myself. However they are somewhat noisy creatures, you must admit. Into the pool I go. Fortunately again there are metal handrails at the pool steps. The water is cooler than I expected despite being in full sun. It takes a good 5 mins to acclimatise. My physio has given me some hydrotherapy exercises to do. I don’t think anyone notices as I surreptitiously perform them.
Donning my sarong, I walk up to the restaurant & request a poolside meal. A ‘Bali Burger’ with fries. I make a detour to reception & ask if there should be guest information/room service menu in my room? Yes, there should be. One will be brought to me by a house boy. She summons him with a gong.
Back at the pool I see I could have ordered at the pool kiosk. Before long my burger & lemon iced tea arrives (still no soft drink). My burger is accompanied by a small dish of finally chopped onion, chilli & other stuff to spread across the patty. Very nice. And juicy. And messy to eat. Note to self: ask for an egg on it next time. The chips were a bit ordinary but I still ate them. Well, they were there. And they’re chips.
I had to return to my room for a bit to recharge my phone. The wifi is erratic & constantly searching for it has drained my battery through the morning down to 11%. I read through the guest information brought to my room – there is a very interesting section describing the different provinces (regencies), a brief history & places of interest in each. As I read, I mentally checked off most of those places of interest as been there and done that. However I have not been to Jembrana & read with interest about the western regency. Nor have I been to the village of Tihingan in the Klungkung area, where they make gamelan instruments. So I haven’t been ‘everywhere’ as I thought. Just most places.
The rest of the guest info was pretty routine. I did chuckle at the reference abour free parking at the hotel: please park ‘nicely’.
After another few hours relaxing by the pool, I head indoors to have a bath. I have been eyeing off that bath with anticipation. It is shaped like half an egg cut lengthways & looks narrower & shallower than the monstrosity that held me captive at Sri Ratih Cottages in Ubud. I turned on the tap – are you kidding me? A little more than a trickle but less than a stream. I set my timer for 20mins & started to watch a movie on my phone. Set the timer again for 10mins & it still wasn’t even half full. I brought the wooden stool in from the desk & positioned it next to the bath. I grabbed my neck pillow & iPhone, set it up for viewing a movie & in I went. Bliss. Semi covered bliss – the water didn’t properly cover me. I was able to top up the hot water intermittently with a flip of my big toe & relaxed for a good 40mins. I wish my bubble bath had made the list! My back was starting to get sore, so I let the water out & tried to get out….and tried to get out again….and again. F*CK! How can this be happening again? The bath is a bit too narrow at the base for me to turn over onto my knees, which is my normal MO to get out of the bath at home. In the end, I turned around so my butt was up the shallower tap end & was able to twist onto my knees with leverage on the sides of the bath. Which incidentally was painful on my sore shoulder (tendinitis), and my squished knees but I finally got out. I’m never getting into it again. I would have kicked it, but didn’t fancy a broken toe. Grrr! Baths in Bali – 2, me – 0.
I feel like pizza for dinner. It’s only just gone 6pm so I ask reception to ring me a taxi. While I wait on the lounge, in front of me on the table is a huge pottery bowl with one of those green round fruits I mentioned yesterday sitting in pride of place. I asked the receptionist what it was & a quick Google search confirmed it to be a bael – never heard of it. Apparently it has medicinal properties & is a sacred fruit by Hindus.
Taxi arrives. I asked to go to Massimo’s. I was craving their deep pan chicken pizza I’d had a few years ago. I remembered how divine it was. I was able to get a table easily. My young waiter had a full set of Chad Morgan teeth, albeit somewhat straighter, with a lisp & I swear I could not understand a single word he said as he recited the specials to me. Not a word. I ordered the the deep pan chicken breast & mushroom pizza & a 250ml carafe of Australian/Balinese Sav Blanc.
I ate the bread/pizza dough balls he brought to the table with my wine while I waited. The wine was a bit different from the taste I was used The to, but it was drinkable.
When my pizza came I couldn’t believe it. I discovered it had deli chicken loaf on it after cutting into it! WTF? I called my waiter over and said this is not chicken breast, this is processed chicken loaf! He skuttled off like a scalded cat (I think I might have glared at him) to get his supervisor who came over to see what the problem was. It’s smoked chicken, she said as if that made it special. It’s processed, I said. I explained that I’d had this pizza in the past & it had REAL chicken breast on it. I don’t want this. She took it away to talk to the chef & came back to say he’d make me another one with real chicken on it. Ok, that’s great. That’s all I want. Btw, I’m not in the habit of causing a fuss – I was more disappointed than anything.
True to their word, it returned after about 10 mins with chicken breast pieces on it. Thank you.
After already causing a fuss, I didn’t like to mention that the bottom of the pizza wasn’t cooked properly. I ate it anyway, smiling & nodding at the 6 or so other waiters & waitresses that stopped by my table to check if I liked my pizza. Soothing the savage beast? The head waitress returned & suggested that next time I request a special order to get chicken breast on my pizza. I thought to myself there won’t be a next time. I was so disappointed with my meal & each mouthful mocked me. They didn’t charge me any extra which I appreciated. My thought of getting some gelato on the way out was vetoed by a crowd three people deep at the front counter. Not my night.
I walked past the crowd & hailed a passing taxi. So my lesson is not to have great expectations. I fondly remember a delicious meal I had at Three Monkeys way back when. Perhaps I should just cherish the memory after tonight‘s disaster.
On the way back in the taxi, I saw Lilla Warung’s neon lit sign, which I missed yesterday. There was quite a crowd in there too. Good luck to them, but I won’t be back there either.
Back at the hotel I watch a movie before going to bed. Life in the fast lane!
- Day 2: Sleepless in Sanur
- Day 4: Direction Corrections