Bagusbabe's Reflections

Day 6: Clamour for glamour

Holy heck! And the loudest snorer prize goes to….you guessed it! My new neighbour. 

I saw him this morning – it’s actually a them, on their terrace – a senior couple. That explains it. Sleep apnoea & a wee bit deaf methinks. Sorry, that sounds a bit derogatory, which is not my intent. I’m tired. Again.
I went to lay claim to my pool lounger & it was already taken! What???? It must be ‘them’. Not content with taking my sleep they have to hijack my lounger too!  How rude! I had to take a lounger on the opposite side of the pool because they were all spoken for on my usual side. It doesn’t get the morning sun. 
Back in my room to get changed into my bathers, a small gecko, looking exactly the same as the one that nearly landed in my breakfast yesterday ran across the floor in front of me. I wondered if he’d hitched a ride in my handbag (I hope not) or is this is just baby gecko season? I gingerly opened the wardrobe door because I didn’t see where he went & saw the pile of dirty clothes on the top shelf which reminded me to have them laundered. According to the guest info booklet I can use the laundry bag & list located the bottom of the wardrobe. But there isn’t one. I ring housekeeping & one of each is brought to me. If I get them to reception before 10am I should get them back by 6pm. I asked at reception whether I needed to collect them or would they bring them to my room. To your room, Madame. Lovely.
Once in the pool I performed my hydro exercises & squats & lazed around in the water until I pruned. I don’t like this side of the pool. I can’t get out on this side without the steps. Even the divider between the deep pool & the kiddies pool is a challenge I don’t fancy. Great. I’ll have to get out on the usual side & walk dripping wet around the garden to my ‘new’ lounger. Not happening. I’ll crawl over the divider wall like a navy seal & heft myself over the pool edge with my biceps of steel. It was not pretty. That’s all I’m saying.
I stayed out on my lounge for a couple of hours before changing for lunch. The weather forecast said overcast today. It was overcast for about 10 mins, twice  I think, then sunny with blu skies.
I’m going back to Art Cafe for lunch. Not for the molten lava cake. I wanted to try their nougat parfait. And I’d happily have their Chicken Kiev again. There were only a few customers & I elected to sit away from the road, away from the smokers who sit in the front section. So many people smoke in Bali! Besides being bad for you, how can they afford it? They’re so expensive these days.
I’m given a menu. A different menu. A lunchtime menu. Disappointing. They better serve dessert at lunchtime or our relationship is over! They do! Yay!  
I ordered a spritzer again – this time citrus with ginger. It’s wonderful. Even better than the strawberry one. I had their chicken schnitzel with mushroom sauce which was yummy. I love the breadcrumbs they use – light & crunchy. I wonder if they are Panko crumbs (impressed? I watch Masterchef).
They did have the nougat parfait which I ordered. Meh! It was nice but nothing to rave about. The schnitzel was way superior.
As I was paying my bill, I noticed a family who was also here last night. See? See? It’s not just me! 
This afternoon I am going to have a spa treatment. I’m off to Sanctuary Bali Spa. I hail a passing taxi – not a Bluebird, but I don’t mind as long as they turn the meter on. I said I need to go to Jl Danau Buyan. The taxi driver doesn’t know it & we’ve reached the Bypass intersection. A McDonald’s is on the corner & I remember a review saying it was diagonally opposite…too late, we’ve turned left into the bypass to consult a map. I tell the driver what I’d remembered & said maybe it’s across the Bypass. Ok. The driver turns into Maccas & ducks around the drive thru back onto the road we were on. Clever! We cross the Bypass, looking for no. 67. Nope, do a u-turn & cruise down the other side, still can’t find it. He pulls over & asks me if I am sure about the address. I show him the website on my phone & quick as a wink he picks up his mobile & rings them to ask for directions. Back across the Bypass we go & just a few doors down from the corner, we see it. My taxi driver, Wayan, has gone above & beyond so I thank him with a big tip & get out. 
Some uniformed ladies usher me in after I remove my thongs. This is a small establishment – one room with 3 or 4 curtained off cubicles & a row of 3 chairs in front of a bench. I don’t have an appointment, can I have a pedicure & a creme hair bath please? I’m shown the treatment menu & my options are discussed. I decide I’ll have a massage too. I ask for a relaxation massage, one that is not too strong, as I have a sore shoulder. One of the girls brings me a small teacup of something cold that tastes vaguely like cinnamon. Lime tea I’m told. Then a bowl of hot water with a few bougainvillea flowers floating in it appears at my feet. My feet are washed & dried. I then need to choose from 3 aromas for my massage oil – 2 smell horrid so I pick the last one. I’m taken into the cubicle down the end. I realise then that the cubicles are divided off by curtains all the way around except for the back wall. The girl who is doing my massage asks me to strip down to my undies & she gives me a towel. One that will not go all the way around me. Awkward! When she comes back I climb up onto the massage table & lie face down with my face in the hole. Under the table I can see all manner of equipment being stored there & not the bowl of flowers I was expecting. I hear the water from my foot wash get poured down the sink & a few whispers. There is music playing, but the sound of traffic is still a little intrusive, especially when the door opens & closes.
My massage begins & it is a lot firmer than I expected. This girl has thumbs of steel. She straddles me & massages my back & shoulders. Ouchies! When she does my legs I actually quite enjoy that. Roll over. Oh God I’m stiff as. I struggled onto my back, modesty has taken a back seat but not at my choosing. I got a bit self -conscious when my stomach was massaged, didn’t like the arms & shoulders massage because it was too hard. Whenever I went to say ease up she’d move on to another spot. When it came to doing my head, I hated it. My fringe was being pulled back & tugged repeatedly. So this is what being scalped feels like! And fingers digging into my head searching for brain matter was not relaxing! It hurt!
I could hear some activity on the other side of the curtain. Massage finished. Get dressed. Massage girl comes back in & says just dress in bra & nickers & gives me the towel, that won’t go around. A foot from the curtain opening is a reclining chair over a wash basin flush against the wall. It is awkward to get into due to a large footrest in front of it. My hair is washed & my head massaged a bit more gently by a different girl. This I like. When she’s finished rinsing & putting in the avocado cream which I chose, I am led over to one of the 3 chairs, which is turned around facing the room.  Remember I have my underwear on & a towel & I’m now visible from the shop window. The head girl appears & says she has a big sarong for me, which looks suspiciously like a checked tablecloth! It covers more than my circumference, thankfully. While hair girl goes to get the steamer (looks like a salon hair dryer dome), a different girl again brings over a another foot bath. While she’s clipping my toenails & shaving off some callous, the head girl asks if I want a manicure at the same time. I agree & another girl comes over, different again, & starts filing my nails. Intermittently a drop of hot condensation from the steamer drips onto my bare cleavage. Ouch. After the 3rd ouch, hair girl gets a towel to wipe my chest & the rim of the steamer. When the steamer is finished, hair girl wants to massage my arms & shoulders, but can only do one side due to another doing my nails. So instead she dried my hair. I felt a bit contorted with one foot on the lap of one girl, the other perched higher than comfortable on a wooden stool covered with a towel, one arm outstretched for the mani, tilting my head back for drying….it was a bit much.
I must say that the girls doing the mani & pedi were meticulous in removing every skerrick of cuticle, rough skin & dirt from my nails. They also used an exfoliating scrub & washed it off. Manicure girl took over the painting of my toenails – I chose a Revlon shimmering dark red. Again she was meticulous when painting them. Head girl took over the manicure, I chose French nails for my hands. Hair girl announced she was finished. I don’t recall her using any brushes other than a comb through when my hair was wet.  I dread to think what my fringe looks like.  The girls dry my nail polish with a blower. I am pleased with how they look. Pedicure girl finished off by rubbing a scented perfume onto my arms & calves. Jasmine I think.
I spy my fringe in the mirror after I stand up – it looks terrible. I fluff it up but it’s too late, I have a part now & my cows lick is in all its glory. I go back to the cubicle to change carefully. My bill: $41. My verdict? I’d have a manicure or a pedicure there again but not at the same time. Neither my massage or creme hair bath met my expectations. I’m not hard to please or being hypercritical. Too much of it was just awkward or painful. Very reasonably priced though. Thank God I didn’t have a Ratus treatment! As if! Who does that???
I collected my thongs & on the way out I asked head girl if many taxis came down this road. She directed me to a taxi rank about 50 metres down the road. 
There were 3 taxis there – they were Ngurah Rai taxis. When I asked for a taxi to Bumi Ayu the only driver who bothered to stand up from his seat said 50,000 Rp. I said stop trying to cheat me, I’ll walk. 
Taxi drivers like him give all the other drivers a bad rep. I wanted to wipe that smirk off his face & give him a well aimed kick to the groin, but I’m too much of a lady. So I glared at him, flicked my hair off my shoulders & walked off. He shouted 30,000 as I left.   
I walked for maybe 5 mins before a taxi (Bluebird) coming in the other direction picked me up after doing a u-turn. At my hotel, the fare was 8500 Rp. I hand him a 50,000 Rp note & he gives me 30,000 Rp change. Excuse me?? Giving yourself a 10,000 Rp tip are we? I hold out my hand for my other 10,000 Rp, having had taxi drivers up to pussy’s bow, the lovely Wayan excluded. 
Back in my room now. My hair feels nice & soft but my fringe needed a once over with my round brush & hair dryer. I’m eating in tonight. 
In the hotel restaurant I order the chilli chicken basil dish I had the other night. Again, delicious. The family with the boisterous water bombing boys come in. The peace is shattered. Their little sister is proving difficult to please at the dinner table. She like to say no. To everything. Loudly!
I order a banana pancake instead of bolting. With icecream? If I must. It came with a packet of honey too. The pancake was just how I like it – thin, crispy on the edge, buttery & delicious. I wonder how soon I can have another one?
Back in my room my peace is again short-lived. Seniors convention on next door’s terrace. And nearby fireworks are going off. Delightful.
Goodnight. Doubt I’ll be having one!

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