Bagusbabe's Reflections

Day 9: Taxi Trouble

I was up at 4am, 4:30am & 5am regretting the icecream I ate last night. I think I have a degree of lactose intolerance. It got me. It got me good! I did manage to get another couple of hours sleep before breakfast.

After breakfast I needed to get back to my room stat! Oh no! The houseboys are here cleaning. They’ve never come this early. I spend a desperate buttock-clenched 10 minutes sitting on the balcony. Hurry up, hurry up, hurry up! Finally they left & I raced into the bathroom in the nick of time, hoping they were out of earshot. Luckily I packed some Gastrostop in my ‘just in case’ bag.

I waited around in my room until 10:30 am, just to be sure it was safe to leave it. I’d decided I’ll try one more time to get some reading glasses. I’d sent an email 5 days ago to Wina Optical but had no response.  I read there was an optical store at Carrefour.

Down Kosiosko and off to reception. Today I ask them to ring a taxi for me, rather than walk up to the main road for one. One arrives after 5 minutes or so. I ask to go to Carrefour, on Sunset Rd.  We travel down the main road through Sanur & then he takes a side street on the left. Halfway down the street is a sign – a red circle with a white horizontal line through the centre. I’m pretty sure that means do not enter. We enter. It comes out on the main highway, where we push our way in the traffic. There is a lot of pushing in, sometimes when there isn’t enough room to fit, you’ll notice in Bali.  This driver is not keen on letting anyone in. It’s a bit like chicken to see who backs off first. I’m amazed there aren’t more accidents on the roads. I see a motorbike rider checking his mobile whilst doing 70kmh with the rest of the traffic. And what is with all the U-turns where you have to double back to get on the right road? Very confusing.  It takes quite a while to reach Carrefour. At the carpark entrance, Security checks the boot of the car because everyone knows that’s where terrorists keep their bombs! Really? It’s pure posturing.

Inside the complex it is just as dingy as I remember. I scan the ground floor then take the escalator up. These escalators are not well designed. You have to double back to take the next ones up or down. There’s no stepping off one to get straight on another here! I scan the shops –  nothing. My guts start an ominous rumble. Oh-oh. Toilet stop. I hate, loathe & detest public toilets in Bali but have no choice. *sigh*

Back on my quest, I go up to the next floor. Nope. The floor above is Carrefour department store. I go in & have a good look around. Nothing I want to buy. I ask a security guard who looks like a kid playing dress up if there is an optical shop here. He asks his friend, who says 2nd floor. Nope, there’s a shop there that sells sunglasses, not reading glasses. Ok, I can’t find this shop – I’ve come on a wild goose chase. Back outside, I try to hail a taxi for about 10 minutes, but I’m being ignored.  Finally a local tells me there is a taxi stand in the undercover car park behind us. I walk through to it & see a couple waiting there with a trolley. A taxi pulls up & reversed into a car space. Another does the same thing. The couple & I look at each other, thinking what the? Have they stopped to do their own shopping or grab lunch? Or are they waiting for a fare? The couple gain the attention of one driver who looks surprised to see us. He pulls out again & the couple get in. The driver of the other taxi has disappeared. Another taxi pulls up & I looks like he’s about to park. Stuff this! I step out almost in front of the car & wave. He stops. I open the back passenger door. Are you free? You want taxi? Yes please (no I just popped in to say howdy!) & climb in. To Sanur please.

The drive back was quicker than the drive to. I ask the driver to stop at The Glasshouse restaurant, which I’ve chosen for lunch. It was close to the Kentogan where I ate the other night. It’s not busy – only one other couple there. I order the Balinese spring rolls of which a reviewer waxed lyrical & surprise! – Nasi Goreng.  The spring rolls were OK, not fantastic. The Nasi Goreng was run of the mill & the chicken satay sticks that came with it were stone cold. Maybe this place is better at dinner. I did notice they had a different menu for lunch & dinner. Not impressed.

I walked out onto the street & started heading back to my hotel. I hadn’t gone far when I spotted a sign for Koa Spa. Someone had recommended this spa to me. It’s day 9 & I haven’t had a massage yet. That’s almost criminal. I go in & ask if they have any openings now. Yes. Which massage would you like?  Balinese, please. Ok. Please choose your oil. I sniffed 3 different bottles of oil & choose the coconut vanilla one.
I’m led back outside, thongs (footwear) left on a shoe stand & led to a metal staircase at the back. Stairs? Noooooo! Fortunately the stairs themselves are not steep, so I manage to climb them like a normal person.

The inside is decorated in distressed French provincial. There are 3 or 4 massage tables in a row, with curtains around them. I’m instructed to strip down to my undies & leave my bag & clothes in a tray to be placed under the table. That done, I lay face down with my face through the hole. Maybe not the brightist idea I’ve ever had having just eaten. Too late now. There is a bowl of flowers & an oval stone with the symbol for Om on it to see through the hole. The masseuse returns, covers me with & gets stuck into it.  In the background I can hear the music of Deva Premal. My favourite song of hers is playing. Bliss! Ow! I’m a bit sore on the inside of my legs, especially the right. It’s been bearing most of the burden with the stairs. Ow! My shoulder blades & deltoids are sore too. I have to ask for it a bit softer. I can smell the massage oil. It reminds me of a coconut caramel from a box of Quality Street. I smell delicious. Time to roll over. My God, this is the most comfortable massage table in the world! I hate lying on my back for any length of time, but 1/2 hour on my back here was sweet as. Ohhhhhh yeahhhhh! When I’m rich I’m going to pay someone to massage my scalp every day. It’s heaven on a stick. I thoroughly enjoyed 90% of that massage. I get dressed & sit on a bench near the entrance sipping some water. Back down the stairs, this time both feet per step as I am an oil slick, retrieve my thongs (footwear) & pay at the counter.

I walk back to the hotel. Kosiosko is successfully scaled. I lie down for a bit to do some research. Tomorrow is my birthday, I think I’ll treat myself to a spa package. I checked out Trip Advisor & some spa websites. I’m going the whole hog & doing a 4 hour body & face package at Aroma Spa Retreat. I book online & discover I have to pay online too. That done, I receive an email from them advising their driver will pick me up at 8:45am for my 9am appointment & drop me back afterwards. Excellent!

I think I’ll have a swim. I change, grab towels & noodle & head down to the pool. The only sun loungers left are up near the bale. I drop my stuff & head straight in. The pool is shaded now except for about a metre of sunshine on one side. I manoeuvre myself on my noodle into the sun. Unfortunately a couple of prepubescent boys are making a game of who can splash the other the most with a thrown soccer ball, with no regard to anyone else in the pool. Their noisy antics cut my swim short. Back on my lounger I start writing my blog for an hour or so before retreating to my room for a shower to get ready for dinner.

Tonight I feel like western food. I’m going back to The Village restaurant because I recall they had a chicken breast dish which might be the ticket.  On my way down the street, someone calls my name. A couple of seniors ask me would I like to join them for dinner at a bar where they have reggae music on tonight. I thank them but I’m more of a top 40s kinda gal, but thanks for thinking of me. Besides, I’ve a hankering for chicken. It’s later than I usually dine so the restaurant is quite busy. The waiter service is still very attentive. I chose their seared chicken breast filled with ham & sage, grilled zucchini & potato gratin. As I was waiting we lost power twice for a minute or so. The bread they bring is the best part of this restaurant – warm fluffy focaccia with a tomato dipping sauce. I’d order it as a main if I could. My chicken dish was a little disappointing. The chicken was not ‘filled’. It looked like the breast had been halved horizontally & a piece of prosciutto & one sage leaf lain over each piece. The chicken must have been immature, as not very big. The sauce tasted like prepackaged Continental chicken gravy you pour out of a tetra pack. Not the greatest.

I walk back to the hotel. The side street is quite busy. I’m later than usual. Back in my room I have to finish writing, catch up with Facebook & try to track down an e-Book version of the new Harry Potter book. I’m too tired to read more than a few pages. Time to hit the hay after I spray that mozzie buzzing around my head.

Caio for now,

Bagusbabe

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