Bagusbabe's Reflections

Day 13: Wilting Whilst Walking

Slightly upset stomach last night, but not sick. Slept in two hour bursts. So I was awake with the birds this morning. It felt a bit cooler this morning, I thought. I was first to breakfast and my squidgy tummy had no qualms about eating a hearty meal. Appetite well & truly present & reporting for duty. It felt like a scrambled eggs on toast kinda morning. I’ve not eaten much toast – I can taste the sugar in it & it just tastes wrong. I gave it another shot. Nope, still sweet.

I sat on my patio after breakfast to write. I lose time when I’m on my iPad. Sometimes I need to research something, which can take me off down other unrelated avenues where the research subject gets overlooked completely. I’ve had a fascinating journey in the meantime, just not to the destination I’d originally planned. Finally my blog is written & proofread, ready to be posted. It’s lunchtime, or close to.

I’m going to have lunch at Luhtu’s on the beach. I hail a very obliging taxi driver that has no qualms about how to turn around near the beach carpark, so he takes me the closest yet to Sindhu beach. I ignore the market stall touts & walk into the cafè on the sand.
There is a table free. I grab it, sit down & quickly sink several inches into the sand. This is where I’ll have to stay – there’s no pulling the chair closer to the table. I order Thai fish cakes for lunch. Beside me is a long table of seniors – about 15 or so, celebrating one of their birthdays. Their English was heavily accented – ? Dutch. Anyway, there were only two men, the rest women. The noise! It was like sitting next to a chook house. I got my phone out & went back into the world of buccaneers where chooks on ships did not exist. My Thai fish cakes were very tasty. They were served like koftas, with spring onions for their skewers. The restaurant was filling quickly – an elderly median age if one were a statistician. When the party next to me broke up, it took them another 10 minutes to say goodbye. The birthday girl had turned 86. She had a better tan than I did! She had a large wheeled wheelie walker. Maybe I can still come to Bali when I’m a senior citizen? I finished my meal with a piece of carrot cake, heavy with cinnamon & cream cheese icing plus a chocolate milkshake.

Rather than walk back up the road the taxi had taken, I thought I’d be clever & walk through one of the beachside hotels from the boardwalk to the main road. I hadn’t factored in how many touts were going to hassle me for a massage or to come to their shop. I have same dress, Madame. I have in your size. I have big size. No, no & no thank you. I actually walked further than I’d planned until I found a hotel I recognised, walked in as if I’m a guest & headed west. Some of these hotels are enormous! I stayed in this one – Besakih Beach Hotel in the late 1980s, before it was renovated & expanded. It was still a decent walk through the property. I said hello to the man on reception. It’s hot today. Yes, it’s very hot. Once out on the main street I easily got my bearings. I wasn’t too far from my hotel, so I continued walking, with a protesting right knee & sweat trickling down my back.

I was as red as a beet & sweaty all over. I couldn’t lie down on my hotel room bed in line with AC vent until I’d dried off. I lay down & continued reading. I was nearing the end of my 4th swashbuckling romance. I haven’t read so much in forever! I turned the AC off when I started to get cold.

Getting ready for dinner it didn’t take long to warm up again. When I turned the AC on it was making a rattling noise & the vent wouldn’t open. I tried turning it on & off several times to no avail. The vent wouldn’t move. I reported it to reception on my way out to dinner, he said he’d have a look at it for me.

For dinner, I intended going to try La Playa on the beach, but it would mean a lot more walking & I didn’t feel up to another trek. I flagged down a taxi & asked him to take me to Massimo’s Italian restaurant. Where? I don’t know this place. Really? It’s been in Sanur for ever. I’m from Kuta, he said. Ok, I’ll direct you. And I did. He seemed very appreciative of making a 13,000Rp tip. Surely they tip in Kuta? Perhaps the appalling traffic makes short trips more expensive?

Massimo’s was busy, although it was only 6:30pm. I was shown to a non smoking table & some free ‘bread’ was brought out – skinny crunchy pretzel-like breadsticks that tasted of Parmesan & delicious hot savoury donut balls. I ordered the same pizza I’d had last time – ham & mushroom. I wasn’t able to finish it. Nor could I finish the bread nibbles. Yes, very unlike me. I was able to finish my gelato though. Naturally.

I was able to get a taxi without waiting for long. We were half way back to my hotel before I realised he hadn’t turned the meter on. As he hadn’t tried to bargain for a fare, I’ll give him the same 20,000Rp as I would have done with the meter going. Only once has the meter clocked over 10,000Rp. No quibbling. He was happy. It was going into his pocket, not his employer’s!

When I returned to my room, the AC was off. I turned it back on & it was still making the same noise & the vent was still closed. I trudged back up to reception & said my AC still wasn’t fixed. He said the repairman couldn’t come until tomorrow. Tomorrow! I can’t sleep without AC & I won’t be able to sleep with the noise it’s making! I must have looked mutinous, because he said he’d have a look at it again. Back in my room, I asked him if he could hear the rattling? See how the vent won’t open? The only place it is blowing is directly underneath it, in the dressing room doorway. He dragged the stool from the dressing table & opened the vent. It wouldn’t stay open, so he unclipped the pouch of air freshener that was hanging behind it & clipped it to the front so the vent couldn’t close. Fixed! Why he couldn’t do that before I don’t know!

After he left with my thanks, I settled for bed. Before I could celebrate my new quietude, the guests upstairs started a foot thumping, chair dragging session – regular fairy elephants. When they finally exhausted themselves, they started whistling! WTF? It was only after I recognised the tune – Bolero, that I realised it was the senior in the adjacent room to mine sitting on his patio having a whistle. FFS! Go to bed, old man! Of course I didn’t have the guts to say what I was shouting in my mind! Grrr!
Finally, after several encores, he stopped. Hallelujah! At least the insect or frog that used to make a racket did not add to the noise. It was a long time before I fell asleep, but eventually the land of nod claimed me.

Caio for now,


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