Oct 2012. Day 2 to 4: How the Mighty Have Fallen

Oct 2012. Day 2 to 4: How the Mighty Have Fallen

Yesterday I took a tumble.  In the middle of the footpath in the main street at 7:15 am on my way to breakfast.  Only 15 minutes prior when getting dressed I had looked at my sandals and the thought that they look a bit nanna-ish before I remembered how comfy they are and how well they have served me.  Fitflop Roma’s courtesy of Amazon a couple of years ago.  So I kept them on.  I had decided to go to The Porch for breakfast , 5-10 mins walk up the main street.  So I was walking along and the next thing I know I’ve gone A over T, landing on my L) knee & ankle & L) hand/wrist.  I sat there wondering what the hell had happened for a good minute or so and did a quick inventory – no nothing broken, my toes have come out over the top of the sandal and how the hell am I going to get up with any dignity?  Dignity be damned, it was ass up first, facing the street and a slow backward hand crawl along the footpath towards my feet and a then a mighty push and I was upright. A downward dog, for the Yoga inclined. Voila!  And ouchies!  A quick pat-down of my clothes did not reveal any gaping holes and I was happy to see that the shopkeeper across the road had resumed sweeping her stoop now the sideshow was over.  Thankyou for your offer of assistance, ma’am – not!  I had skinned my knee, calf and ankle, all bleeding.  I also had a deep imprint of the footpath pebbles on my L) palm but skin is intact.  I had a refresher towel from the plane in my bag, so I mopped up the blood, rehoused my foot into my frickin’ traitorous old granny sandals and limped off to The Porch.  I had scuffed the leather strap across the instep of said traitorous old granny sandals.  Care factor zero. 

And what a delicious breakfast I had.  It almost took my mind off my fall.  God, my knees hurt and so does my L) wrist.  I delighted in seeing crispy eye bacon on my plate. In all the times I have been coming to Bali, I have only ever been served streaky bacon.  Only the other morning I surmised over breakfast at Café Batu Jimbar that this is the only bacon you can get in Bali as I surgically dissected the fat from the meagre bits of edible flesh.  I wasn’t impressed with my breakfast there & had already decided that I wouldn’t be back after they only gave me one lousy piece of toast with my eggs & streaky bacon.  And they over-gingered my juice. My breakfast at Smorgas was unremarkable too.

Back to The Porch – yummy scrambled eggs, ciabiatta toast x 2 and stir fried onions and mushrooms.  Divine pineapple juice too. I stopped off at the chemist on my way back and bought a small bottle of Betadine and tea-tree cream. I returned to The Porch for brekky this morning.  Not sure about their official opening time.  I did bag the best seat in the house – the padded corner booth on the porch because I was the first one there at 7:20 am.

You know, sometimes researching restaurants can take the fun out of discovering untapped gastronomical delights.  It can also increase your expectations as the reviewer may have had garlic breath or have the most basic standards when tasting and reviewing their food.  Such was the case on Monday when I went to Warung Little Bird.  I actually went there by accident.  My goal was to find Mona Lisa’s for lunch, but I must have walked past it and spotted the warung I’d read about. Glowing reviews on Trip Advisor & yes it is cheap.  Firstly they didn’t have any seafood when I ordered their seafood mie goreng.  So I decided on chicken mie goreng instead and a pineapple juice and both were disappointing.  I apologise to their legions of fans, but the noodles were only ok, the chicken was a bit tough – certainly nothing to rave about and not a very big serving at that. The juice had a weird ‘dusty’ flavour I have never come across before – not pleasant at all.  So I have crossed it off my list of recommendations.  Maybe their usual cook was on an ADO? Or gone fishing?

To be contrary I found the reviews of Three Monkeys bang on the money.  Di-vine.  It is very close to my accommodation and the food was fantastic.  They give you complementary prawn crackers and home made pappadumish thingies with a mild sambal.  Very tasty. I had scrumptious prawn spring rolls as an entrée and a dish with satay lilit (minced fish grilled on the ends of spring onion or lemongrass stalks – no satay sauce involved) accompanied by shredded spicy chicken and a fern tip salad-like mixture and sambal.  I also had a delicious summer berry granita which I cannot recommend highly enough – in fact I had two! I am praying they’re not fattening.  If they are, don’t tell me because I repeated the whole experience again for dinner last night.  I also had lunch there a couple of days ago. No prize for guessing what I drank.  I had their shredded chicken, sambal and young mango pizza.  Very thin base, minimal oil and not too much cheese (for the benefit of the food police in my weight loss group who may be reading this). It was scrumdiddle-e-umptious!  It was a bit embarrassing when the waiter could recite what I had eaten the previous 2 visits.  Am so predictable? The answer is yes please, I will have the sate lilit & granitas again Terima Kasih.  To my delight, he told me they have a sister restaurant in Ubud. Woohoo – heading to Ubud today after lunch for a week long stay before it’s home again.

Yesterday I had lunch on the beach at The Beach Café.  I walked through the Villa Shanti grounds to the beach and along the boardwalk.  My knee is sore, but I figure I should keep moving or it will get stiff.  I also fear in the back of my mind that I manifested the fall so I wouldn’t have to feel guilty about not doing any of the Jillian Michael exercise DVDs I copied onto my laptop with the best of intentions and ignored them.  After all, I am injured now.  With a slight limp.  And scabs.  At The Beach Café I had their lunch special – a seafood open burrito along with an orange, lime & passionfruit juice.  I posted a photo of the vista from my table on facebook – so my friends could be suitably jealous.  I would love to say it was a tranquil vista, sitting at a table on the beach overlooking the calm sea, but they are setting up for the Full Moon festival, so there were men erecting stuff and a lot of man-chatter.  Then a couple with a caterwauling baby came and sat at the table next to me, so I took this as a sign from the universe to be off.  Besides, the R) front leg of my chair was slowly sinking into the sand at a greater rate than the L) with the possible intention of tipping me, an injured woman, into a heap on the ground.  I have displeased the gods of shoes and furniture.  And on a full moon too! Am I doomed?

My apologies for my obsession with food, btw.  I have and probably always will adore the diversity of food available in Bali.  Plus I love eating and hate cooking.  And I have been somewhat deprived for several months as I shed those kilos.  Not that I haven’t got another 20kg to go, so I am being mindful of what I eat and drink so I don’t undo all my good work.  And now that I can’t exercise I will need to be more vigilant.  Prior to my fall, I had dinner at Mona Lisa (found it).  A nice chicken in lemongrass with veggies and my first glass of alcohol in several weeks – a Hatten’s dry white.  It reminds me of a sav blanc blend – not too shabby at all.  The food was nice, not wonderous.  I enjoyed the complimentary bruschetta more than my meal to be honest.  It did take an awfully long time before a waitress offered a bill and that was only after I was able to catch someone’s eye.  They did not offer a dessert menu.  Am I being policed by waitresses now? There are no calories in looking at what desserts are on offer and piously declining to imbibe.  But I wasn’t given the opportunity.  Boo! Bless the Three Monkeys waiter who brought me the dessert menu when I ate there.

After my delicious lunch at The Beach Café, I walked up to Tootsie’s shop at the beach market, sloughing off the annoyingly persistent touts with ease.  I bought a dress, some jewellery and a linen scroll hanging about peace – “A happy person is not a person in a certain set of circumstances, but rather a person with a certain set of attitudes.” The wise man was Buddha.  The scroll was only $3 and better finished than one I bought at home at the Ishkar shop which was $15 on sale.  Very happy with my purchases.  I had to rein myself in, as I didn’t have much money on me.  The walk back into the main drag was very hot and I ducked into an ATM booth and slowly , very slowly took out some money (they’re air-conditioned).  I hailed a cab and the driver flat out refused to put his meter on, so we argued all the way to my hotel and I only gave him Rp5000.  He didn’t have any ID on the dashboard, so I told him off for that too. He got quite an earful and soon learned that although my skin may be whiter than white, (red where I have been burnt over the past 2 days and beginning to freckle – joy!) I am no green girl just off the turnip truck!  He was taking that fare off the books, I’m sure. You will note that I did not take my new wall hangings wise words on board at this time! With all that arguing, I’d forgotten that I was going to go to Hardy’s to top up my sim card.  Again I forgot after dinner last night too, which was annoying because we lost power for over 3 hours and I’d used the last of my credit surfing the net on my mobile phone. 

Honestly the wi-fi at my hotel is hopeless.  Best description is predictably unpredictable. 3G on my phone is faster and more reliable, but I am not typing my missives on my phone!  I couldn’t sleep either.  It was soooo hot without the air con. I find it difficult to get comfortable sleeping on a mattress too, so I wake up frequently.  Missing my waterbed.  And my furbabies.  My brother dropped me off at the airport on Sunday in my car, and my fur boys spent 30 minutes looking for me when he got home, he said.  My car was here, where was I?  Cute.  On Monday I ran into a woman with a poodle pup near Hardys.  I’ve not seen many pure bred dogs I Bali let alone a poodle and stopped for suitable admiration & petting as is a poodle’s due.  A little black one, like my Hamish.  My other toy poodle Dougal is apricot, and a bit blonde – Hamish the younger runs rings around him.

Then I came across another puppy – albeit a Heinz variety one at Optik Wina the other day.  I gave him some pats & he settled to sleep on my foot.  So cute.  I love dogs, with the exception of the street dog maniacally barking the other night. I ordered some new multifocal sunglasses and some new lenses in my favourite reading glasses frames at Optik Wina.  They will be delivering them in a few days up to Ubud.  Great service.  In the taxi on the way back I spotted Massimo’s with some salivation.  Love their deep pan Hawaiian pizza and their gelati, but it is a temptation I must forgo. Oooh, and those complimentary little doughnut-like balls they give you. Step away from the memory. Now!

Back to yesterday….so I get back to the hotel all hot & bothered after arguing with the taxi driver.  Yippee – there’s no one at the pool.  I haven’t been in the pool yet.  Whenever I contemplated it, there were 2 guys in it – they seemed pretty close & I didn’t want to intrude.  It is very difficult to put on bathers when you are hot & sweaty, let me tell you.  They just do not want to co-operate. I finally win the struggle & off down to the pool I go. OMG – the water is like a warm bath! Noooo! Maybe it’s cooler down the deep end? Nope.  Eventually my body temperature equalises so I no longer feel so hot & sit neck-deep on the steps to soak in the atmosphere.  And soak my sore knee.  It is so peaceful.  I am choosing to ignore the distant hammering because it’s distant & not really intrusive.  The birdsong more than makes up for it.  There are so many birds around.  I am woken by the sounds of them coming to life in the mornings, along with the ever familiar rooster crowing and the sound of a straw broom on the pavement sweeping up errant leaves.  Back to soaking…there are some small black & white birds flying the length of the pool and swooping in for a drink in the same spot each time, with precision manoeuvres. Circle and swoop, circle and swoop.  I tried to Google birds of Bali to see what sort of birds they are, but that damned wi-fi had other ideas! There is a water bird of some sort – possibly a type of ibis fossicking at the edge of the lawn near the garden bed.  There is not another soul around. Just me and nature.  Bliss.  And then me and a cast of thousand on the pool lounge – ants.

So as I mentioned earlier, I am moving on to Ubud today after lunch.  I have a vague memory of an exceptional chicken cordon bleu at The Wicked Parrot so I thought I might visit for lunch today, then ring for a taxi for my trip to beloved Ubud.  I am trying another hotel I’ve never stayed at – Sri Ratih Cottages.

So in closing for now, I rate the Sayang Sanur Terrace House highly.  This property is in a prime location, set well back from the street and is quiet.  The ‘apartment’ is spacious, has lots of power outlets, replenished daily are the towels, 1.5L bottle of water and a sachet of washing detergent.  The kitchenette has a gas burner, cooking implements, cutlery & crockery & dishwashing liquid (none of which I used).  There are two permanent towel rails fixed at intervals on the balcony and there is a small plastic square hangy thing with built-in pegs for hanging your washed smalls up to dry.  The staff are friendly too.  My only negatives besides the dodgy wifi is there is no phone, so enquiries must be made in person at reception (no biggie, but a pain in the behind when the power went), no pool towels (byo) and the inability to turn off the balcony outside light at night (unless there is a hidden light switch that I missed somewhere). You are also dependant on the nightly habits of your next-door neighbour – take your mind out of the gutter! – there are frosted windows facing each other with no curtains, so if they are scared of the dark & need a night light, it may well shine into your room.  I didn’t have that problem, fortunately. Oh, and if you want a double bed, book a downstairs room, though the rooms are slightly smaller.

I’m off to Ubud…

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