Oct 2010. Day 8 to 10: Nothing means Nothing

Oct 2010. Day 8 to 10: Nothing means Nothing

Another day of sloth gone past.  My holiday is almost over & I’ve done diddily squat!  I had lunch today at Massimo’s. They give you complimentary hot bread balls made of deep-fried pizza dough, reminiscent of doughnuts in taste. They are scrumptious.  I ordered a pan pizza with chicken & mushrooms, which came to the table sizzling. It was yummy too.  I nearly expired from heat in there though.  They have thick white tablecloths that almost reach the ground, so no air can circulate around your lower body.  A bit silly in a non-airconditioned establishment.  I walked there & back, spotted that my plunge pool was empty, so had a leisurely swim.  This hotel is so clean, even the inside vaulted ceiling of the meditation/massage bale was clean & cobweb free, as I had a birds-eye view in the pool. Impressive.

They changed the automatic air freshener in the bathroom yesterday.  Every 10 mins it squirts out a spray of citrus smelling vapour, so my room smells lovely.  I sounds like a little stifled sneeze. Just before dinner, the front desk rang me to tell me they would be spraying for mozzies tonight, so could I keep the doors & window closed? Sure!  This is a new service – the phone call I mean. The last 2 times they sprayed I’ve walked through the insecticide induced cloud of vapour to leave the hotel for dinner. Was that not a good idea?

I know this sounds a little a la Carrie Bradshaw (sidebar: how bad was SITC 2? Oink, oink! What a stinker!) Where do single men go to eat? I rarely see men on their own in a restaurant. Do they only travel in packs for protection? Are they all in the sports bars? Are they preserved in alcohol somewhere? Do they not eat? All down in Kuta maybe? Not that I’m on the prowl or a cougar or anything. But I do wonder about things & this was what I was wondering as I was sitting at ‘maiden’s row’ at Caesar’s restaurant for dinner last night. There were 3 of us sitting in the same position at 3 tables for two, lined up in a row along the right wall. Like wallflowers. Not a man dining alone to be seen.

Why do they take away the other place setting? Could they at least let us have the illusion that we might be waiting for someone? Do they think we will use 2 sets of cutlery? Then again, it might look like we were stood up. Actually I’m so used to eating alone in Bali I’m not self-conscious anymore. I’d still like to wipe the smirk off the face of the occasional maitre d’ who looks me up & down in that condescending way only achieved by the male of the species. Grrrr! I’d like to give them a what for up the petunias & then see who’s smirking! Hehehe.

I did enjoy my meal at Caesar’s – grilled chicken with black pepper sauce cooked to perfection. Attentive staff – they whipped that 2nd place setting away quick-smart! & nice atmosphere. No condescending maitre d’ either. I might do a Matt Preston & critique all the places I’ve eaten on my holiday when I get home. I do love good food. 

Fingers crossed, I have not been sick or had the trottskies this trip. I usually take Inner Health Plus prior & during my stay but in addition this time I’ve taken a Travelan tablet before every meal (I’ve forgotten a few times & taken after a meal). Very happy & will use them again. I don’t each much fruit at home, but I love Bali’s tropical fruit & in the past, I’m usually reminded 2-3 times a day how it plays havoc with my gut. Not happening whilst using the Travelan. Not passing as much flatus either. Did you really want to know that? Probably not. But if you are one of those people that can propel themselves to the moon after a good curry, (and I know you let one rip on the plane coming over) you might want to know that there is something out there that can help. That’s all I’m going to say about farts.

This morning I have made the magnanimous decision to share my plunge pool with others.  I don’t want wet bathers in my luggage & my fake tan is fading nicely after yesterday’s swim followed by a hot bath & loofahering.  So I really don’t need to go into the pool anymore.  I glanced out of my window as I opened the curtains this morning & I thought that’s moving awfully fast for a leaf.  Not a leaf, folks. The fact that I saw a rat swimming in the pool is pure coincidence about my decision to share.

Balinese people often have no filter when they speak, being blunt to the point of rudeness. It’s not that they set put to be deliberately rude, it just appears that way. I had dinner @ Cafe Jepun last night. I asked a waitress for a table for one. As I sat down at my chosen table she said no friends? Now what am I supposed to make of that? I requested a table for one – self -explanatory? Or does one assume I am friendless as I am on my own? I replied that I have no friends in Bali, but my sarcasm went over her head.

I immediately spotted the Lothario mentioned in a Bali Travel Forum review. He sure has tickets on himself. Not God’s gift to women by any means of his imagination. He flitted from table to table like a social butterfly. He left me well alone. Should I be relieved or insulted?  

The restaurant itself is very nice, like a grotto with fountains & pseudo waterfalls. Unfortunately my meal did not meet my expectations, being decidedly ordinary. I ordered Chicken Kiev. It arrived with a handful of undercooked limp shoestring chips & a small pile of mixed veggies, though fresh, looked like Homebrand frozen 3 veggie mix.  The presentation was sadly lacking – it looked like my mother’s Tuesday night dinner.  The kiev was ok, well-cooked but overdosed with garlic. I’ll be protected from vampires for a week! It would have been nice to have mashed potato or rice to soak up the garlic butter. I followed my meal with dessert – the parfait Jepun. This consisted of papaya & watermelon in a long glass topped with cubes of chocolate cake which was either stale or actually a brownie, covered in a cherry(?) mixture, cream & ice cream. It came with a chocolate cigar wafer which fell off onto the table, much to my disgust. I was looking forward to eating it.  An unusual combo. Again, presentation wise it would have been nice if it had been served standing on a plate as well, where I could have rested the wafer until ready to eat it.  Despite my disappointing experience, the restaurant was very popular, almost full. Service was good. The live band was quite good too.

Walking back to my hotel, I copped the ever hopeful drivers touting for business – transport? Maybe tomorrow? The Double Dutch restaurant was surprisingly near full I noticed as I walked past.  Is it romantic to dine in near darkness? Am I odd in that I actually like to see what I’m eating? The female singer in their live band was a tad shrill. She was singing a soundtrack from Glee. Be giving that restaurant a miss.

I stopped off at a shop on my way back that sells spa products. I’d been shopping for gifts in there earlier today stocking up on bath foam, bath oils & soap in tropical flavours. I tried the lime & coconut hand cream back at the hotel. It smelt divine, so I went back for a couple more tubes after dinner.

The guy manning the tour booth on the corner said hello hopefully. I’m sorry mate, I’m doing nothing this trip. 

As I reached the lane to my hotel I was bombarded with music from 3 directions. The cacophony from the Trophy Bar, Cat & Fiddle & Mago assaulted me for a good 20m. Not a good musical combo. I tried to watch a DVD, but kept drifting off. I’m very tired so had an early night – 9:30 pm! I’m getting old! This doing nothing can be so exhausting!

Earlier in the day I went up to Hardy’s again to stock up on refreshments. That supermarket is as hot as hell. Sitting on the bench the other side of the registers I noticed that a woman was using the fish spa. I tried surreptitiously to take a photo of the fish frenzy. Nope, still doesn’t appeal.  Ducked into the DVD shop there to return Going The Distance – unless you speak Russian & don’t mind cams it’s a dud, & The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest – it was The Girl Who Played With Fire, mislabelled on all the copies apparently.  Bought a few more DVDs while I was there – I’d received another order from home via SMS.  I texted my brother to tell him to stop telling people I’m in Bali – I’m not a bloody personal shopper!

I had lunch at Cafe BatuJimbar – aka yuppies paradise. This cafe could easily fit in the Melbourne scene. After about 15 mins I requested a menu from a passing waitress. I was obviously invisible. Again reminiscent of the Melbourne scene! I ordered the prawn pesto, described as prawns with pesto & bell peppers in a wrap.  I received 3 grilled king prawns lying on a mountain of lettuce. The wrap had been baked so it was crispy, cut into 3 segments, filled with sliced veggies. Hardly any capsicum in it at all. It was overpriced at Rp90000, I thought.  Fortunately it tasted ok.  As it did not meet my expectations, I did not try any of the yummy looking cakes on display, sure I would be disappointed.

I woke early this morning with the birds & lay in bed for about 10 mins debating whether to go down the beach to watch the sunrise. Too late. By the time I got up to go to the loo, it was light already. Problem solved. I looked out the window to see if Mr Rat was doing his morning laps in the pool again. Should I have told the other guests using the pool yesterday? How much chlorine does it take to kill black plague? I wish I hadn’t seen it, I could still be swimming there in ignorant bliss.  Now I’ll never look at it the same again, my illusions shattered.

I have a big day planned today. I’m off to Kuta to pick up my glasses, which had better be ready. So much for contacting me yesterday! Might check out the shoes at Centro. Then I plan on getting bubblewrap from Bintang supermarket & a sojourn down Jl 66 to check out some jewellery. Then it’s maybe drinks at the Ducks Nutz this arvo if I pluck up the guts to go. I’m actually quite shy in social situations believe it or not so turning up will be an effort.

I’m off. I’ve got a busy, busy day!

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