Katja and Arne's travel stories

22.02.15 Bali

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Not a good night sleep to be had last night. The bed was good, the place quiet and the linen soft. The stomach on the other hand…

The term “Bali belly” is used world wide for the loose and uncontrollable stomach bug that a lot catches while traveling. I do think this one stems from the first meal on the Air Asia flight yesterday. No details will be given, but this was a bad one.
Katja goes for a little run in the morning while I doze off to try to catch a little shuteye. I wake an hour and a half later when Katja returns. Turns out Google maps is not all that accurate around here. She got lured down a road that ended in a small river, and bit able to cross. That made for a detour and she was sweating for another hour afterwards.

We got a good breakfast at the B&B before renting a motorcycle and heading out.
We first wanted to find the new condotel we’re moving to tomorrow. We found a great deal online and get an apartment for the same price as our current room. We get there ok, but first after entering an expensive hotel and spa with the same name.
Just outside our new place is a laundry and we stop of a bag of clothes to be washed so we can pick them up tomorrow after we’ve moved here. Then we drive towards Bakti Negara to find where we’ll train Silat tomorrow morning.
On the way we get flagged down by the police and once again encounter corrupt officers. They start off by threatening us with a fine of a million, want three hundred thousand, gets one hundred thousand. Turns out this is fairly common in the midst heavy tourist areas. It still sucks, but a quick Google shows it’s been a problem for years and that it runs through the supervisors of these dirty cops.
We had to place the money on the counter and not give it directly to the police officer. This is a way of cleansing it from a bribe to a gift, apparently. Right, guess your karma is bad regardless.
Katja is once again so high strung I almost need to carry her off. A few more minutes with that cop and she would have downed him with a right cross. We get back up on the bike and drive on.
We find the Bakti Negara head quarters and are impressed by the size and look of the place. Our guy is not there, but his sister in law shows us around. It’s huge, and we really look forward to train here tomorrow.

On the way back we run out if gas. My eye measurement is bit accurate, it turns out, and the motorcycle dies. Luckily there is gas to be found everywhere around here, and we even got help. A guy pulls up and take Katja along to a “Gas station” and returns with fuel for us. We give him something for his troubles and drive on.

Out of gas

Out of gas

While waiting for gas by the bike people are slowing down and asking where I’m going. Seems like it’s a common thing to help out whenever someone looks a bit out of place.
After this visit we drive towards the Bali Galleria. It’s a fancy shopping mall and Katja is looking for some specifics that should be available there. On the way we find a Makasan Padang, one of the Muslim restaurants. They are not native Balinese, but provide some dishes that we really like. Among these the Rendang. We sit with the locals enjoying the meal before going into the mall.
Galleria does not have what we want, so we walk to another nearby mall. We’re also looking for boxing gloves, but that’s hard to find. We do find some more training clothes. Shorts and singlets from Nike are all made here in Asia and are about one fifth on the prices back home. From here we went to the Millennium mall down at Kuta. I got a SIM card and Katja finally found that facial scrub cream she’s been looking for.
After visiting both malls and factory outlets it’s time to head home. We drive by another police control, but they have their hands full with other victims already.
We park the motorbike at the hotel and walk down to the beach. We’re in time for the sunset and get a dinner and a Bintang there. We walk home in the dark and watch an episode on the telly. Told you we’ve started watching West Wing. The show is so old it’s not even widescreen. Looking at it on a 4:3 format video on a 21 inch screen from the other end of the bed makes me wish for glasses. Old? Me? Watch your mouth!

I hope for a better nights sleep, though a day on Bali has left me more sunburnt than any other day on the tour. We used sunscreen factor fifty, but it didn’t really seem to help. I have a “white” imprint of my singlet. Red nose, red shoulders and a red necklace. It’s gonna be a hot night no matter how the aircon is set.

Anybody can jump a motorcycle. The trouble begins when you try to land it.

– Evel Knievel

Author: arnber

Humongen! The big guy! The man, the myth, the legend! And then theres' me. The nice guy in the house. The man without cooking skills, but with five stars on the Playstation. Boss at work, relaxed at home. What you see is what you get. Life is good. I choose it to be.

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