0700 --- Woke up! Alex was still sleeping. I took my DVCam out to the balcony hoping to shoot the dawn… only to find that it’s all bright and hot outside already. The sun rises and sets so early here in Bali! So different from Malaysia. The staffs of the inn were cleaning the swimming pool, i'm impressed!
0730 --- We went down to the concierge to ask for breakfast, the lady there pointed to the restaurant next door. We were received warmly by the waitress there, “we have set breakfast for you, you can choose coffee or tea, waffle or pancake or toast with egg or banana, and also a plate of fruit.” So Alex being the not so adventurous one order toast with egg and coffee, me ordered banana pancake and coffee. Turned out his toast and egg was so plain and tasteless claimed him, I would not have ordered that in million years especially being the person who dislike egg. My pancake turned out to be something quite similar to roti pisang here, kakaka, but it’s served with honey and lime… quite tasty though. But the Balinese coffee was definitely great! Rich aroma, but needed to put a lot of sugar or it’s too bitter… and strange too, coz there’s a lot of “sisa”!
0800 --- We had a little morning walk on Poppies Lane II, I was hoping to buy a nice pair of shoes because I did not bring any for the volcano hiking trip. After passing by a cozy restaurant called McWilliam (funny one, bcoz they had the flipped McD logo!), a group of ladies was squatting at the roadside. When they saw us walking past, quickly they approached us and started chatting with Alex. I was so aware that this was a trap, only Alex so naively believed that they were being friendly!! So I walked along the street searching for my shoes without even talking to them, only turned to find Alex was not following me. Shit! So I turned back. One lady on the street told me Alex has already gone into the back lane! Gosh!!! What was he thinking? Hesitated, but I couldn’t leave Alex alone. When I walked into the little shop, I saw this girl tying a wristband onto Alex hand and started putting lotion onto his fingernails. I whispered to Alex, “do you know you gotta pay for all these?” he was smiling naively to me and said, “but the lady here said it’s free!!!” I cannot help but rolled my eyes, gosh!!! This is fcuking bloodsucking Bali in case you forgot!!! The lady that led me in here was now ready to put a wristband on me too, I rejected nicely and she looked disappointed but persistently insisted that it’s free! After much persuasion, I thought to myself, aiya what the heck, I’m ready to pay some dime lah, so finally I gave in. They started giving us this cheap skate manicure… when it’s done, I asked for the price, they said “not expensive”. Then only Alex realized it’s not free (god!), so he asked the lady didn’t she said it’s free at first. The look in the lady’s eyes was like “now I gotcha” kinda grin, and she said, “the band is free, the gift of Bali for you to remember. But (pointing to the fingers) this is my job!” I was a bit pissed, so I asked “How much??” She calmly hold my hands, “normally we charged Japanese, (point to my left hand) 350 and (point to my right hand) 350!” WALAU WEI, it was like way out of my expectation, you mean for a 3-mins manicure you are going to charge me RM300?! “NO (fucking) way! We don’t have that kinda money!” The lady grinned some more and said, “for you… Malaysian, 150 & 150…” That’s RM120. “I still dun have that kinda money!” At this point, the ladies suddenly looked impatient and angry. They shouted at us, more like scolding us, “So how much? How much you want to pay?” I looked at her and I said 5.000, and I heard Alex said 10.000 (that is RM4). The lady in front of me turned to Alex and shouted, “10 thousand is NOTHING!! Your fren (that’s me) here said 50.000 also nothing already!!! 10 thousand (with a grunt)!” She must have heard me wrongly!!! Now, Alex really looked shit scared, he later explained that he was worried about the RM3000 above Nikon camera that hanged around his neck which he just bought for this trip. So he hopped out of the shop. Luckily before this I’ve already kept my viewcam in my pouch, so I slowly took out my wallet while walking out of the shop. I took out 10.000, the lady’s eyes were like about to pop out from her eyes… looked very much like the Barong!!! She was really mad and scolding us with Balinese language. She grabbed the money, we quickly run, and we heard her scolding us from behind “FUCK YOU!” We dare not to look at her, but just walk out to the main street! It was scary becoz we were at the back lane and there were quite a number of them surrounding us… jeezzzz, what an experience! We quickly threw the wristband away and walked our way to Poppies Lane I. Rp.10,000 abt RM4 for an unwilling manicure.
0830--- We realized the homestay we found yesterday night is just opposite of the manicure incident. To tell you all the truth, we dare not stay there! So we managed to find another homestay at Poppies Lane I, Diana Homestay. Rp. 40.000 RM16 for 2 persons not inclusive of breakfast, but no problem since we will be leaving for the volcano hiking trip as early as 1am next morning, so we will be skipping breakfast anyway. We walked back to Poppied Lane II, sprinted through the ladies, quickly went back to our room, packed everything, checked out, hopped on the bike, and moved to Diana straightaway. I have to admit my heart was still pumping hard by then… :P
0930 --- We decided to visit Denpasar on bike this morning. But before that we would like to revisit Kuta beach to see what it’s like in the morning. No difference, only the sand is not as white as we thought it is when we were here last night, and also there’s a lot of aunties to bug you to buy things and do this and that… kinda annoying! Especially after the morning incident.
1030 --- We knew we were very near to Denpasar, the 1st stop planned was to get to the memorial monument at the heart of the city (similar to Tugu Merdeka in KL)… but again, we were lost. So we just stopped by 1 temple to visit and take photos. Then we grabbed an uncle on the street and asked for direction… seems that we were just 2 blocks away from it. Then we spotted a temple (supposedly quite famous lah) on the map called Pura Masopahit, one of the oldest temples in Bali, just a street a way from where we were. So we decided to visit it 1st…… then we lost again, kakaka, it seems we have missed a turn, then we got to do a big round back again. The temple is cool, they worship the naga (dragon) god there although at first I mistaken it as snake, haha! The aunty who loaned us the yellow waistband was busy making little tiny baskets for their daily blessing and praying. She chatted with us and also willing to let us take her pictures… 1 thing, she doesn’t look like 64 years old to me! There’s also a bunch of aunties nearby who were really noisy and kepochi, and I seriously believe that they were flirting with us, they just laughed nonstop and joked in their own language. One aunty even wanted to marry a young girl to me after she found out that I’m still single. Wuahahaha!!! Rp.10,000 abt RM4 donation to the temple.
1115 --- We finally reached the central park with the monument, very… err… normal! Nothing much to see really. Not recommended unless you are fine with only visiting the landmark lah! So, we only stayed for 5 mins and decided to head back to Kuta already.
1130 --- Suddenly Alex suggested visiting a Catholic church and on the map, there’s one nearby, so off we go. Well, the church seriously does not look like a conventional one, but blended in Balinese wood and stone carving and can I say, Hinduism!! I’m impressed seriously by the adaptability of the Catholic. We also see all these Balinese culture and traces in the other buildings like shopping malls, banks, and even fast food outlets! It’s traditional yet exotic and unique!
1200 --- We were heading back to Kuta, and we were hungry like bulls. So we decided on the bike that the next stall or restaurant that we see, we would just go in. I spotted a roadside wooden stall with quite a numbers of people lining up, so we pulled over. Mmm… roasted meat like chicken… well, what the heck, just order anything for 2 lah. So I asked the girl there, “apa ini?” they just laughed, “Babi guling.” Oh… so this is the famous babi guling (roast piglet)! I supposed not many foreigners come here, the locals there kept looking at both of us. Anyway, the rice was served… kinda oily, with roast pork, some char-siew-like meat, fried intestines, prawn crackers (I think), and sate. The sate on bamboo stick was simply superb, it’s different from Malaysia’s and so aromatic. The fried intestines had this weird stink, so we passed. Couldn’t finish the rice, too big a portion. With Teh Botol (my favorite drink), lunch cost us Rp.65.000 or RM3 each… SUPER CHEAP!!
... to be continued!
I would like to list down my 5 days itineraries in Bali before I forgot… hehe! So, here we go with the first day:
1100 --- Flying from KLIA to Ngurah Rai with AirAsia… then the plane delayed for 30mins.
1430 --- Arrived at Bali, so so so hungry, still we decided to go to Kuta first. So we grabbed a taxi (Rp. 25000 abt RM12) to Kuta. The driver offered to find us clean home girl for “service”… such a pimp!!
1500 --- We checked in to Bali Sandat Inn at Poppies Lane II, recommended by the taxi driver. Cool room, 1st floor, with balcony overlooking the inn’s swimming pool, queen size bed, fan (no aircond), with cold water. Many mat sallehs hanging around the pool too. Room for 2 pax Rp. 90000 abt RM40.
1530 --- We were so hungry, but yet we didn’t eat, but wasted no time to find a motorcycle to rent so that we can catch the sunset at Tanah Lot temple. We got the motor just around the corner for Rp. 40000 abt RM16 a day.
1600 --- We digested the map a bit, asked for directions a bit, off we go! On the way to Tanah Lot we managed to stop at a small restaurant for a quick bite. The restaurant looks very much alike to our malay economic rice stall. So our lunch cum hi-tea with big portion of rice and meat and coke cost us Rp. 5000 abt RM2 each. CHEAP! But very salty, not good!
1740 --- We reached Tanah Lot, just on time to catch the sunset that would happen around 6pm. So lucky we bumped into their Full Moon (Purnama) Festival, so we got our chance to be blessed by the pendeta (priest) there. They put rice on your forehead and a bunga melor on your ear. Ticket to enter Pura (temple) Tanah Lot: Rp. 3600 abt RM1.5 each pax, blessing donation Rp. 5000 abt RM2 each.
2100 --- Backed to Kuta, but we were lost trying to find Poppies Lane II… asked around, people are friendly in Bali, they will answer you with a smile. It happened we bumped into 2 Indonesians who worked in Malaysia before, they were too friendly… at the end of our conversation, they asked us if we wanted to buy “ecstasy” from them… damn! So we reached our room safely, and without any drugs!
2115 --- We were hungry again, so we went out hunting for food. But I was attracted to a store selling clothes. I was looking for short pants since I didn’t bring any. So finally after much bargain, me and Alex bought a surfer short pants each for Rp. 35000 abt RM15 each. Then we stopped by MBA (a travel agent) to asked for Mt. Batur (a volcano) hiking trip… very expensive! Will cost us around USD55 abt RM200 each pax for that day tour. So we decided to ask around first. We managed to find another agent on the main road, the guy Edwin sounded very promising and attentive beat us with a price of Rp. 335000 abt RM150 for both of us. Of coz this did not include the entrance fees to Mt Batur and the trek guide fees lah, but still it save us more than 50% compared to MBA, so we decided to go for it and paid the deposit of Rp. 100000 abt RM45.
2230 --- We stopped by a convenient store called “OK” or Circle K (similar to 7-11 here), we bought 2 Indomie instant cup noodle mee goreng, 2 Bintang beer, TimTum and mineral water for dinner. That cost us Rp. 31000 abt RM13.
2245 --- We found a very budgeted homestay at Poppies Lane II that will only cost us Rp. 40000 abt RM16 for 2 persons inclusive of breakfast!! WOW!! What a steal! So we decided to come here to stay the next night.
2300 --- Indomie is good. TimTum is better. But Bintang beer is GREAT!!! So under the full moon, at our balcony, we cheered to our 1st day at Bali.
2345 --- We couldn’t sleep, so we decided to check out the nightlife there. We hopped on the bike, drove around, surprise!! No club!! However, we just went to the Kuta beach, lazed on the extremely soft fine sand, enjoyed the cool breeze, full moon, sound of the waves hitting the shores, listen to my favourite Frank Sinatra’s jazz numbers with my MD walkman. It was definitely heaven!!
0100 --- It’s time to go meet Mr. Chow’s daughter. Sweet dream!So here’s my first day there. Great day, won’t you all agree?? Well, wait until you read my second day’s entry. The world’s ain’t always beautiful!!!
Total spending 1st day: Rp. 383200 abt RM180 (each pax RM90… not bad for the 1st day)
i've been rejected for the japanese scholarship, received the letter when i was back from KL just now. guess i shouldn't be too sad. besides, i can try the scholarship again next year as long as i got it before my 35th birthday! "choi yoong se ma, yan zhi fei fook" i guess maybe this is fate, it might be a better arrangement. but too bad Sheou Hui and Lih Sing, i cannot join you all in Kyoto lor... so disappointed... (is my English that bad meh..... :((((
Have decided to go Mount Kinabalu end of July, everything has been set, only waiting for that days to come!! yahoo... didn't travel for a long long time, really looking forward to it.
here are the itineraries:
Thursday,21 July 2005
i) depart from Senai (RM49.99)
ii) depart from KLIA (RM79.99)
8.40 pm arrive at Kota Kinabalu (KK)
10.00 pm stay one night at Kota Kinabalu Airport or KK town
Friday, 22 July 2005
8.00 am Breakfast
10.00 am to Manukan Island
1.00 pm lunch
4.00 pm proceed to Kota Kinabalu Park
6.00 pm arrive Kinabalu Park for registration
7.00 pm check in to Mesilau Nature Resort (RM30 per person – bunk beds, 3 bedrooms with heater –RM350)
7.30 pm dinner
Saturday, 23 July 2005
6.00 am breakfast
7.00 am start climb
1.00 pm check in to Lapan Rata (room with heater: RM34 per person, without heater: RM17 per person), orGunting Lagadan Hut (RM 17 person without room heater)
2.00 pm lunch
Sunday, 24 July 2005
1.00 am light snack before climb
1.30 am start climb
5.30 am summit – sun rise
9.00 am breakfast at Lapan Rata
6.00 pm check in to Poring Hot Spring
7.00 pm Dinner
Monday, 25 July 2005
7.00 am Breakfast
12.00 pm check out from Poring Hot Spring and proceed to KK
2.00 pm lunch
3.00 pm walk around KK market
5.30 pm seafood dinner
6.30 pm proceed to Airport
9.05 pm depart from KK (RM49.99)
11.20 pm arrive at JB
9.15 pm depart from KK (RM99.99)
11.45 pm arrive at KLIA
We leaved KL by 6.30am. We were supposed to reach the Kluang train station by 9.30am. The night before, I’ve already phoned up a fren to check for direction. So, no problem in finding it despite a few wrong turns. Hahaha! Reached there probably by 9.40am or something. The reporter brought us to the cafetaria next to the station to have according to her the famous coffee and toast. We ate like bulls, hungry like hell, wallup all the toasts, nasi lemak, eggs, fried beehoon, and the reporter gotta belanja… hahaha! That’s not the point lah, I mean I did insist on paying mah…
Mr. John Tan came to the station by 10am to bring us to his house. A very kind 50s man, soft spoken and very polite and friendly. Hard to imagine he was a gangster head before, and also a drug addict. He quitted drug, but the side effect stays, we could see his hand and leg were with bandage and damn bengkak. Now with his experience and successfully quitted with the help of religion (Christian), he is a full time counselor and give seminar all over the world. In fact, he was going to Australia to give talk 2 days later.
During the 1 hour interview, he told us a lot about gangster life, drugs, counseling, even gave us his VCDs, acted for us to shoot. 1 thing I learnt from him is – never tempt an ex-drug addict, he will starts taking it again. Those who successfully quitted normally did it with the support of their families, leave the circle of frens they used to have, and a very strong religious support. John’s house also been transformed in a “half-way-home” for the druggies to stay if they have no one to turn to – with 1 condition: they have the determination to change for good! John told us, he thinks it’s his duty to do this job, because he was once a drug addict and gangster, so he could relate well with them, and more credible in persuading them that it is VERY POSSIBLE to quit all these bad habits.
I’ve asked John about a fren's case of wanting to try cocaine out of curiosity, he told me NOT to!! There was a case when 3 doctors tried it with the same reason to understand how addicts feel… 1 ended up suicide by jumping down tall building, 1 dead of OD, another still addict to it… Nobody is strong enough to fight it, and to put a stop to a second shot, so DON’T CHALLENGE IT!! Please don’t even start! Ok!
We’re done with John by 12pm, and he suggested treating us lunch, we turned it down coz wanted to meet a fren (the pregnant lady’s fren) in Segamat. Only later found out that the fren in Segamat was sick. So we headed to Melaka straight. Reached Melaka by 2pm, supposed to meet up with a student’s fren, but she got work until 5.30pm, so we drove to the town by ourselves to look for the famous Chicken Riceballs… so hungry!!! We just parked the car at roadside, walked down, grabbed an aunty and asked which restaurant is the famous one… she told us “Chung Hwa”. So we walked there, ordered and makan!! Nothing special, just the shape of the rice… hahaha. And so expensive! After makan, because of 1 of my student saying he wanted to visit the red house, and a-farmosa because it’s his first time here, so we walked with him, snapped some photos, and really really tired!!! Sat down had cendol, then the ladies wanted to go shopping already!!! (they were not tired meh??) So, we walked to the Chinatown and cruising shop by shop because we still have 2 hours to kill. Nothing to buy, but I bought a massage stick for my mom, and some scented sticks for my frens back in Penang.
The fren sampai around 6pm and brought us to her aunty’s flat… that’s where we would be staying for a night. The aunty looked very young, like 30-something, but actually she is already 43! She could not believe that me and the pregnant lady are the lecturers, she said I look like 24yo…. HAHAHAHAHA!!!! I told her I want to belanja her satay celup!! But then she was not free to join us, so we went with the fren, her boyfren, for satay!! It’s very much like “Lok-Lok” in Penang, but quite nice lah. The boyfren looks like gangster, but actually he is very very nice man. While eating satay celup, he was already thinking of where to bring us next. Then he brought us to the Portuguese Village for ikan bakar… mmm…. Not so nice, the fish got funny smell, the la-la was good though. We returned to the flat around 10.30pm, he still wanted to tapao some kuih, white kuih that only could be found in Melaka sort of thing, but then the shop closed lah… we were so tired, we slept straight away!