Thursday, July 21, 2005

Will not be online for a week or so...

Yes, it's about time. i'll be flying off to KK in 2 hours times for the hike of my life - Mt. Kinabalu. which i totally have no confidence in. hahahaha!!! really hope i can go up to the summit and snap beautiful pictures. at first i was hoping to bring along viewcam, now on second thoughts, i better not carry more thing, which add on weight and also psychological pressure (viewcam belongs to college). so i'm just going to enjoy myself there. 1 week i won't be able to go online unless i go cyber cafe. so, will update again only next wednesday when i come back ok!! tata!!

Sunday, July 03, 2005

DAY 2 (part 1): Bali rediscovered! Welcome to the dark side...

Tuesday 24/5/2005

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!