Kuta Horror Kuta Luxury
First time in Bali EVER. Get landed with a cheap tourist hotel at the very south end of Kuta Beach, an area populated with 40,000 tourist traps and about eight tourists. E@L is easily mistaken for a tourist, but he is actually here for work. This distinction doesn't seem obvious to the 80,000 tourist touts who are desperate for his surplus rupiah, the economy being shot to pieces since 200 people were blown to pieces by terrorists. OK. OK. E@L will buy a t-shirt, but only the one that says
across the front.
But do they have one in XXXL? They don't have one.
The eager/desperate tout runs along the street in front of E@L, ducking in advance into each t-shirt shop along the road ahead as E@L finds his way back to his hotel. In about six shops there are no XXXL t-shirts of this type...
Fuck t-shirts. They just don't make them like they used to. Big.
The hotel is complete crap, old, almost a dormitory style. Well it's not that bad, just one of those marginal el-cheapo Japanese tourist package places, not somewhere you'd choose if you wanted to prove that Bali is different from the rest of the world. The area though really stinks and is so full of desperately annoying touts it is sickening. Also sad. It is rainy season and there is no money in town.
There are a lousy Mexican place, some down-market Japanese places, a McDonalds and a Pizza Hut and a fucking BreadTALK for crissakes as the restuarant options in the area just outside his hotel. E@L decides to eat later, hopefully somewhere that at least does nasi goreng, and turns to negotiate his way through tout-gauntlet of the tourist-empty market area which supposedly leads to the famous Kuta Beach.
On the beach, E@L ignores the 15,000 people offering him massages and drinks and chairs and beachmats and REAL BOW AND ARROW SETS(!!!) as he walks 200 yards to where the most popular waves are breaking. He sits down to watch some useless gremlins near drowning in the sloppy on-shore surf. Slowly he starts getting into the rhythm of the waves which aren't that small really after all and are bouncing unpredicatably as they came in over the sand bars, causing some most amusing wipeouts; and also amusing were those guys paddling out in a futile effort at the wrong spot, directly against the rip.
Suddenly there is a finger in his ear and a big-smiling lady offering to give him an ear-waxing and a massage...
WHAT THE FUCK he screams! Would you people LEAVE ME ALONE! In a burst of paranoid frustration he runs off the beach and straight onto road and is unfortunately killed by a passing taxi, whose driver was distracted, tooting at the shadow of someone who might possibly be looking for a ride.
OK E@L didn't die, but he wishes he had after finding that the water (water so hard he could hardly raise a lather with the shampoo, water so hard it leaves a sticky metallic film on his skin) which flooded from his shower onto the bathroom this in the morning is still sitting 2cm deep around the toilet bowl. He has to remove his shorts and walk into the bathroom naked in order not to wet his strides as he sits for a well-earned crap and to finish reading "The Man In The High Castle"...
Maybe he is really a character in a novel where Bali didn't get demolished by religious nutters and calm philosophical atheists run the world according to the ethical mastery of the Golden Rule...
I am checking out my crap-hotel tomorrow although it is in walking distance to the conference, and I am moving to a small boutique hotel - yes! punches air, upgraded to a suite, indiviidual bungalos, outside shower with a fish pond in the bathroom(!), all natural-looking landscaped surrounds and tinkling waterfall in the pool(s), plenty of beautful rainforest timber in the furniture, a genuinely gorgeous place - and for the same price as the crap tourist-place I am in tonight - US$80. It is up the far north end of Kuta beach, near some rice paddies and grazing cows. Also lots of nice little restaurants and not a tourist rip-off junk-market for several kilometers. Even the street dogs seem to have a higher class of mange.
Still, yes I know, it's just another FORM of tourist trap and not exactly the pristine Bali of the 1930's but at least no-one will be sticking their finger in my ear unanounced. I hope.
OTHER MONKEYS SAID
REAL BOW AND ARROW SETS(!!!)
Damn now! If it's one of the last things I ever do, I'm going to walk away from my Opthamologist and buy a bow in Bali.
REAL BOW AND ARROW SETS! Wot no chess sets anymore?
Full size, full-on scary. Just what you need if you suffer from SJS (Sudden Jihad Syndrome)
Still, a guy on a stall on Sukhumvit Rd BKK showed me his shirokans, Conan-The-Librarian appropriate knives and swords and then he let crack one of his Tasar sticks for me... So it is not just Bali, its Thailand too.
In fact it's the whole freaking world except me... Bunch of lunatics.
What do airlines think of all this stuff? I imagine no Aussie home is complete without bows 'n arrows, chess sets, assorted knives and swords etc!
I am surprised..usually in these stories we are being told of the joys of women in far flung places sticking their fingers in...
...so what gives in Bali...