Random Solitary Thoughts

Thursday, January 08, 2004

The King of the Flies!

The morning came and went almost instantaneously... for the awakening was sudden adn the breakfast was rushed as we were a tad bit late for it. But still, with toast, egg, and sausages in our bellies, we headed towards a rented van complete with driver. Our itinerary for today is... (ahem...) more shopping!

Okay, that's not really it, but it was a big part of our plan anyways... so the first place we visited was the famous Besakih temple! It is the largest temple in Bali, and if I am not mistaken, the oldest as well. Please excuse my lack of historical knowledge as I couldn't understand what the guides were telling me. They weren't that good to begin with...

Anyhow, the temple was huge, and a link has been posted on Kotak's blog so just follow the link to her blog and see the pics for yourself, because it's kinda pointless for me to describe it all and even if I wanted to I can't because I don't really know what everything is for except that they look pretty and historical.

Actually, I do know one thing... we have to wear sarongs to show our respect when we enter the temple grounds and we were kinda cheated by the guides who want to seperate us so that we have to pay them indivdually instead of as a group. A bit dishonest on their part, but what can you say about people who are trying to make a living? Of course it doesn't help if they happen to want the cash to buy cigarettes. Makes you wanna sock them right between the legs... no?

After the uneventful, and uninformative 'tour' of the temple grounds, we were badgered by a throng of fruit sellers who wanted to sell us fruit. Here is a good reason why your parents always tell you not to accept food (or anything for that matter from strangers).

A fruit seller holding a 'sakat' offered it to Kotak for her to try. Being well versed with the KL culture of taking samples and then refusing them if they suck, she took it and tried the untasty and weird tasting fruit. Upon tasting the weird tasting fruit, she then turned to the fruit seller and told her no thanks, the fruit sucks, I ain't buying this (or something a bit more polite and less direct... ).

But the enraged fruit seller, having wasted a prefectly good, weird tasting fruit on a potential client, demanded that she pay for her 'sample'. She naturally declined, and an argument broke out, which resulted in the fruit seller being given a sock between her teeth. Okay, not really, a bit over dramatised there, but anyway, an argument broke out, and Kotak's mother, who happened to buy the same fruit (but a much better bunch) from another fruit seller, gave her back a fruit and told her to shut her trap (in a much polite way of course... something along the lines of, nah... dah bagi balik...)

Thus, our little drama ended, and thus children, remember, never ever accept anything from strangers... you never know when you (or your parents) have to 'pay'!

Our next stop was the hilltops where we could stop and admire the beauty of a dormant volcano, at a safe distance of course. The whole journey there was a blank for me as I was sleeping the whole time. Anyway, the view from the hilltop ws magnificent. Again, look to the link above and view the pics for a better idea of what I'm talking about.

After looking at the volcano, we decided to get some food, but food was expensive there, so after a while of hunting, we decided to skip lunch, (once again) and buy fruits to eat instead. The wild fruits they sold there were delicious! The mangos were tasty and juicy, and the bananas were sweet and ripe! Nice...

One set back of course was the fact that the place was dominated by flies... tons of them! More flies than you can imagine... but I don't think there are that many flies as those I encountered at Machap (yea, finally I got the spelling right!)

Anyway, as it was just after lunch hour, we headed towards some place in the middle of nowhere and stopped numerous times to oogle at the handicrafts that are sold at the side of the road. There were all sorts of crafts, from wood carvings to little souveniours that look nice and do absolutely nothing else. The bulk of the handicraft were wood carvings.

Throughout the journey, I couldn't recall much of what happened or how time flies as I didn't have a watch on me, and I was asleep most of the time. Finally we stopped next to a furniture store where Kotak's mother bought a deck chair. In the meantime, I shopped for souveniours to bring back home. Finally, all was done and we headed back towards the city.

This time however, we decided to grab some food for dinner, so we stopped by the side of the road at this one stall which took almost forever to serve us our food. This is to date, our second Balinese meal, and we ordered a Mee Soto each as an appetizer. The Mee Soto was definitely better than the ones we have here although generally, I don't think Mee Soto's are nice to begin with.. must be an acquired taste...

We ordered another Balinese delicacy, Ayam Bertutu, which turned out to be fried chicken with a fancy name. It wasn't too bad, and the mixed vegetables we not too bad either. We ordered a few more dishes, but I can't remember what, but generally dinner wasn't too bad because we were hungry and ate without much complain. We had some mangoes which a member of our troupe had bought for desert and they were excellent. Only thing was, we had desert first... then came the appetizer... Mee Soto...

Afterwards, feeling full and slightly adventurous, we candidly asked the driver to send us to Leggian Road so that we can see the place where crazy terrorists bombed the Sari club not too long ago. Along the way, we saw this drunk white guy totally naked walking down the road. Of course, he attracted much attention and I could have sworn I felt a little envious... it ain't 'that' big...

The Sari club was a piece of land, fenced up and lined with t-shirts, each bearing some message of hate at the terrorists, or some form of sympathy. The memorial showed a list of innocent people who were killed for some lunatic's zany ideas. It was a graveyard in the midst of shops...

After loitering for a bit, we decided to head back to the hotel. Nothing eventful happened along the way and we didn't see the flasher anymore. The night was still early, so we decided to hang out at the sports bar below our hotel and had some milkshake and onion rings. The food was worth the price we paid for it and it was an enjoyable time sitting there with good food.

And so the second night ends... and a slight intermission will take place before the third installment is posted...


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