Bali Baby D, day 3

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Today was a good day, I met Dominique and Corrine at the front desk as planned and we headed into town to see the market place and pick up their rental car, as they planned to tour the island by themselves. I thought how romantic. We headed into town with our first stop being the open air market that the locals use to pick up everything – from fresh fruits and vegetables, herbs, pots and items for the offering alter. Dominique had been told about this native drink called daluman which is made from plant chlorophyll had has some medicinal properties. So off we went into this market in search Daluman. The market is extremely crowded with vendors, I think there were more vendors than shoppers, and because the market offers everything you can imagine just what the market smelled like. At every turn there was a different smell. At one end there was the smell of Franjaponica, which is the best smelling flower in the world and at the other end there was the smell of dried fish – that mixed in the aroma of fresh sewage at the far end of the market. In addition to fresh goods, you can buy prepared goods like what I called the Balinese cupcake. Ok, so I pass by this booth where these nice old ladies were selling this pretty little sponge like cakes, so I inquired as to what it was. Y’all know how easily skeeved I get when people hand you a piece of something, well wouldn’t you know she broke off a piece of the cupcake and gave it to me to eat. I was stuck. I couldn’t insult my hostess, because this was her lively hood, but at the same time I didn’t know where her hands had been. So I took the piece, thinking that she would turn her head or something so that I could fake the funk, no such luck, she had her eyes fixed on me the whole time. So I said a little silent prayer thanking God for tetanus shots, and Cipro and I put the tiny morsel in my mouth, as Balinese Grandma watched. Two days later I’m still here. Thank God.

Still in pursuit of this Daluman, we stopped to ask where we could find it, and each time we got waved over there, that same kind of stop bothering me kid, I’ll just wave you off to get you out of my face kind of wave. When we finally arrived “over there” we asked one shop keeper about the Daluman drink and where it could be found and she pointed down to a little shop where it is made but as luck would have the Daluman Man had closed up shop and left for the day. It just wasn’t our luck to try Daluman that day.

I did get some cool shots of the market as well as an interesting couple (I think they were Japanese) who were being shadowed by three paparazzi-like photographers. When I asked the lady who was with them – a publicist I suspect, you know I sniff out my own kind, all she offered was that they were shooting pre-wedding photos. I think there is more to the story to that. Once I upload the footage and film, take a look and let me know if they look familiar.

We had a couple more stops to make before we headed back to the hotel and the first one was to find a gas station, because Balinese rental cars although cheap ($15.00 per day) don’t come fully loaded with gas that is up to you. Oh and did I tell you the Balinese drive on the right side of the road and that the rental car is a stick shift on the right side of the car. Oh and one last thing, the car Dominique and Corrine rented, didn’t have first gear. This was going to be fun. I was tucked away in the back seat of at Suzuki Samurai, now that I think about it I probably would have been better off walking back to the hotel but my legs were tired from all the walking I did the day before. Any way we’re in the car and so far, so good, Dominique has gotten the hang of driving and we’re now looking for a gas station. One should know that there are that many gas stations in Bali, which is strange compare to the number of motor vehicles on the narrow roads. So we’re driving around in the automobile looking for a gas station, petrol, something because the dial is on “E.” Again we stopped to ask for directions and again we got the brush off wave followed by “100 meters.” So we drive 100 meters and nothing, we ask again and again the same thing – wave followed by 100 meters, we drive again. Finally we come to this shop where two men are chatting and we ask for gas again. They said something in Balinese and then called to some one, a lady comes out, and goes to another part of the store and pulls out a gas can full of petrol. Lesson learned here, don’t look for gas stations, look for stores where there is a “Premium” sign swinging in the wind. We got the gas, had a laugh and realized that Balinese people won’t steer you wrong with the wave and if they tell you someplace is 100 meters trust them.

As we were driving our 100+ meters we noticed this beautiful rice field, so once we got gas, as we were driving back to the hotel we stopped to take pictures of the rice field – magnificent is all I can say. As we were taking it all in we noticed there was a little restaurant called Café Dewi that overlooked the rice field. Corrine was hungry and I hadn’t eaten so we decided to have lunch there.

Don’t let the beauty of Bali fool you, everyone has their hustle and everyone is out to get a Euro, but they’ll take a dollar. Once we settled in to our table at the restaurant there was a farmer who was tending the fields, or so we thought. Of course, we wanted to capture the authenticity of the moment so we snapped the farmer’s picture. Once we were done and satisfied with our attempts at playing Herb Ritts and Annie Leibowitz we headed back to our table and so did the farmer. In our excitement to capture that moment, we neglected to read the sign that read if you take the farmer’s picture he will ask you for money. So we were obliged to give him money. Everyone has their hustle.

The down side about Bali is there is this constant, persistent hawking of goods that just doesn’t cease and it gets on your nerves, even the cute little children are in on it. And the pitch is always the same and so are the goods for that matter. “Just one euro, I give you good price. Post cards, just one dollar special price for you.” All of this is said in a baby voice whine, man, woman or child it doesn’t matter they all whine. It also doesn’t matter how you say “no” they don’t here it. Finally I learned to say, I left my money with my husband in the room that is until somebody said go get him. Enough was enough; it really is the only turn off to Bali.

After lunch and the hassle of the hustled we returned to the hotel, I said bon voyage to Corrine and Dominique and headed to my room as a result of the market and restaurant gastronomic experience. Again, thank God for cipro – it is a travelers dream.

More to come and pictures too, I promise.

~ by abroadnasia on August 25, 2008.

8 Responses to “Bali Baby D, day 3”

  1. Glad to here from you, the hiatus seemed like forever. You made no mention of a b’day celebration. What’s up with that. Did you see them throw the girl into the volcano?

  2. When you said that the grandma was eyeballing you when you were getting a taste of the “cupcake” I was on the floor cracking the hell up because I can picture your face. Funny shit!

  3. Thanks for the wonderful updates. I loved the cupcake story too.
    You are really having some great experiences and should be on the discovery channel.
    I loved the monkey/banana story too.
    Keep doing it and having fun.
    How come you did not climb any mountains this time?

  4. So I have to admit that I’ve been really bad at keeping up with your travels. But I promise that I will print it all out and get caught up really fast. Please don’t be too mad at me.
    I did remember your birthday “HAPPY BIRTHDAY”. Yes it’s 1 day late….Hope you are having a wonderful trip…

  5. hustle is universal, cleanliness is relative. glad you enjoyed the cupcake.

    write again soon.

  6. I am now completely caught up with all your posts and they are hysterical. You really should compile them when you return because yours is a unique perspective. Can’t wait for the next entry and can’t wait to see you in church. Continue to travel safely. hope

  7. Interesting to read the accounts of an American on their first trip here. I’ve been here so long that it’s easy to forget the special beauty of this little island.

    As for the hawkers, yes they get irritating, but it’s a way for folks here to make a living. Try some less touristy parts of the island like the north and you’ll see a lot less of this.

    Anyway, thanks for your insights. Hope you enjoy the rest of your trip.

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