Remember the classic Redgum song from the 80s?!
It was when Aussies first started invading Bali and discovering what it was like. Friendly, cheap, warm, cheap, great surf and did I mention cheap?…
And so it began. What was once a depressed third world situation has changed considerably – although not completely.
We first came here around 15 years ago for a holiday with some good friends. It was a standard cheap package deal with a Kuta hotel and a bit of shopping and sight-seeing thrown in.
Since then Danelle has been back 3 times as she does her work in the Bali Orphanages and right now we are here as a family with the larger Faulkner family. And large is not an understatement – there are 32 of us in total (which means any cafe owner gets excited at the sight of our group heading their way)
We are here for 10 days for a family holiday and to catch up with the Orphanage work that many have been involved with.
So far I reckon we’ve done pretty well and the time has been a lot of fun and even relaxing – not a word I would normally associate with being around 32 people!
Some quick observations
– Jetstar need to get a ‘recline’ button on their seats. We all spent the 4 hrs upright and packed in like sardines. Not nice.
– at Bali airport got slugged a sweet $20.00 Australian as ‘import duty’ on the 6 pack of red wine I brought in. The $20.00 wasn’t receipted but instead was quietly slipped into the file of the customs officer. Welcome to Bali…
– weather has been good in that it hasn’t been suffocatingly hot. It’s been cloudy and humid most days, but very bearable. I was expecting it to be more like Darwin – very relieved.
– I fail shopping. I get weary of having to haggle over the smallest amount of money so always pay more than I need to, partly because I reckon the poor bugger selling the stuff needs the $$ more than me.
– Danelle and Ellie do not fail shopping.
– good to see the places Danelle speaks of and the work she is doing. What struck me most was that the kids in the orphanages don’t have a ‘sad orphan’ vibe about them, but rather seem to love life. Big credit to those making it all happen.
– I don’t like men patting me on the bum, grabbing my arm or showing me any other personal physical attention in the hope of getting me to buy stuff.?
– the food is great and the prices are even better. $5-10 for a feed is pretty normal and very good.
– Bali belly got me once… I like to eat anything and everything and in my 20’s did 9 trips of the Philippines without the slightest tummy upset. I got known as the bloke with the cast iron gut. But yesterday I got the shivers and the runs. After 4 days of doing everything to stay cool I found myself having a cup of tea and a hot shower, turning the air con off and hopping onto bed with the blankets pulled up. It lasted a day and now I’m pretty much back to normal – except my immune system must be more resilient… Right?… All ready for those king prawns at Christmas dinner!
– I was missing good coffee and then discovered a place called Mugshot in Legian about 100m from where we are staying. We went there today and they do a sensational job. It’s Aussie owned with fresh beans and even some cakes and stuff to go with it. I’m sure there is plenty of good coffee in Bali if you know where to go.
– the surf has been pretty average all the time we have been here. I should clarify that I am describing the beach break out the front of the hotel. Gentle chest high close outs are ok for learners, but not much fun if you know what you are doing. We drove past Medewie on the way to one of the orphanges and it was head high, glassy and looked great… But I didn’t think it appropriate to ask everyone to stop for me… Given it’s a two drive in ugly traffic I’m not sure I want to try it again.
– I have only read one book. The Messenger by Marcus Zusack. I loved it. A great story and full of hope filled redemptive images. Everyone raves about Book Thief, but I thought this was a more appealing read.
– I watched Inception on the day I was sick and then fell into a deep, sick, sleep and dream. You know those dreams where you are almost delirious? Not a good movie to watch that day!
– waddya do with video piracy? Personally I don’t buy them, but when you see how some of these guys struggle to live you can almost support it.?
– did I mention I suck at shopping? I used to enjoy the haggle but now I just want to be left alone. I am particularly fussy so chances are I might not even buy anything, but with Mr Shop owner breathing down your neck you feel like you have to. Best if I avoid those situations.
– this might reveal insecurity issues with my masculinity but I won’t be getting a manicure or pedicure any time soon…
– traffic… Ouch!
– how’s an introvert coping with a massive extended family holiday? Pretty good i reckon! 20 years ago this wouldn’t have been my cup of tea at all, but I reckon it’s a real privilege to be part of a family like this who really do enjoy one another and know how to have fun. I don’t have any extended family in Oz so marrying Danelle created a bit of culture shock in the early years of our marriage. I found it hard to be around a rowdy, partying group who were having fun – and no doubt they found it hard to be around an uncomfortable introvert. These days I enjoy the relationships, take my moments of solitude to recharge and it all works out well.
Well… 5 days to go… It’s great to get a break from work and be in a different space so I’ll be soaking that up for as long as possible.