scootin' around bali
Kuta Travel Blog› entry 44 of 56 › view all entries
Being a beach/tourist town, Kuta offers all your sun-n-surf attire needs. Pretty much every street is lined with shops begging and grabbing at you to purchase their saraongs of dresses or I HEART BALI towels. Theyâ€™re all the same from store to store. This is where the art of haggling comes in handy! Walking down Poppies I and Poppies II (the main stall-style shopping areas), one is a broken record of â€śno thank yous.â€ť Kuta requires patience!
While some prices are raised to maximize the tourist income, food is wonderfully cheap. At first I as distraught at the lack of cooking I could do to save some money, but Iâ€™m sitting here eating a large serving of vegetable curry and a sipping on Bingtang, the local beer (akin to Bud Light), and my total tab is Rp 28000. Roughly US$3. I think I can handle to expense of eating out. Plus, the hotel offers free breakfast. For half the price of eating at McDonalds or for the price of a coffee at Starbucks (both of which still maintain their Western price tags) I get a meal I can barely finish.
Iâ€™ve fallen into quite an enjoyable routine. My day begins around , sans alarm, and jolting awake with a swim in the pool. Originally I promised myself Iâ€™d start running again, especially since I have the beach just outsideâ€¦but I opted to not pass up the opportunity of having a pool. Having cooled off from my perpetual sweaty stickiness, the cold shower isnâ€™t as shocking as one might think. Iâ€™ve gotten used to a lack of hot water. Breakfast (free!) is tar-like Indonesian coffee, a fried egg on (really sweet) toast, and a meager serving of fruit. Itâ€™s so hot out that this sustains me until dinnerâ€¦I just gulp about a litre of water throughout the day.
Itâ€™s a taxing wonder through Kutaâ€™s small, stall-filled lanes until , then itâ€™s time to slather on the sunscreen and head to the tourist packed sand. One canâ€™t even escape sales pressure at the beach. Men come over to offer jewelry â€śfor cheap priceâ€ť or henna tattoos. Women with food balanced atop offer fruit or massages. Lazzing away the afternoon, being as unproductive as possible, itâ€™s time to rinse off the sand that has migrated everywhere, cool off with an iced coffee, then head back to the beach to catch the ever so perfect sunset.
Then the search for dinner commences!
Being highly geared toward tourists seeking the perfect tan, thereâ€™s more emphasis on surfing than culture. But, Hindu life is still aboundâ€¦from small offerings to the gods outside shops and on the sands of the beach, to full on displays of evening prayer
Iâ€™ve successfully managed to laze away a week (without a sunburn!). Itâ€™s the last supper and Iâ€™m going Chinese. Iâ€™m leaving behind my better judgment of ordering local foodâ€¦but in all honestly, it all tastes rather similar. Everything is pretty much some sort of meat or veggies in satay sauce and a small pile of white rice. So thatâ€™s my justification for ordering the â€śfried noodle special.â€ť
The day finished itself off with yet another perfect sunset, a reliable even each evening. The sun seems to swell as it begins its descent towards the ocean. It grows slightly more rotund and develops a deeper orange glow, rather than its daytime blinding yellow. There always seems to be a solitary cloud that crosses its path briefly. The waves below calm momentarily (Iâ€™m sure something to do with the shifting push and pull between the setting sun and rising moon) and become lightly tinted orange from above. As the beach quiets down and people begin their trek back into townâ€¦just as you start to settle into the relaxing crash of the waves in the backgroundâ€¦stupid little sand crab/hermit type ugly little critters start popping in and out of the sand! Iâ€™m not â€śat one with natureâ€ť enough to be okay sharing the sand with them. Iâ€™ve opened myself up to salamanders and can make peace with sharing my room with oneâ€¦two at the most.
I thought that was pretty big of me!
Culture shock note: I never gave much thought to chain stores. This further text excludes the monstrosities of McDonalds, Starbucks, and for some reason KFC. I pretty much assumed each country had their own chainsâ€¦we have acquired some of Europeâ€™s (IKEA, H&M) and other countries have taken on some of ours. BUTâ€¦thereâ€™s a whole world of chains out there unknown to us North Americans. The rest of the world seems to have chains that weâ€™re not a part of. Things I thought funny of NZ culture really arenâ€™t specific to NZ at allâ€¦ Their different words/brandsâ€¦well theyâ€™re all over British-inspired countries. Itâ€™s
Itâ€™s embarrassing that our contribution to the globe is McDonalds (and Bushâ€™s mess).