I’m not sure if that’s a word in Indonesian, but that’s what it feels like to be out in the streets in Bali. So full of people, so full of life, so invigorating.

I’m back on line at last, having endured over 36 hrs without my computer (sob!). I had to go into Denpasar this morning to buy the three pronged clover-leaf shaped power lead for my laptop charger. It was easy to find and now I’m charging up again after nearly running out of battery. The lead cost Rp. 80,000. I nearly started haggling until I realised that’s less than $10! It’s $9.30 to be exact. Let the guy have his profit margin.
Same with the taxi – the fare to Denpasar was about Rp. 35,000 on the meter and I only had a 50,000 note. I did initially ask for Rp.10,000 back, but, “Sorry, no change.” So I let him have the Rp.15,000 tip – that’s $1.74. It’s OK.

Random thoughts from this morning:

  • The beautiful manners, the politeness, the smiles, the friendliness, the quiet demeanour of Indonesian people. What a difference. Sure, the constant “Hello boss”, “Taxi boss?”, “Where are you from, boss?” as the opening gambit can get a bit wearing after a while, but just give a polite no and it’s fine. I can live with it.
  • The fabulous variety of shops and the huge range of stock they carry.
  • Call me an MCP if you like, but how great to see the clothing departments catering for men. I’m sick of the total domination of Aussie shops by females! Here, men are very nicely catered for.
  • Not only are men’s clothes in abundance, I can immediately see colours and patterns I’d like to buy! I’ve been thinking for years of complaining to Myer, Woolies, DJs, K-Mart and Target etc about the utter drabness of their clothing. The overall impression I get in these shops (DJs possibly excepted) is black and dirty colours. Colours are impure, drab, ugly, just plain weird! Yet immediately here I see fantastic earth tone combinations, metallics, complementary tasteful blends, fine patterns. I’m talking shirts, polo and golf shirts, everything. It’s simple: at home, I can’t find clothes I want to buy. Here, I’m awash in stuff I’d love to buy.
  • So why don’t I buy all my clothes here? Er, I’m afraid I’m too big for it now. They don’t make size 4XL or 5XL here. How embarrassing it is. What a nation of fatties we’ve become! It’s incredibly noticeable in the hotel and on the streets. We’re all huge, most of us, anyway. The guys  I’m with are OK, but we tourists stand out for our flab. Oh dear. On the flight here, I simply couldn’t fasten my seatbelt because it wouldn’t reach! I tried other seats – same. Same problem in the taxi this morning – I couldn’t fasten the seatbelt. I’m just too fat. I sat in the back seat on the way home. There are no belts in the back, but I had trouble getting through the door! This is not good.
  • I’m afraid I’m unlikely to get many good photos, too, for that reason. I’m having to be so careful when walking to avoid tripping and falling that I just can’t think about photography any more. I’m carrying my small camera, but only in the bag, not at the ready. Maybe it’ll improve, but …

I drafted this in my hotel room (nice and cool), but I’ve found that the wi-fi only works in the lobby, so I have to take the computer there to connect. How annoying! The lobby is a typical open Balinese area, open to the air. Very pleasant most of the time, but I want to do things in my room, not there.  I’m trying to think of a way around this, but all I can think of is buying a USB wireless broadband modem and a month’s connection with one of the local telecom companies. Possible, but a bit expensive, I think. At home, you can buy a USB modem and a 2GB data allowance for $69, I think. Maybe I can do something similar here.

Boy, did I sleep last night! I crashed at about 8:30pm, I think, and although I woke several times during the night for a wii, and saw the dawn light at about 6:30am, I slept until 8am. I felt much better for it, too. It rained heavy and long last night, as well.

Breakfast is included in our room tariff and how pleasant to go and sit overlooking the pool and gardens and be served fresh fruit, Bali coffee, OJ, eggs and bacon and toast. It’s something I haven’t tasted for years and it’s great.

OK, 6:00pm and a golden afternoon light. Time to go on-line, post this and then have a nice cold beer or two. Wow! I can live like this.

(I really want to post pictures but no time at this moment. Won’t be long.)