Guy Fawkes night tonight

Selemat Pagi,

Guy Fawkes had nothing on Bali. Two nights ago I was hearing loud thumps every few seconds and I was so sure it was workmen using a sledgehammer to demolish brickwork on one of the villas around here that I didn’t go out to look.

But apparently it was fireworks! I saw a few again last night but only briefly and from a fair distance up the beach. I wish I’d seen the ones on Wednesday night. They must have been close.

Well tonight, November 5, is the Olde English Guy Fawkes night, so I wonder if they’ll put on another show. I wish the gods would put on a show, too. The weather is grey, cloudy, dull light mostly. I want some thunderstorm action or atmospheric dust from Merapi. No such luck.

First things first – here’s a better attempt at incorporating video. I hope it works this time. It’s quite good resolution and size, but this time I’ve got it down to 3.3MB instead of 47MB.

Here are some more pictures. I’m having great trouble placing them in the position I want them on the page.

OK, that worked well. This is a pano using Autostitch. I’ve worked the sky using a grad filter in Adobe Lightroom, Keith. I’m getting the hang of that program.

The squirrels are in the trees just outside the rooms. Beautiful. The birds try to fight them away from the food.

I went for a good trip last evening. Tripped on the double step in front of my room and went down hard. No damage, though it hurt a bit at the time. Luckily a hotel staff guy was right there and was very solicitous and helped me up. No problem.

We walked up the beach path in the other direction last night for dinner. I don’t know why it is, but almost all the restaurants were nearly empty, until we reached the one the guys had picked, the Duck’s Nuts or something. It was busy! All the tables on the sand were packed, but there were plenty of seats in the covered area, so that’s where we et (yes, et. Apparently that’s quite a valid English variation on ate.) I don’t know why they were getting the business, but…

The guys had steak, mushroom soup, sweet and sour chicken, all those local delicacies.

I had lumpia again, hoping to get the Balinese lumpia I know (big, spicy minced lamb and vegetables wrapped in a sausage shape like a Chiko roll with sweet soy sauce – kecap manis). Nope, spring rolls again, with sweet and sour Chinese sauce, just like I can get at Coles.

Then I had Nasi Goreng again, hoping for the savoury spicy rice full of prawns, chopped chicken, beef, pork and veges, with a fried egg on top and maybe crushed peanuts.  No way. Not a shrimp or other piece of meat to be found, artificially coloured rice, the egg was there and the peanuts were already on the table, and a piece of tomato on the side, but that was it. No chili, no spices.

Grrrr. This is food dumbed down for Aussie tourists, I think. All that was missing was fries and it could have been McBali. At $15.60 for the two courses and a G&T, it’s no great loss, but I didn’t come here to eat Aussie flavoured stodge.  The best meal I’ve had was on Tuesday night just 50m down the main road, Jalan Tamblingan, so I’m going back there tonight.

I’ve been trying to get some photos again this morning, Ian, using the Fuji S100 for close-ups. Naaaah. I tried to get it to focus, macro, super macro, super mario bros, but it constantly said “Computer says no.” It’s good for lots of things, but when the going gets tough, the Canon 40D delivers. I found the same in Europe in ’08. I like the Fuji, but…

By the way, Sir Les? Les Paterson? All your sons are here, hundreds of ’em. Can you come and collect them please?

OK lunchtime. More later