Paydirt!

Mouse glue, anyone? Surely it isn’t what it says? Poor mice. Mosquito essence? Freshly squeezed?  Another sign on a motor repair shop says “Cat Oven”. I know about hot dogs, but surely not …?

At last, an enjoyable meal. No, not the PETS FOOD – Made’s Restaurant, Jalan Tamblingan, Sanur. It has quite a large Asian section on the menu and apart from a Chinese bias, there’s a reasonable choice of Indonesian dishes, including Rijstaffel if you don’t mind waiting and paying a bit more.

I had a Coco Surprise, prawns served in a half coconut. The coconut was genuine, but not the kind you can eat, just a container. The prawns were tiny shrimps with sliced champignon style mushrooms, plus chopped tomato and onion (I think) on lettuce. It was covered in a seafood sauce straight out of a bottle, I reckon, but it was passable.

By the way, in Indonesian, kelapa is coconut and kepala is head, so it’s easy to mix them up and get a smile when you do.

Then finally, for the first time here, I had beef rendang. It wasn’t as fiery hot as I expected, but it was delicious even so, rich and full of coconut milk flavour. The beef was beautifully tender and broke apart with a fork, no steak knife needed, even though one was provided. Nasi putih on another plate with a mix of tiny chopped beans and bean sprouts and bawang goreng on top. Excellent. I’d go back there for sure.

The highlight of the evening, though, was our waitress Widi (pronounced Wee-dee). She was full of humour and bouncy personality and very pretty to go with it. I made sure to tell her I was sendirian* and she called me boss man after that. She wore no ring – I wouldn’t mind being swami* to her. She’s only early twenties, though. Sob.

Boss man

I’m also very chuffed in the barang* department. I brought my camera bag, but it’s too big, heavy and bulky so I’ve been carrying everything around in a plastic shopping bag. Not very secure and not much protection for cameras.

Walking back to the hotel after lunch yesterday I stopped in at  a smart looking clothes and accessories shop (just for a browse, you know) and although it’s mainly female oriented, I saw a brown Dolce & Gabbana bag with a laptop compartment that just grabbed me. It’s all zips and straps, but very male and a beautiful soft leather, chocolate brown and real leather (here, sniff).

Not wanting to appear too eager and needing to check whether the laptop fits (I didn’t have it with me), I feigned lack of interest and turned to the other shelves. Wallets, got wallets, ho hum, wait, what’s this? Bally men’s wallet, perfection in chocolate brown leather and fine patterned tough synthetic. Instant “gotta have it”.

Again I tried to look bored, noted the prices and went back to the hotel to have a snooze and work out the exchange rates.

An hour later, very refreshed after a solid sleep, I needed waver no more. I took the laptop with me in my elegant plastic shopping bag and headed for the ATM to get some cash, because I wanted to avoid using credit cards if I could.

How crazy is it? I needed about Rp. 1,500,000 – yes, a million and a half. The ATM won’t go that much – Rp.500,000 is the limit. I tried typing in the full million and a half and it said “Computer says no,” and rejected me. Did I say “sniff”?

Anyway, I made two consecutive withdrawals of Rp.500,000 each and that would have to do. Even so, that’s a thick wad of 20 Rp.50,000 notes. I’m rich, I’m rich!

To the shop (50m away), the laptop fitted perfectly, the wallet was still there, so I decided to risk the kredit kad anyway. “Oooooh, can you pay cash, sir?” No, I can’t get enough, I say.

Oh, did I forget to mention the prices? A miilion rupiahs?? “Aaayy, terlalu mahal!” Well, I didn’t feel the need to haggle too hard: the magnificent D&G bag was Rp.810,000 = $90 and the wallet was Rp.388,000 = $43. I reckon a bag like that would cost $250-$350 at home and the wallet would be in the $70-$100 range.

So I jokingly started haggling and got it down to Rp.800,000 for the bag and Rp.375,000 for the wallet, $88.88 and $41.66 respectively (wow, what a haggle expert!). These are machine printed price labels with bar codes in a franchise shop, not something the shop keeper makes up on the spot. So doing the bag on kredit kad and wallet for cash, honour was satisfied.

And here they are. Not your bag? Too bag!.

Pleased as punch! Makes the trip worthwhile on its own. Not too expensive, not too heavy or bulky, and something to last me for years and years.

There are other wallets there by Burberry, Dunhill, Prada and so on, in excellent styles that I just don’t see at home. I may buy a couple more.

 I’ve just discovered that there’s a rock pond in the grounds with a pair of resident tortoises which see you arrive and come looking for food. I have hi-def vision! And a dark red chukta, a dragonfly.

Now to check email, send this and get moving!

* look it up in Wikipedia Translate