Jasmine Villa

Ketewel, top right
The villa at Ketewel, available for rent

First, the Google Earth images show where I was taken yesterday. The villa for rent or sale is at the end of that white path above. Just for interest.

I’ve been working to try to get the video files I shot yesterday of the Jasmine Villa down to a size able to be posted. It’s not easy!

This first one was converted using Handbrake and is 31MB. It’s still FullHD, just heavily compressed.

The next one is reduced to 1280×720, still HD but not Full HD. Even so, it ended up at 87MB (it’s longer than the one above). I don’t know if it’ll load.

Naaah! The first one took so long to upload that it’s hopeless. Battery will die first. Try this one and I’ll try to reduce the other files further.


New Year’s Eve in Bali

Waiting for the funeral – Kuta Beach

 Another mixed day but generally, bagus!

I texted Yudhi at about 11am to ask for another meeting at about 2pm. Then kapow, I slept for a good hour. Sometimes you just slip quickly into a deep sleep and it feels good.

Yudhi texted back – please make it 3pm. So just before, I went to the lobby to wait and took the opportunity to ask about the NYE ticket again and why they hadn’t got back to me.

It’s a long story, but they won’t budge. No refunds, no credit.

OK, I still have the option of refusing to pay the final room service and restaurant bills. I don’t think they’ll add up to that amount, but it’ll be somewhere near that.

I am also going to say that I am VERY dissastified with the hotel and I’m going to give them the worst review possible on all the hotel web booking sites. See how they like that.

Later: it’s occurred to me that despite all my discussions at the desk, they never actually gave me “the ticket”! I never received the actual piece of paper. So I can legitimately say, but you never gave me what you have charged me for.


Anyway, Yudhi finally showed to collect me at 4pm (for a 3pm appointment) and we set off, this time with the gorgeous Weewill in the front seat. It was nice, but I have never heard two people talk so non-stop! They just nattered in Balinese, on and on and on, no break, one talking for 5 mins, then the other taking over for 5 mins. At least I didn’t have to take part. I wasn’t offended, but I sure wasn’t part of their world for the next 30 mins.

We’d headed out along a major road into the countryside, I didn’t know where. Then off into a village, then along a winding rutted dirt country track which got rougher and rougher, through cow pastures with contented cows resting, chewing their cuds. Suddenly, there was the beach and surf. We finally pulled into a small group of buildings and a large villa complex. This was what he wanted to show me!

I said, Yudhi, this is NEVER going to suit me. What is the point? I would need a 4WD drive to get here and I wouldn’t be able to walk anywhere.

Just look, he said, so I did. Yeah, it’s huge, two storey and right on the beachfront and has four huge bedrooms and bathrooms and a huge entertaining area, both upstairs and downstairs. But what the hell he thought my reaction would be is a mystery.

It turned out to be at Ketewel, on the road to Gianyar, about 10km north of Sanur. Great place for a big group of people to rent for a holiday – $650pw, but useless to me. Four couples could rent this and that would bring the rate down to about $150pw each, which would be a fantastic holiday deal. Make a deal with a car and driver and you’d be set.

So back to Sanur and the Jasmine (2 storey) villa.

Jasmine Villa, from upper bedroom

This time I explored it upstairs and downstairs, and shot lots of pics and video. I don’t know what it is that attracts me, but it does. It’s the compactness, actually. I don’t want a huge place. This is not small, but it nestles around the block and pool.

It turns out to be north south aligned, as the sun was setting over the left side wall. That’s OK, good in fact.

Jasmine Villa balcony, Komar the housekeeper

There are lots of things I’d need fixed before I bought, though. A chromed grating in the bathroom was rusted, for example, and the tiling in the shower was pretty rough. Everything is open to the weather and needs a good clean. For a new, never occupied house, it looks quite weathered. Nothing a bit of elbow grease won’t fix. The wooden door and window frames need revarnishing already. Some of the paint work is pretty rough. But it’s OK, easily fixed.

While I was “filming”, I ventured into the housekeeper’s quarters. Wow, I surprised her husband (or some guy) and Komar was there with about four very young kids, all on the floor of a very small room with just a mattress. They were a bit embarrassed, but I made light of it and moved away quickly. It seems to be all they have and it’s their life. Crumbs, she’s not actually my choice as a housekeeper (no English, a bit uncool) and I may have to ask her to move out, but I’d hate to do it. Awful situation.

I have Yudhi’s approval for Komar to let me visit any of the villas in the next week or so to spend some time on my own looking at them. He says he has a potential buyer for the middle one now, but I suspect it’s all sales tactics. These villas seem to have been idle for months judging by the weathering of the surfaces.


Anyway, I stayed on in Sanur when Yudhi and Weewill left, and I wandered down the street to have a drink in the pubs. Great area, full of night life and restaurants. I had a  couple of beers in a pub, (playing ABBA! Yeah!), made even more memorable by the fireworks rockets every few seconds. All over Bali, they are celebrating New Year all week with fireworks. Nice.

Then I caught a taxi back to Denpasar. The driver moaned but the traffic wasn’t bad – we were slowed but never actually stopped by traffic jams. The meter showed Rp.67,000 but I had a Rp.100,000 note (A$11) so I said keep the change, Untuk anak-anak, for the kids. He appreciated it.

Musical kids, Ubud


Now in Denpasar, as well as the fireworks and rockets, Nature is making its own New Year welcome. Thunder, lightning, fireworks rockets and rain are flashing, crashing and lashing, sometimes virtually simultaneously. (The rain is coming through the window frame, making the glossy tiled floor wet, right near the lamp power switch by the bed! Great hotel.)

I crashed, myself, at about 1030pm and slept immediately. But I awoke some time later (there’s no bed light so I can’t turn the light on to see my watch!) It must have been before midnight, I assume, because if I thought the fireworks were spectacular earlier, they were just continuous now. I didn’t mind at all, but the noise of explosions was just non-stop, like a battle. There must have been tens of thousands, even hundreds of thousands of bangs and explosions. It was just an amazing, continuous din.

To me, this shows exuberance and a sense of fun. I’d guess these fireworks are home made, because to buy so many would be expensive and they were coming from everywhere around. Unfortunately, my room has no view of the street, only other rooms and the pool, so I could only see the flashes in the sky. I tried going to the window, but the floor was wet where rain had seeped in and the foot switch for the lamp stand was there, so I dared not go any closer.

Dark and brooding. Lava flows, Kintamani

It went on for a long time and I drifted off to sleep again, to dream of tense work situations involving strange video cartridge machines and odd test equipment from England. Huh! Even after ten years of retirement, work still dominates my dreams.


Oh, yes! My favourite electronics magazine Elektor has reported on a new treatment for sleep apnea, which I got.

“Persistent oxygen starvation often results in daytime fatigue, lack of concentration and decreased alertness and can go on to increase the risk of heart attack and stroke. Depression, muscle pain, inefficient metabolism, diabetes, impotence and a host of other ailments are also associated with sleep apnea.”

You bet! I can verify that. I’ve got my CPAP machine and it works, but travelling with it is a nuisance and I’m terrified of losing it or having it fail in a foreign country. And it weighs 2.5Kg and takes up a fair amount of space in my case.

“The Upper Airway Stimulation (UAS) therapy designed by Inspire Medical Systems stimulates the nerve that controls the base of the tongue with a small electrical pulse during sleep, to keep it toned and in place [ie to stop it relaxing and blocking the airway].

“A pacemaker-like device is implanted under the skin, near the collarbone, and a wire is fed to the problematic twelfth cranial nerve. A sensor detects when the sufferer takes a breath and instructs the implant to stimulate the nerve. The system is adjusted so that the tongue receives just enough current to keep it from blocking the airway but not enough to disturb sleep (or result in any rude mid-snooze gestures) and a remote allows the patient to activate and deactivate the system. A timer can also be set so that the zapping is delayed until after the user is asleep.”

Duck! Low flying canards.

However, as usual, it’s just entering clinical trials in the US, so I reckon I might have passed on to the big sleep by the time it becomes available and I won’t care any more. Sigh.

I’m at breakfast on Saturday and again have had to sit a mile away from the food. Once again, I picked up a tray to carry my stuff, and they did it again! They took it off me. OK, I said, please carry this, and I put my OJ on the tray. But when I got back to my table, there was no OJ! What kind of crazy hotel is this?

Cukup!  Meaning, enough! I can’t wait for Monday, to get out of here.