A Quiet Day in Denpasar

Karma and karma

The above picture is one of the paintings in the corridors of this hotel. Full credit to the artist, whoever he is, and I’d credit him properly if I knew his name. They’re all originals and for sale. (Although, can a painting of Buddha be considered original?) I have 35 photos of all the paintings, which I’ll sprinkle around.

The past two days have been very wet here, not that I mind at all. I’ve just stayed in a bit, that’s all, and kept up the emails and image manipulations. I’m talking very nicely with the owner of the Jasmine Villa, an Australian who lives in Perth. That makes it easy. We’re very much on the same wavelength in being Baliphiles and lovers of Indonesian life.

I now have internet access independently of hotels. I bought a wireless USB modem and two weeks’ data access and despite some installation hassles, now sorted, it works fine. In fact it’s faster than I have at home!

I had a very nice coincidence related to this yesterday. I got the USB modem working as I said, and I wondered whether to go back to the shop about 200m up the road to tell Marisa, the very nice girl from Sulawesi who sold it to me. But it’s too difficult to cross the roads, so although I looked at the centre from afar, I decided not to bother.

So I turned back to the Circle K mini-mart shop and who should be there but Marisa! She said, “Oh Mr Croft” and I said “Oh Marisa” so we remembered each other’s names and I said, “Fixed it” so we had a good chat about how and why. It was a very nice resolution of the problem.

As well as that, I’ve finally managed to get a high sensitivity Wireless-N USB antenna working, so I can see wi-fi networks from afar. I hope that’ll allow me to use a higher speed connection at the Mercure from my room, wherever it is, without having to go to the lobby.

I can’t wait to quit this Aston Hotel. The atrocities just continue. They took my tray away from me again in the restaurant yesterday! Clearly, guests are not allowed to use trays. OK, but if the dishes were actually delivered to my table, I wouldn’t mind.

Again, no towels in the bathroom and no tissues in the box. Here I am with a cold and eyes and nose streaming, but having to use toilet paper.

I ordered room service dinner last night, Rendang Beef, described on the menu as beef stew with a coconut flavour, which it is. I got a kind of Nasi Goreng with a bit of beef in it! Nothing like Rendang. I was very disappointed. Then before I’d actually finished eating, for the first time the room service people phoned and asked if I’d finished and could they collect the tray. What??!! Usually they don’t collect it until the room is cleaned the next day.

I’d also asked for a bowl of ice cubes, since the fridge won’t freeze. Not delivered. I had to phone again!

Then, later, have you ever tried to manipulate a soup bowl of ice cubes in a freezer with no door at calf level ? No, thought not. Suddenly it flew out and ice went all over the floor. As I’ve said, these floors are glossy smooth tiles, so I had to VERY carefully collect the ice and spread a towel on the floor.

This morning I dropped the (thin) soap in the shower (no jokes, please. I’m in this room alone and I can’t bend over!) As a test I decideed to leave it there and see if they would pick it up and replace it.

No! Fail! It was not picked up and not replaced. I had to ask for more soap. This is unacceptable in a hotel of this level.

One of my favourites of the paintings. I’d hang this.

Anyway, I’m really looking forward to the next nine days. A beachfront hotel of a four star standard, rooms in a garden setting in thatched cottages, a huge restaurant/bar on the beach, a short walk (200m) away from my prospective new home, and surrounded by small restaurants and bars. I’ll be out of this mosque like a shot.

Kintamani 1986 (C) PJ Croft

I hope to finally get out on the road and do some touring this week. One of the drivers last week struck me as a bit brighter, with better, almost fluent English, so I think I’ll give him a call. His name’s Wayan, of course.

I also bought two books today (boy, there’s another story in that!) One is called A House in Bali by Colin McPhee. It’s a story of a Canadian musician who came to live in Bali to pursue the music. I can relate to that.

Plus I bought a Ken Follett novel, Eye of the Needle. He’s good!

Indo girl 1980. Natural beauty.

I continue to be impressed by the Pentax K-5 – it ticks every box. Fantastic quality and I love the pictures. Gotta get out and make more pics like the above.