Bali Monday 14 December – day 2

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I slept so well last night that when I awoke, the dawn was already over. I missed that one, but I’ve just walked down to the beach and back and it’s so cloudy and misty that there’s no chance of any good photos.

I walked to the beach, 200m, because this hotel doesn’t have a restoran. They have an arrangement with a beach restaurant so you just present a voucher. (I’m beginning to see why this hotel only has one star. It’s fine. More on that later.)  It was a nice brekky and the exercise does me a heap of good. I’ve seen the pool here and although it’s small and looks shallow, I’ll go in after this.

Technology’s marvellous, ain’t it? I’m sitting here listening to ABC Radio 720Perth as if I were at home. No wires – the laptop connects to the internet by wi-fi with minimum fuss and it’s faster than I get at home.

I took some shots at the beach but I’ve just discovered that my SD card adapter can’t cope with my SDXC UHS3 card. I’ll have to use a cable. Coming up. (Later: Grrrr, I’ve realised that the Panasonic camera uses its own special “USB” connector and I didn’t bring that cable. I’ve never had to connect to the camera before so I just didn’t think of it. OK, I’ll have to find a computer shop and buy a new USB adapter card to cope with SDXC cards.)

I weakened on the way back and made the mistake of talking to a shop owner about T shirts. I didn’t want one, but in a fit of madness, I found myself inside the shop, seated, trying on besar T-shirts, 4XL. Three against one, all the women imploring me to buy. But the opening price was Rp. 380,000. What?! That’s A$38. I said NO, that’s more expensive than at home. No way. I offered 50,000. Ooooh, sad faces. And so it went on. The final price was Rp. 200,000 = A$20 approx. And I didn’t even want a T-shirt! It’s not bad, it’s heavyweight cotton, a pale grey-green Billabong design. Plus, they all wanted a tip – “You give one dollar, mister?” That added another Rp. 30,000. I’ve never done this before. I weakened. It’s Xmas, I suppose.

On the other hand, I was rummaging through the pockets of my venerable shoulder bag at the brekky table and I found 85,000 rupiahs. That was a bonus. I had no idea it was there. Therefore redistributing some of it seems reasonable at Xmas time.

That venerable bag has been with me since 1990, I think, when I bought it at Tang’s, Orchard Rd in Singapore. It’s a great bag, just the right size and obviously well made and durable. Real leather flaps and fittings. Good value.

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At breakfast I was reading the Weekend Australian magazine, an article about the Australian born Lebanese guy in Sydney who drives Ferraris and thinks he can take over an entire street for his wedding reception. The article is scathing in its exposure of the corruption which is going on in these Sydney suburbs which are virtually controlled by Lebanese & Chinese property developers. They have gained election to the council and they just make the rules as they go along, enriching themselves and their friends, ignoring the community. How do they get elected and continue being re-elected? Why does the community allow them to do this stuff? I guess the answer is that people don’t vote in local government elections and the powerful people organise their friends to vote for them. Ordinary people could put a stop to all this if they (1) knew what was really going on, and (2) got off their backsides and voted for decent, honest candidates at council elections.

However, let’s never forget that this Liberal federal government is running a hugely expensive royal commission trying to show corruption in trade unions and to link it to the Labor Party. Trying to damage Bill Shorten.

But they just ignore this blatant corruption by property developers, most of whom are Liberal Party supporters. The former NSW Liberal Government even passed legislation which gave councils and property developers carte blanche to change rules to benefit themselves. Will we ever see the Liberal government trying to expose that? Not likely. These people are in each others’ pockets. Corruption is rampant in Liberal ranks. Bloody hypocrites!

I recommend reading this article. It’s an eye opener.

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Back to this hotel: it’s only rated at 1 star, yet the rate is approx. A$50 a night. I chose it for location, really, and because the photos of the rooms look really nice. It lives up to the photos. The room is big and the bed is a huge four poster complete with canopy and curtains. The mattress is a bit hard, but OK.

As I said, it turns out not to have a restaurant which is a little disappointing, but there’s the Sports Bar directly across the street and a mass of restaurants 200m down the street at the beachfront.

The bathroom is good – all modern, with a good shower. No standing in a bath to have a shower, which I hate.

I’ve just spent nearly an hour in the pool. It’s small, only about 10m x 8m, but adequate. I was the only one there. There are guests here, but it’s very quiet. The pool is good exercise. I just went slowly round and round, using muscles that rarely get used. At one stage both legs cramped, the muscles at the back of the thighs, and they would not unlock for five minutes or more. Oooww. Slowly they came good. I’m really having trouble with cramps.

So far I’d say the price is too high for what you get, but it’s about par for the area. I’ll think about that more, later.

I had a slight panic this morning. I realised I’d locked the safe and messed up the procedure when I set the code, so I couldn’t open it again. I had visions of having to pay a locksmith. But the hotel guy peeled off a label on the safe door and used a special key, then deleted my code so that I could set it all again. Phew.

I also realised this morning that the room has a back door to an alley for the cleaning staff, and the door hadn’t been locked overnight, until I found out after breakfast. Phew again.

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I’ve also found that an 8GB USB thumb drive that I had loaded with stuff I want on this trip is not where I thought it was. I must have left it in the PC at home. Boogah. It’s not vital, but it’s annoying.

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