Bali day 5 – Thurs 17 Dec 2015

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Sanur Bali (C) PJ Croft 2015

Glum, glum, gloom.

First, when I checked out of the Aquarius Hotel in Sanur this morning, they charged me Rp.650,000 ($65 approx.) per night. I was sure when I booked it was Rp.500,000 or thereabouts, and for the past few days I’ve been considering what I should write for a review based on that price. To be charged a higher price is very annoying. But I had no way to prove it – my laptop was in my bag and I didn’t have the printout of my booking sheet. I just had to make a polite protest and say I’ll come back to them about it. That upset me right away.

Then I taxiied to what I thought was going to be a good standard hotel that I’d booked in Kuta, The Oasis. I was going by the photos on the internet. But when the taxi arrived at the Kuta address, we found the hotel’s down a lane so narrow that the taxi couldn’t go in. No problem I guess, there was a guy there to pull my bags. (Gawd, is that all he does all day?)

The lobby looked a bit gloomy as soon as I walked in, not the standard I expected. Then I’d asked for (booked) a first floor room, but there’s no lift. I’d assumed from the internet pics that there would be one. OK, ground floor, but that costs another Rp.50,000 (it’s only $5!) a night.

As soon as I saw the room I felt bad. It’s smallish and the bathrooms are tiny. Bathrooms, plural? Yeah, shower on one side of the entry, washbasin and toilet on the other. And I have to sit at an angle on the toilet – there’s not enough room for my legs, and I’ve got short legs. An Aussie 6-footer would hate this!

The fridge is small and I thought it wouldn’t be cold enough for my insulin, but after a few hours, it’s just adequate. It’s at max cold, though.

There’s no table or easy chairs! I’m writing this at a small pullout table just big enough to take the laptop, and sitting on a plastic chair from outside. The table is too low. My back is hunched and it’s awful. I’ll have to ask for a table to be brought in.

Aaaah, thank goodness. When I first plugged my UniPal universal battery charger in, the plug kept falling out. After a few of these power glitches, the charger wouldn’t power up. Disaster. I need it for both my cameras and my phone. But I’ve just fiddled with it yet again and suddenly it’s working. Phew!

Oh, I forgot to mention, this hotel required payment up front. Yeah, in advance. Grrrrrr. That means if I complain, I’m stuffed. They’ve got my money. This is bad enough that I’d consider moving somewhere else, but that would be difficult now.

OK, bad start to the day. Walked out along the alley, 25m, and I’m in a street just chock full of shops and restorans. Including a Circle K mini market right there. Good, shampoo.

Lunch of nasi campur and a small beer, then back to the room for a 1hr nap, then a swim. Boy, this pool was made for water walking. It must be 50m long but only 1.3m deep, max. That means you can just walk the length and back. This is good for me, the exercise my doctor recommends.

It’s 6pm and loud disco style music is blaring away. Uh oh. I’m in a room closest to the reception and restaurant. I hope this isn’t going to be a problem.

And, the bathroom (basin and toilet section) floor is wet. It’s a leak from that awful douche device, I think. I hate this. As well, there’s nowhere to hang the towel. No towel rail or hooks at all. There’s no wardrobe – at first I thought there were no coat hangers, but I’ve found a kind of chromed prong sticking out from the wall in the room with about four coat hangers. No ice cube tray in the fridge either. No kettle for my chamomile tea. This is terrible! They’ll get a bad review from me. I wouldn’t stay here again in a fit.

I’ve just spent an hour trying to find an acceptable wi-fi internet speed and this one seems to be just acceptable. There are six choices, I assume spaced along the block. One of the weak ones seems the fastest. Here goes.

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I forgot to mention: I finished The Martian movie last night. It’s good, and I’ll buy the Blu-Ray version and watch it again, but it’s nowhere near as good as the book. The book is one of the best I’ve read in years. It’s not literature, but it is great writing. It’s the stream of thoughts of an astronaut who’s accidentally left for dead on Mars after the other five have to an emergency blast-off (oh twaddle – I can’t believe it would have happened and the scientific opinion of the movie is that a dust storm that fierce couldn’t happen – the “air” is too thin).

Anyway, he survives for nearly two years, growing his own food, generating oxygen, making water and so on, solving real scientific and engineering problems. This is the best thing – new problems come up and he thinks it through each time, coming up with credible solutions. It’s a bit techo, for sure, but to sustain this through 450 pages or whatever is great writing, I say. I highly recommend reading the book. Probably before you see the movie. I dunno.

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Oooooh, this is so uncomfortable. The plastic chair is cutting into my legs. I don’t know how I’m going to survive 10 days in this hotel. I hate it already.

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