I’m home since Sunday to glorious winter weather, warm sun and almost no wind for the past few days, but no rain either. Now, Thursday, it looks hopeful that we will get rain tonight. To my readers outside WA, it might seem strange to be wishing for rain, but May was the driest on record in SW WA since records began in 1900. We’re in drought, and the farmers are dry seeding in the hope of rain still to come. Highly variable climate these days.
Bali of course was beautiful weather for the whole month. Almost no rain, sunny 30deg days every day. Low humidity at this time of year. Boring. 🙂
The flight home was uneventful but I admit my body shape makes for an uncomfortable journey on these cattle class planes designed for small Asian frames. Three and a half hours is about all I can stand these days. I’d go Garuda if only they didn’t leave so early in the morning. I can’t ask my friends to pick me up here at 4.30am for a 7.30am departure. Luckily I have a great friend who drives me there and collects me, but I choose my flight times to suit him, after work or on the weekends.
The size of Aussies! Watching them file onto the plane you realise just how big and fat we’ve all become. It’s rare now to see someone normally shaped and of normal weight. Women especially.
I was highly embarrassed by two Aussie blokes in Ace Hardware in Galeria, Kuta. They were dressed like Hell’s Angels-meet-Beachcombers-meet-Dracula, torn, dirty, daggy shorts hanging down showing bum cracks, straggly beards and one guy was drinking a can of beer at the checkouts! This would be illegal here, and I’m sure it is in Bali too, as well as being offensive. I wish I could have said something but they looked mean and I’m a coward.
I’m also finding Bali has become expensive. It depends where you eat, of course, but it was my habit to have lunch of a club sandwich and lime juice at a bar a few doors away from our hotel. The bill came to Rp100,000 or the equivalent of A$10. Add a coffee and it was nearly $15. This is nearly Perth price, and this was no fancy place, just a sports bar showing footy and playing loud music at night.
In the shopping centres it’s the same or more expensive, at the chain cafes. An average meal of one dish and a juice comes to around $9-10. An ice cream is $5-7. Coffee is $3.50 on average.
To eat out at our favourite beach restaurant, the one we call Chili’s, cost on average $100 for the two of us, admittedly for two courses and a shared dessert crepe, and including happy hour cocktails (3 for $15) and a bottle of wine. We choose to spend this, we could eat more cheaply, but not by much. If we did without the wine…
Anyway, expect prices up near Perth levels these days if you stay and eat in Sanur or any of the other “nice” areas. It’s getting to be a bit much for me.
Another example: I bought a floor standing fan, the cheapest type, that I’ve bought here for $12 at times, maybe $16 at most in BigW. In Ace Hardware Kuta, the lowest priced fan of this type was $31. They were at pains to test it for us first, and to explain the two year warranty.
Unfortunately the Bali taxi drivers continue to bemoan the lack of business, not enough tourists they say. Maybe the prices have something to do with it, but I fear the rest of the world is tightening its belt. People are thinking the overseas holiday is no longer affordable, and it’s true. The boom is bust and Bali needs to realise it.
Actually taxis are about the one thing which is still cheap. Flagfall is Rp7000 or about 70c and most trips come to $5-7. There’s a minimum charge of $3 in Sanur as most places are pretty close.
The volcano continues to rumble and smoke, and they say it erupts on average every 5.6 days. That’s a good thing, I think, because it relieves the pressure. The airport closed briefly on one day, but it didn’t cause much trouble.
It’s getting darker outside and a few drops of rain are falling, so let’s hope the heavens open soon. Time for my nap.
Update Friday: yes, it rained steadily from about 5pm yesterday, and it was heavy at times. There’s a lot more to come, we’re told. Yay.