Asia | South East Asia | Indonesia | Nusa Tenggara | Bali – Gulangan
I got up around 8 and had my included breakfast. The restaurant has a nice view of the beach. The buffet includes a few Balinese dishes, cornflakes, fruit, juice, coffee [‘coppee please’] or tea, pastry, croissant, toast, eggs.
I decided to explore the beach walkway south to connect with the temple in Sanur. The southerly direction is mostly all hotels with only 2 small restaurants. North has hotel restaurants, free standing restaurants, warungs and a beach market with leechy vendors. The vendors on Sanur beach will start walking with you and start a conversation that invariably ends with them asking you to go to their shop. I’ve tried talking only french to shake them which puts on display that marvelous multi-lingual abilities of the Balinese shopkeepers. God Bless. The very northern end of the beach, in the mornings, Balinese families hang out, kids ecstatic to play on the beach. The Balinese make breakfast on the beach and bathe before going to work.
So I’m heading in a southerly direction and a couple around my age are walking the same way. We start talking and they decided to look for the temple with me. We found some shrines once the beach walkway ends and turns into a dirt road. There were several women decked out and placing offerings but we were told we could not go in. Holidays in Bali don’t seem *that* different from regular days because there are always hordes of people in temple finery going about on foot, on motorbike, or in pickup trucks. There seems to be a dress code, too, with entire villages or neighborhoods in the same color scheme/motif. The best was a group of adolescent boys in red sarongs, with identical black t-shirts with dragons stencilled on. Very sharp, guys 🙂 I’m still shy about just snapping photos though. I know if I were on my way to work I’d be chagrined, to say the least, if someone wanted to take my pic.
We got lost in a network of dirt paths. We passed a bunch of guys ith their cocks (by which I do mean roosters because cockfighting is popular in Bali) and some large straw figures being built. These do have immense genitalia.Straw figures of women have giant breasts. They are burnt on Kunigan (sp?) 10 days later since they represent demons.
Once we found our way again we stopped for refreshment on the beachfront.
I spent the afternoon trying to figure out my tour options, which are not great from Sanur. No coach tours here only private guides. This is fine if you are in a group but I am not and again, hotels, etc. seem so empty.
Because of the holiday not much was opne on the streets. A closed store is simply covered by a bamboo overhang which, if one were so inclined, would be easy to creep under and walk off with all the wares. That’s simply not done here, whether because of belief in karma, because of a culture where crime is not permitted, I just don’t know.
I checked out the ‘Jazz Warung’ across the street from my hotel. The owner is extremely friendly (also Ketut! – remember there are only 4 names usually used in Bali, interchangeable between gender and signify birth order). So I’m meeting a lot of 4th born children. I wonder if the ‘Two is Enough’ program will relegate people to using only 2 names or if they’ll start to branch out a bit more. Anyway, Ketut worked on a cruise ship when he was younger (I’d say he’s about 30 now) and travelled to NY, Florida and Bermuda. He wanted to know if I am the same age as Brittany Spears(!) – this is definitely the best weird question I’ve been asked so far. Then he wanted to know if I’d seen the great movie classic ‘Autumn in NY’ starring Winona Ryder and Richard Gere. Sadly, I have not. One of his faves. He told me a story of going to a boxing match in Manhattan and right outside of Madison Square Garden a ‘big negro’ asked him for a quarter and he got scared and ran away.
I arranged a 1/2 day tour for the next day to the Mengwi/Tanah Lot area.
I ate dinner at Jalan Jalan. Awesome. Some of the restaurants in Sanur have a lot of German food on the menus since German tourists come here. I had a wonderful schnitzel.