Arriving back in Kuta/Legian (via speedboat this time thank god) we set up 2 dives in Tulamben (northern Bali) for the next day with one of Goreng's dive master friends. Both beach dives & one of them is a sunken US ship (The Liberty) torpedoed & beached during WWII. After toning down our life for the last 4 days on Lembongan, it was back to business as usual in the tiny alleys (streets they call them) of Kuta. Within 50 yards of our hotel one could find: 2 internet spots, 4 dvd stores (50 cents each, including new releases), 3 bars selling mushrooms, infinite amount of guys trying to rent you their scooter, and upon further investigation (300 yards) a burrito shop! Now I know what everyone is saying, how are we going to go all the way from San Francisco to Bali and eat burritos.......the answer is, quite easily. Despite the white rice & lettuce, they were quite enjoyable and the cooks got to know us quite well over the next 5 days (Shawn's flight was in a few days, so we decided to beach & party until then instead of trying to make it to another island).
Now, a couple things about Bali........one is the tank tops. Its an Aussie "Spring Break" location for sure (Aussie girls have been known to puke after piggy-back rides, fyi) and Aussie guys are easy to spot as they ALL sport the same Bintang (pretty much the only Indo beer) tank tops everywhere they go. I'm talking about 15 Aussie guys all wearing pretty much the exact same shirt. We even made a drinking game out of spotting them, but you get too drunk too fast so we had to put a freeze on that. Another thing you'll grow quite accustomed to is having an Indo guy yell "transport?!!!) at you every 5-7 feet or so. They're trying to rent you their scooter for the day or at least take you somewhere around the city. They also take the same approach for selling clothes as EVERY street here is full of tiny shops selling the same t-shirts, boardshorts, hats, etc. Yelling, grabbing,pointing & even blocking the sidewalk so you can't walk past their shop are all common practices for the Indo entrepreneur (can't hate the hustle) but there are a couple ways to to interact with them. When they try and sell you something, you reply by trying to sell THEM something, they point at their store, you point at the store across the street, they say "transport?!!" you say "transport?!!" (this confuses the hell out of them), the stutter step has been known to work as well. Balinese phrases that also helped included: "I have no money" (singa da piz), "Bankrupt" (banrup), & "Massage scandal" (massage scandal), these will articulate that now is not the best time for you to buy their wares. My new idea is to market t-shirts that say "No Transport" and then you could just point to it every 10 seconds and be all good.
Honking is also an issue here. From what I can tell, you're supposed to honk when someones ahead of you, behind you, passing you (or vice versa), and whenever you see a tourist. This pretty much means all the time but is brutal when you're hungover and just want to get a burrito down the street. Anyway, the dives the next day were definitely legit (despite the 2 1/2 hour drive) and we saw a ridiculous octopus, huge Grouper, great coral and broke our longest dive time of 70 mins. The wreck was pretty cool to see as well. The next 4 days saw us pretty much at the beach, the pool, the burrito shop, and the bar. Highlights below:
-one of our Aussie friends bdays, amazing live salsa bar, lead singer serenading Pat from 2 inches away, Shawn salsa dancing (if you know Shawn, this is amazing), starting a congo line, huge video screen at next bar that mixed music videos (Rick James/Guns & Roses/MC Hammer)
-Geger Beach (the greatest beach on earth)
-Indo tourists having me pose with them for pictures
-Shawn battling mosquitos in our room with a pillow at 4am
-biggest prawns & ridiculous grilled snapper at Gosha
-Pat asking the bartender for umbrellas for the girlie drinks Jake & Shawn ordered and her bringing us a real umbrella
-Sean Kingston's "Beautiful Girl" is played 500 times per day minimum
-my all blue Bintang suit (hat,tanktop,boardshorts,koozie) courtesy of Pat for my birthday
Thanks for the memories Bali