Our 100th Post!

I can’t believe it, we’ve cracked the ton…

Our 100th Post on Adventurers Extraordinaire!

And just enough time to fit in another adventure by visiting the Bali Zoo.

It has to be more than just coincidence, the way this island helps you out when you are in need. We buzzed past a fork in the road, unsure which way to go so we pulled over to ask for directions. As soon as we pull over outside a shop, a Balinese man scoots up beside us, so I ask if he knows the way to the Bali Zoo.

“Oh yes, I show you. You can follow me…it’s near my house.” Of all the people we could have asked 🙂

And thank god we did follow him, the main road to the zoo was chock full of traffic because of all the crumbly potholes. So he took us on a shortcut through another little village, where clearly, we were the only westerners to EVER have passed through. It was like we were the Queen, being waved to by her loyal subjects as we rode by. And when we got to the zoo, our “tour guide” didn’t just leave us at the front gate, he made us follow him all the way in and right up to the front gate for us to buy our entry tickets.

“Also…my wife works here!”Oh, SNAP!

Man, I’m gonna miss this island!

Spider Sense is Tingling

During our time in Bali, we’ve encountered all kinds of of weird and exotic creatures, and today was no exception. Only instead of it being a cute and fury creature, or a weird but cool gecko, lizard or amphibian, today’s encounter was one of the creepy eight-legged variety

The biggest spider in all of Bali.

And I knew it was big when it slid open the glass doors to our balcony, crushed a beer can on it’s forehead, lifted up the bed to get past us and wore the curtains as a napkin as it scaled the wall like King Kong on the Empire State Building. This thing was way bigger than my hand, and could easily text message way quicker than I ever could (and without using predictive text, even).

Call me inhumane, but I have a wife and baby on the way to protect, and it’s kill or be be killed in the jungle. And this mo-fo was on my turf. Being the hero that I am, I jammed a dagger between my teeth, stabbed it into the curtain and slid down like a pirate splitting a sail in those old pirate flicks, and pounced onto the giant creature’s back. We wrested to-and-fro, knocking furniture upside down and demolishing the room. Before giving him…

A face full of Baygon.

It was an agonizing (yet fascinating), defeat. And as the creature rolled over onto it’s back on the wall, it clung to a single silk thread, spewing from it’s abdomen. Refusing to give up, hanging on the wall like a giant swinging metronome under Big Ben.

Like Indiana Jones on the rickety rope-bridge in the Temple of Doom, I grabbed the nearest machete and hacked my way through his web, sending him hurtling into the alligator infested river below, (which looked amazingly just like the marble tiles of our floor).

Victory was had. But for how long? For now, my family can rest in safety and peace and I will unceasingly watch the horizon (and skirting boards), for any sign of their return. A task, I will lay upon myself til my last dying breath, (or until we catch the plane back to Oz next week).

Til that day, spiders…beware!

Sweet Sweet Music

If you’re after some quality entertainment in Bali, then go no further than Champs Sports Bar in Seminyak, where no song is too much trouble. 

Unfortunately, it’s not me performing. But a Balinese duo (not sure which one is Justin), who wander around the restaurant taking requests. And even if they don’t know the song, that’s no problem…

They’ll drag someone off the street who does!

In my case, there is a very well known song in Indonesia that I really like…but I have no idea what it’s called.

Problem: How do you describe a song that you don’t know the words to, have no idea what the name is, and can’t remember how the melody goes?

Answer: Explain to them…”It has a kind of soft melody…but with rap parts in it”.

At which point, Fiona goes from shaking her head at reading their confusion to my request…

Oh, you mean…“Ya Sudahlah”.

To admiring me as being the greatest cross-cultural request interpretor of all time…(or maybe just for a Friday night, at least).

They knew the song I was talking about BUTthey didn’t know the words. And rather than just ask for a different song, they ran all over the restaurant asking staff if they knew the words (a couple of them knew the chorus), and even dragged two Balinese boys off the street who actually knew the words!

So, we were serenaded by the “Justin duo”, as well as two staff members and two strangers off the street. And that type of dedication to executing a song request is worth every cent (or Rupiah, in our case).

Here’s the actual song by the band who recorded it. Enjoy 🙂

Beirut or Bali?

Welcome 2012!  

(And still…no jet packs in sight)…

Seeing in the New Year in Bali was quite the experience. We ventured down to Legian Beach and dined among the stars (maybe not stars exactly, but equally as glittery). We dined in the company of a gaggle of Lady Boys (or maybe it’s a “gargle”, not sure what the collective noun is, for a group of “spangly-danglies”).

The boardwalk along the beach was chock full of motorbikes and flashing/glowing headwear. And inside the Blue Ocean restaurant, we had our own spectacle to observe, which was just as unusual and surprising to us, as it was for the staff who nervously giggled and whispered among themselves. There was a birthday celebration behind us, but whether it was “for he’s a jolly good fellow…or…she’s a jolly good fellow”, was anybody’s guess?

But still, they had a wonderful time, and it certainly kept us all entertained.

But that’s not the amazing part. I think the entire economic budget of Indonesia, must have been invested in fireworks! And although they may not have the spectacular quality of fireworks that we’re accustomed to at home, what they lack in quality, they more than make up for in…QUANTITY!!

About 6hrs worth!!

No kidding! The fireworks started about 8-8:30pm and continued non-stop til about 2-3am! It was like we were living in Beirut instead of Bali. The entire horizon was continually lit up with flares and sparkling explosions, like we were in the middle of a war zoneFOR HOURS! The haze of smoke crept across the island like a doona spreads across the bed.

We left the beach a couple hours before midnight, but we were still watching them from our balcony at home 3 hours later, and they continued for hours after we went to bed. I think it could take NASA 10 years to gather enough gunpowder to relaunch another rocket, after what was used up last night.

Just incredible. And just another reason to marvel at the incredible life and beauty that this island has to offer.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.