5th Year Wedding Anniversary

We celebrated our 5th year wedding anniversary in a day of style and cheeky indulgence. We got picked up in a private car and delivered to the Prana Spa Bali in Seminyak. Where decadence and opulence runs like hot and cold water from the extravagant tap of “Oh My God”.

This spa treatment facility was like walking through an Ali Babar Wonderland. A drippingly delicious Indian setting in rich burned ocher colours, intricate tile designs and bilious striped canopies, you’d be forgiven for thinking we’d just rubbed a genie out of a bottle and made all our wishes come true.

Fiona was treated to a gentle salt foot scrub, pregnancy massage and a hair cream bath…(which is how she got pregnant in the first place). And I indulged in the “Man package”(not my actual man-package, which again, is how she got pregnant in the…whatever), but a salt foot scrub, full body massage and facial.

And if that’s not manly enough for you, I’d happily smash your face in and smile at you with a soft but glowing complexion.

They poured us under the door on our way out and we flowed across the street for lunch at a kooky little restaurant called “Word of Mouth”, (but for the life of me, I can’t remember how we found out about it?). Kooky for a number of reasons, firstly, because it had some kind of weird “egg-theme” going on, with giant egg cushions, lampshades made from hundreds of tiny eggs stuck together, egg light fittings and even the tables had a small mirror in the centre, resembling a large fried egg. And secondly, because everything on their menu was tiny. Tiny bite-sized burgers, a bowl of wedges with only six wedges in it with wasabi mayonaise. Either these people really know how to stretch a buck by rationing their food, or their clientele mainly consists of elves, dwarves and Barbie doll figures.

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Dinner was at our favourite restaurant, Pavone. Where we’re always treated like part of the family (not sure if it’s hers or mine or which one is better), but as my new Bali best friend, Yudha, put’s it…“You’re never alone in Bali, my friend.” And that’s almost as comforting as cuddling my sexy wife of 5 years. 😉

 

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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 🙂

Our Crazy Bali Xmas

Christmas morning in Bali. The stockings were full…and so was, John (full of Scotch). Stephie bummed a smoke off John in the morning which he misconstrued as on open invitation to stagger into our villa and hang out for a while. Lucky for all of us that Steph didn’t light up in front of him, or his breath could have blown us all to kingdom come! I think he spent the remainder of the day hibernating…poor John 😦

Gusti joined us for lunch at the Mal Bali Galleria and we booked in for Christmas Dinner at Pavone, in Legian. A huge 5 course meal with welcome drinks, bruschetta starter, seafood entree, roast beef and turkey main meal with vegetables, christmas pudding dessert with sherbet sorbet and tea/coffee with mince tart and gingerbread.

They also had a Bali Santa who gave Candice a gift (a packet of plastic zoo animals – score!), and they played Christmas carols on the baby grand piano while we ate. The staff, Yudha and Dedy, were absolutely top notch and Mark, the owner, even greeted us and thanked us as we left (something we didn’t see him do to any of the other customers). But then again, nobody else was sporting such festive headwear…

Only the cool kids 🙂

The funniest part of the night that almost called for ringing the ambulance to administer oxygen to Irene and Stephie, was when Irene ordered her coffee “white.”

“Sorry, mama. We don’t have white coffee, only black. But we can give you black coffee…with milk?”

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7 More Things to Do at Dinner Alone…

…So you don’t look like a loser.

1. Learn a new language, like…morse code or semaphore.

2. Pretend to be blind.

3. Address everyone you speak to as Malcolm. “Thank you, Malcolm”, “Good Evening, Malcolm”. “Malcolm, how are you?”

4. Fake…Tourette syndrome.

5. Build a fort from as many tablecloths and empty chairs that you can find.

6. Leave your ID and wallet at home. (A great crowd pleaser).

7. Tell everyone you’re an expectant father!

(NB: Please note that performing some or all of these things, may not actually work. No matter what you do, eating alone in a restaurant, you will always look like a loser. Except for the last one, maybe) – JPB

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Familiar Faces Old & New

Any chance to upgrade from a “dining-for-one” experience, is a welcome opportunity in Bali.  And it’s always great to catch up with a familiar face, and even meet new ones.  This morning I met up with Sally McAuliffe (our lovely photographer friend we met during the Ubud Writers Festival), and her equally lovely husband, Tom, who in terms of “top blokes I’ve met around the world”…goes…“straight, to the pool room”.

We met for breakfast at Biku, and caught up on all our adventures and discussed the latest movies. Although, Sally and Tom live near the beach in Timor, and only have electricity at night, so they haven’t really seen anything beyond 1997!!

But we did have a great chat about Eckhart Tolle, author of such books as The Power Of NOW, Practicing The Power of NOW and A New Earth. Come to think of it, I have a great title for another book in the series, It’s NOW or Never. And if you’re familiar with the concepts, then that title is pretty apt 🙂

“Ahh, I love the smell of philosophy in the morning.”

(Dibs on that title myself, if Eckhart doesn’t use it).

All-in-all it was great to meet and catch up, and hopefully our paths will cross again someday in the future…ah, I meanNOW?

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