Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

Well, day one on my own & they finally get the swimming pool back into action. Just in time before I move us out to a new villa in Seminyak, in a few days time. That’s timing for ya. But just as well, it took me a good couple hours to clean up & deflate all our lilo’s. Hot work, I tells ya.

And today, while waiting to change my address at the bank, I’m experiencing a delicious BLT baguette, that fell apart quicker than Doctor Murray’s alibi.

And opposite me, this bizarre signage…

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Which I presume, is some kind of reference to Atticus Finch from To Kill A Mockingbird (yes Fiona, I’ve read it), but surely your business logo should at least be a live bird and not a “dead duck”.

Only in Bali…(& possibly the US).

Bank On Us

So I went to the ATM the get some cash out yesterday and you know that part of your wallet that holds all your credit cards? The ones that look like little slots that you stick your card in that keeps them all neat and organised? Well, mine usually has a bright yellow Bali ATM card in the first slot, but for some inexplicable reason, it was now a kind of a brown leathery colour, the exact same colour as my wallet. And instead of it being opaque, you could now see right through it. And in the past, where you usually grab it with your fingertips and pull it out of your wallet? Well believe it or not, my fingers went right through it, like it wasn’t even there! Probably because where that bright yellow ATM card used to be, was now just a blank, leathery…EMPTY SLOT!

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Excellent!!

And just like so many things here that never fail to surprise us, getting a replacement card sorted out with the bank…was unbelievably efficient!! Not only did they give me a new card (right there and then), but they also gave me a new PIN number, straight away! No, “7-10 days to reissue your card and a week later to receive your PIN in the mail”, like in Oz. I couldn’t believe it. But there was a catch (oh yes, there’s always a catch). It won’t be active until 6pm…AND…it will cost Rp 25,000 for a new card.

That’s it?

Let me translate…Rp 25,000 is about $2.50 AUD. And a few hours to wait for my card to be active, is no problem, whatsoever.

And while I was busy sorting out my ATM card business, Fiona was busy conducting her own business as Commonwealth Bank Bali’s — International liaison. Helpfully assisting other Aussie tourists with their bank queries and advising them about how the system works over here. Thank goodness I lost my ATM card, or there’d still be heaps of frustrated Aussie tourists trying to figure out how this island banking system works.

Barham Bali Reunion!

Like stepping out from Dr.Who’s TARDIS, so it was, that two likely lads from Barham, NSW, found themselves instantly transported back in time to an age when a Commodore 64 was considered, cutting edge technology. As if the 30 odd years we’ve known each other, was a figment of our imagination and we were once again, dinking each other around on our bikes, only this time…in Bali.

Hoorah! My longest known friend from primary and high school, Andrew Pasco, came to stay with us a few days and experience his first time ever in Bali. And what a way to experience it. Into the pool, only minutes after arriving. We had a mixture of rain and sunshine over the time Pascy was here, but even so, it was still hot, hot and did I mention…it was hot? Even the nights were still mild enough to enjoy a soak in the pool under the Bali moon and a symphony of accompanying gekko calls. Ahh, the serenity 🙂

Like all “must do” trips to Bali, shopping was definitely on the agenda. Pascy’s niece was getting married in Bali, so a quick trip out to Mal Bali Galeria for suitable beach linen attire and a quick stop into J.Co Coffee for coffee and donuts!

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Before being unleashed upon Bali Brasco, Bali’s biggest, best and genuine factory outlet store for great quality knock-off’s at ridiculously cheap prices! Fillerup thanks, mate!

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Dinner at Lemongrassin Canggu where we were served, greeted and entertained by Asia-lina Jolie. The name I dubbed to our beautiful but, crazy as bat-shit waitress, who shared with us her dreams of going to America to marry Tom Cruise (not Brad Pitt). I’m unsure if she’s even aware that he’s already married, and perhaps may-or-may-not be, into girls. Still, who are we to stand in the way of big dreams…go for it, Asia-lina!

Your Visa, Mr. Bond

Thunderbirds are GO! We get the green light to pick up our visa extensions. We scoot on down to immigration, thankfully, no traffic violations required this time & it’s all smooth sailing (installing that 20 foot spinnaker on my scooter, finally paid off).

Gusti meets us there this time, now all we have to do is pickup our passports and…have our picture taken and out fingerprints electronically scanned! What??…yessiree Bob 🙂 That’s how they do things here.

Still, could have been worse. Thank god we didn’t end up like the guy next to us, who endured a full body cavity search, DNA swab AND bone marrow extraction! And he wasn’t even applying for a visa extension, he was just delivering the mail!

So, now that the espionage is over…we’re official, long-termers. What a crazy little island, but you know what, with all it’s quirks and perks, we like it 🙂

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Shakin’ Stevens

An unusual event for us this morning, in that, usually the earth moves when we’re gittin’ jiggy-widdit, but this time, we weren’t even in the same room as each other! I thought at first there were trucks driving past causing a small rumble and our windows to rattle a bit, then we realised the whole house was moving and the water in the pool was sloshing around. That’s when we realised we were having an earthquake!

Nothing serious, lasted maybe 30 seconds, but we did notice all the staff run out into the carpark of the local high-rise residences next door. All seems quiet on the Asian front, however, I guess only time will tell. And in Bali, everything runs on rubber time (jam karat), so no telling when things will happen. We’ll just have to make sure our lilo’s are inflated and our glasses, topped up.

Offering to the Gods

An interesting morning so far. Woke up to the joyous feeling of rumbles & nausea, which can only mean one thing…either I was pregnant or I had gastro? Either way, I’m about to scare the crap out of myself and seeing as I’m a man, then the latter is most probable.

The main issue is, we have a long ride to Ubud this afternoon & if things don’t clear up by then, well…at least we’ll be able to follow our tracks back home! Or rather, my tracks.

So we had breakfast at Biku (the Princess’s Tea House), to test the PA system for Saturday’s event, and it was very slow going, making sure not to rock the boat. Wheatgrass shots & peppermint tea certainly did the trick…for a little while.

On the scooter on our way home, just two corners away from leaving Biku, Fiona must have thought she was married to James Bond, as I ejector-seated myself off the bike, with a double twist in the half pike position onto my hands and knees, leaning over the open drain on the side of the road…and made a very colorful… offering to the gods!

Thank god my helmet visor was up, or I could have had a front row seat to Jason & His Techni-coloured Dreamcoat.

Anyway, feeling much better now after getting that off my chest (or out of my system), and just so you’re not completely turned off…here’s a picture of a kitten 🙂

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