Friday, May 6, 2011

Day 29 - Bagus Kali!

Ubud. What a charming little town it is.  Ubud became famous after the book/movie 'Eat Pray Love' (which I myself have yet to read, but this town has inspired me to get a copy), but it doesn't seem any worse because of it.  I only had a couple of hours here, but it was more the vibe of the town that I loved.  It had a similar vibe to that of Pai, in Thailand.  These little towns are small enough to explore in a short period of time, but large enough to be interesting. I guess quirky might be a good word to describe them.  But generally, there is just something quaint and intriguing about Ubud, that sparks a curiosity inside me. Questions arise in my head like, how does a town get such a cool vibe like this?

Being in Ubud instantly calmed me.  Maybe it was just the fact I was no longer stuck in the endlessly frustrating traffic (all the way from Kuta!), and was out of the confines of a minivan. Or maybe it was the town itself.  Maybe it was being surrounded by my beautiful family, but not in the endless chaos of Kuta. I didn't have enough time there to find out, but I do know that I want to visit again. Maybe on this trip, maybe on another one.  But, what I really loved, were the lotus flowers we stumbled upon.  We were having lunch in a restaurant amongst the rice padis, when we spied ginormous lotus flowers. They were as big as my head! (And I have the photographic evidence to prove it!).  So that was my brief, but lovely, encounter with Ubud.

Elle and Gael were struggling today.  They were as tired and hungover as a backpacker awaking on Bondi Beach.  Last night the three of us went for dinner and drinks to celebrate being young (me!) and them getting engaged just the night before.  We had a wonderful dinner on the backpacker street of Popies Lane II, where we got free shooters (that were called arak attack - the local spirit is arak), sipped cocktails, and learnt the expression bagus kali! Which is local slang, and literally translated means very good, but its such a fun thing to say, that it really turns more into awesome I think. After being kicked out of the restaurant at closing time, we hit the main drag to hunt down more delicious Bali Moon cocktails.  Still struggling with the lack of sleep after my massive transit day (read:no sleep for 36 hours), and nursing a residual I-fell-off-a-ute migraine, I had to call it quits and find a bed before I collapsed into a comfortable looking corner (and they were all starting to look comfortable at this desperate point).  Elle and Gael were still on the high of the previous night, and so deliriously happy, that they obviously wanted to continue on. And so the story goes, stay out to 5am, reap the consequences.

So tonight we left them to their own devices, and Mum, Dad and I made our way down to Jimbaran Bay for dinner.  Now I don't know the history of Jimbaran Bay but it sounded far too Australian for somewhere in Indonesia. Like somewhere you could find really good wine in the southwest of WA, not a beach in Bali.  Regardless, we battled the relentless traffic, and made our way onto the beach.  The set up of Jimbaran Bay is that all the restaurants have tables on the beach, and most of them sell only seafood, and by weight.  Let me just say that the prices are quite ridiculous.  The seafood was obviously fresh, but lacked any sort of enhancement, flavouring or sauce.

But it wasn't the meal that I loved at Jimbaran, it was the four man band who wandered among the tables and sang for us.  When they arrived at our table, they asked us where we were from, and as soon as we confirmed we were from Australia, they broke into an awesome rendition of The Last Train Out of Sydney, but instead changed a few of the words around and sang The Last Plane Out of Sydney.  It was hilarious, I loved them and their energy, so I just had to get up and dance.  Once they were done I said bagus kali! And they were suitably impressed I knew some Indonesian slang.  Even though the food was not impressive, I went back to the hotel happy from Jimbaran Bay.

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