Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Day 42 - Check Please!

Back to Kuta. Not exactly looking forward to my night in the mecca of touts, hawkers, and general money raping of tourists.

My lack of sunscreen yesterday on the snorkeling trip definitely got to me, and I feel like my blood is boiling.  Just letting the sunshine hit my skin is extreme agony.  I've drank approximately the equivalent of my body weight in water, and I desperately need to just be immersed in ice cold water. Instead, I'm boarding a boat back to Padang Bai, to then catch a minibus to Ubud, then to Kuta, where, finally, I might find myself in a pool. But that is at least 7 hours down the track at this point. Somehow, I don't think I'll be enjoying this boat ride as much as the one here.

Finally, finally arriving in Kuta, I took directions (albeit, rather dodgy ones) from some friends I'd met on Gili T to a cheap (by Indonesian standards) guesthouse that had (hurrah!) a pool! After turning down one too many back alleys to be comfortable, I finally stumbled upon Kubu Hotel. They had a room, with my own bathroom, overlooking the gorgeous swimming pool, things were looking up.

After dowsing my bright red skin in the coolness of the pool, I found myself wondering down Popies Lane I. In Kuta, there are lane ways known as the 'backpacker' district, Popies I and Popies II and all the tiny lane ways that run between them.  I happened upon a little Mexican place that looked pretty decent, so I wandered in and ordered, by the 'chef's recommendation' their "famous" Nachos. Upon the presentation of such nachos, I wasn't entirely impressed, but still managed to start woofing them down following the 7 hours of transit.  Just as I had eaten the last corn chip, my eyes laid upon something scurrying along the floor and running under the bar. Yep, it was a rat. I quickly asked for my bill.  Whilst waiting for said bill I saw two more rats, each one larger than the last. At this point I was becoming less and less impressed with the place and my meal, then I was presented with the bill.

Now in Indonesia, restaurants, bars, hotels and cafes have a nasty habit of stating a price on their menu, and then in very fine print at the bottom putting 'Not Inclusive of 15% tax and service charge'. The percentage varies usually anywhere from 5% to 21%, this place however, had slapped on 25%, with absolutely no mention of this on the menu. My bill came to an astounding amount to a backpacker (just over US$10), and I knew there was noway I had that much cash on me. I'd just come from and island and paid for my room for the night!  Fuck, what am I going to do?  With my heart pounding, I put all the Rupiah I had on the table (approximately half the amount the bill was asking for), and legged it whilst trying not to look suspicious.  Oh well, didn't really want to give my hard earned cash to a rat infested place anyway.

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