stories from bali part 2

Rosli and Hamid met us in the morning. We hit up a PC Cafe (speeds of < 1mbps for 4000 Rp. ($0.40) an hour….lawl yes plz) to send some emails and blog a bit, then grabbed a three hour lunch at the hotel restaurant.

the street outside the hotel

I couldn’t believe how chill Hamid and Rosli were–they basically were spending their entire days with us, chilling in the hotel restaurant, scootering us to the currency exchange office and to the airline ticketing office…they were just living their lives in Bali, taking life as it came, and enjoying things for what they were. They came from the same tiny village in Mudoora–a tiny island off the coast of Java, ten hours into the dense jungle–but had both made it in Bali for sure. Rosli had never been outside of Indonesia, but owned his own tailoring/clothing shop. He was doing quite well indeed. Hamid had been to Singapore once with his friends, but bemoaned the $500 cost for an Indonesian visa to Australia, even though it was just a few hours to Darwin.

We started talking about health care too. Hamid admitted that a legit doctor’s checkup could cost as much as $90 USD, and that whenever he got sick, he usually just slept for a few days instead. After all, if the doctor cost so much money that he couldn’t afford food, what was the point in going? Pretty sad stuff, bro. He was young, healthy…and smoked a couple of packs of $1 Marlboros a day -___-

After lunch, we decided to take Rosli’s advice, and to visit the temple on the mountain to see a traditional Muslim Balinese dance.

The problem was, how would we get there? Would we rent a car for 200,000 Rp.? Could I rent a scooter for just 100,000 Rp. and drive there? “Suuuure,” I thought. Can’t be THAT hard to learn, right?


We spent the next couple of hours derping around in the narrow alleyway that led to Cantik. It was a bumpy stone path, probably not ideal for learning how to drive a 150cc scooter, but oh well. Way, WAY harder than it looks–I kept almost tipping over, and drove as jerkily as a fifteen year old in driver’s ed–but it was fun nonetheless. We ultimately elected to ask one of Rosli’s friends to accompany us to the temple. It was a 30 minute drive, he said, and promised it would be pictureesque. It was.

As we drove up and down the winding mountain roads, Rosli pointed out a sign for “Bvlgari Hotels and Spa”–a 25,000,000 Rp. ($2,500+) for the cheapest rooms. They apparently carved out a resort into the side of the effing mountain. Ridiculous, this island.

The temple was known for its beautiful views–and by gum, was the view effing amazing. No guard rails, no safety nets, just a sheer drop to the rocky beach below. The sun was just setting as we walked from our scooters to the temple path.

this view was sort of a big deal

A monkey stole a guy’s wallet, hid under a truck, and refused to be coaxed out by bananas and crackers. Hilarious to watch the poor Chinese dude try to argue with a monkey. More striking and less hilarious was when a dude’s glasses were stolen by a monkey, who proceeded to perch upon this post. Looks like a scene from a movie.

*anime music plays in the background*

how can you argue with that kind of creature?

These monkeys had NO fear of humans whatsoever. They literally ran up to you as soon as they saw something dangling, trying to snatch it up. Fortunately, by the time the rather intense Balinese dance was over, they had all gone to bed as Rosli said.

om nom nom i’m a monkey


The bike ride back was pretty uneventful. I rode with Rosli as usual, almost getting squished to a stone wall by a passing bus. I asked Hamid to take me to a liquor store to “buy something for my friends in Dili”, but ended up picking up a bottle of Johnie Walker Red for Rosli instead (wtf $50…you can get like Double Black label for $50 in the U.S…). I had already brought a bottle of Burberry Touch cologne for Hamid 8D

The night came and went. Lisbeth woke us up at 6:58AM, two minutes before our alarms were to go off–typical of her–and we were surprised by a knock on our door from Hamid. He was awake so early! And Rosli was there with him! We paid for the hotel and dragged our suitcases down the stairs, met by the warm glow of the early Balinese sun. The street was already bustling at 7:30AM. Rosli called over his friend to drive us, and we were at the airport in five minutes–a far cry from the 20 minutes in congested traffic that had greeted us on Saturday afternoon. We bid goodbye to Hamid and Rosli, promising to see them again in seven weeks and thanking them for spending their entire weekends with us. Hamid said that hard liquor was “too hot” for his taste (he preferred good ‘ol Bintang beer), but I didn’t know how he’d like a bottle of cologne. After all, people sweat a LOT in Bali…

Oh well. I’ll ask him in August how he liked it, I guess. That’s when I’ll learn to drive a scooter properly.


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