14 January 2008

Day 1

14 January 2008

We flew into Bali pretty late and didn't check into our hotel until about midnight. Then, we woke up bright and early the next morning to go whitewater rafting - through a rainforest - surrounded by waterfalls and amazing wall carvings. We also made 2 new friends - the Russian couple sitting in front of us. They didn't speak any English, but they still managed to make us laugh. He fell into my lap a couple of times, and she fell into Eric's a couple of times. I've never seen a man look so tough with a lifejacket, goofy helmet, cigarette and speedo.

The food in Bali is fantastic! And so cheap! You can buy a meal for less than $5. Just beware of "Bali belly". We also learned that we need to beware of the money changers. They're sneaky. I'd actually read about them before our trip and intended to only use the ATMs, but we thought it might be safe at the airport. It wasn't! Once we got the money sorted, however, it was pretty cool to be millionaires. $100USD is almost $1,000,000Rp.

Funny story about these nails. You may have heard about the Bali street markets where they sell all sorts of knock offs for next to nothing (after a bit of bartering). Well, I was doing a great job of avoiding the sales pitches until I was physically abducted by a small Balinese woman. She grabbed my hand and literally yanked me into her shop as I was pulling against her, saying, "No thanks", "No money" repeatedly. She kept answering with "No problem. Don't worry about it." Then she tied a bracelet on my wrist and proceeded to paint my nails without so much as asking me what color I'd like. In the meantime, she sent her daughter running after Eric . After she finished the first finger, I said, "Wow, that looks nice, but we really don't have any money, and we need to go." To her response yet again, "Don't worry about it." So when she finally finished my nails (and her daughter finished Eric's), we decided we would give them maybe a couple of bucks, $5 max (which is what they charge at the Spas there), but she started insisting on 600,000Rp which is almost $60! I was not happy with that woman. She was entirely dishonest, and I was tempted to walk out and not pay her a dime, but Eric is a kinder person than I am. I think we gave them $10 and walked away. Then, I had to spend another couple of bucks to buy nail polish remover.

The beaches in Bali are cool - lots of surf boards and big waves - but, they're also really dirty. There was tons of trash, in huge piles, all along the beach and even some in the water.


Melissa said...

Wow! That's amazing! I'm looking forward to the commentary. Although a pictures is worth a 100 words (or something like that).

Gina Owens said...

still waiting for the commentary....looks like it was a trip of a lifetime. how fun.