October 08, 2014

BALI - The chaos and the beautiful

Stepping into the arrivals hall at Ngurah Rai airport filled me with enough excitement to fuel a passenger plane.
Imagine the noise level of a handful of luggage belts and a few dozen suitcase wheels transforming into the yells of a good hundred drivers, all battling to get to the very front, yelling out the misspelled names on their hotel signs. It was thrilling and so comfortably uncomfortable to yield through the masses of faces and signs, until I finally spotted my own misspelled name on one of them. I initially felt quite bad for my driver and wondered how long he must have been waiting for me, considering the four hours it took me to clear customs and immigration. 

Once outside the airport, two things instantly hit me: the beautiful, unfamiliar architecture and the polluted humidity. I couldn't stop looking around myself, twirling like a sweaty ballerina with big ass thighs and look at the to me unusual architecture, the attention to details, the offerings and the crazy yet somehow functioning traffic.

By the time we found the driver's car, I was all the more ready for a shower, a long walk to explore and some delicious Indonesian food for dinner but as so often, life got in the way of my plans. My driver's car decided to shit itself and he himself, only fifteen or sixteen years old, I swear, managed to ruin it even more through ferocious attempts of starting and restarting it. My lack of Indonesian and his lack of English inevitably turned the whole situation into a bit of a comical one and to be honest I didn't mind stepping straight into a bit of Balinese chaos.

Long story short we got underway about an hour later, the sun was setting and my first day in Bali ended with a hell of a reception at the Courtyard Marriot Hotel in Seminyak, including a million apologies from the hotel manager who didn't charge me for the airport transfer, the driver, the luggage boys, the staff at the screening point (yes they screen your luggage before you enter a fancy hotel OMG) and the beautiful man who brought me sweet cucumber infused tea, a steaming hot face towel and a Popsicle as I was checking in. I passed on the popsicle as, at that point, I was as dehydrated as a hungover camel in the Sahara and just looked forward to some complimentary aqua both in and around my mouth.

As it was dark already, I didn't get a good look at the hotel complex but let me tell you when I'm a 45 year old wealthy botoxed up lady of the West who has seen all and done all, this is where you will find me. In a luxury hotel. Eating all the foods from the breakfast buffet. Slurping away at cocktails from the pool bar, perving on twenty-somethings. Getting my boobs massaged (yes I had my boobs massaged this one time and it was weird but ok weird, the kind of weird you can tell your mom about over a glass of wine).

such a burnt touristy dork! embrace the dork!

My room was so exquisite I felt sad about not being able to share the glory that was my king sized bed, private balcony, raindrop shower and toilet that washes your butthole upon pressing a button. And then I realised I had 24 hr room service and could pig out at 11 pm eating shit on the bed, pee with the door open and leave all other basic manners at the door.
Then I went from wanting to share to wanting to hog and wondered if I was even going to leave this room or complex for the next two days (spoiler: I did, but I blame it on the urge to eat secondbreakfast without embarrassing myself at the hotel more than anything).

Seeing as it was late by the time I had checked in, 10 pm crept up quicker than expected and I made use of said room service, instantly a little intimidated by the exchange rate, but knowing that even if I ordered a lobster stuffed spatchcock, I would probably pay less than I would for a decent steak sandwich back home.

This was my $ 12 room service meal, including the fresh watermelon juice and a generous tip:

Nasi goreng. So simple, so satisfying.

I basically passed out after inhaling this meal so quickly I may as well have snorted it and slept like the personified version of sophistication. Proud I could afford this meaningless crap and over the top treatment. Proud I knew it was all meaningless. Exhausted and relaxed at the same time.

And then the next day, I went and explored and shopped in Seminyak, watched the surfers in Kuta and ate delicious street food in Legian. But more on that in my next post.