Saturday, February 21, 2015

Tour-ette's Syndrome "Bali-Bali is NOT "bbali-bbali"!

Day 4 of full tourism was spent on a, tour, because if you don't put the 'tour' in 'tourism,' what do you have?

We got up for a pre-tour breakfast and the lovely fellows who run the hotel had made us something special to mark our anniversary, Balinesian pancakes, mangos, strawberries, and a scoop of ice-cream, all formed into the shape of a heart. Yvonne was entirely swoony about the breakfast, though not so much that she didn't despatch it with great vengeance and furious anger.

Then, into the shuttle bus (this time it was only the two of us), and off to a painting cooperative, wood-carving place, and silversmith. Here we bought a few things (no doubt earning our driver a bit of a kickback), and then piled back into the van to head to the Museum of Natural History (I think?) in Denpasar. On the way, it began to rain furiously, at points flooding the road. Snug in the van, we just enjoyed how it changed the scenery.

The Museum was pretty ordinary, and for the first time here we were kind of hounded by an artist/tout who wanted to sell us an Indonesian calendar for 20 dollars. What he thought I'd do with an Indonesian calendar was unclear, though he vigorously lobbied for it.

Then, the traffic jam from Hell and the decision to cut out the visit to "white sandy beach" in order to make sunset in a temple on the ocean, and then dinner on the beach. Even cutting the one destination, were were at least 2 hours in a traffic jam, part of which was caused by a police action that inexplicably stopped traffic on one of the main arteries downtown.

The temple was cool, if overrun by Chinese tourists, who make Korean queuing and walking behaviors seem highly civilized, and one stupid young woman even got into a threat/fight with one of the local monkeys, which the monkey won in resounding fashion, screeching and baring his teeth, which caused the girl to almost fall over in her retreat from the concrete path to the dirt.

We waited for a sunset that was pretty obscured by clouds, and then high-tailed it out ahead of the people watching the fire-dance (we have tickets to a local version for tonight) and off to the beach, which was quite nice. The tables were on the sand, there was traditional Indonesian mask-dancing, one of which was really awesome. It features super-scary music with a gamelan, drums, and some other instruments I couldn't name. There was a 5-6 note central riff that almost sounded like the tune to a children's sing along, but it was surrounded by menacing (think Sympathy for the Devil) drumming, and slightly off tone music surrounding it. The dancer was also wearing some amazing vibrating extend-fingernails, and the whole thing was quite chilling, though for all I know to Indonesians it was the innocent story of young love.

Tragically, no photos of that until I return to the homeland.. I took them with the iPhone, and can't find a decent software to get them on Yvonne's computer (and dare not call down roaming charges).  Instead, below, find pictures of three more monkeys.

It was a seafood restaurant, so Yvonne ordered steak and beef sate.^^

Back to the hood for one drink, exchange of gifts (all carved wood, since it was our wood anniversary) and then sleep, as we were both still pretty burnt from the previous day.

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