Spending money in Kuta

Trip Start May 06, 2010
Trip End Apr 14, 2011

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Flag of Indonesia  , Bali,
Monday, December 13, 2010

I spent the day on Monday wandering around Kuta. I got up early and walked over to the Bali bomb memorial from the 2002 bombings.  They have all the names and nationalities of those who died listed.  It's really sad to see how many people were killed because of the bombs.  It seems that the Bali tourism industry is picking up a little again, it was hit pretty hard after the bombings.

One of the great things about walking around Kuta is seeing all the people driving the motorcycles with surfboard racks attached to them.  Just about every bike had a rack on the side so you could drive your surfboard down to the beach.  On that day though, I saw a guy driving one-handed and holding a surfboard in his other hand.  I was very impressed and also terrified about what would happen if he lost even a little bit of that coordination.  Later on, I saw a guy riding on the back of a motorcycle holding a surfboard in each hand.  Those guys are dedicated.

I also spent that afternoon getting a tattoo.  Breathe, Muv, it was a henna one.  I had wanted one when Sal and I were in Phuket, but I couldn’t find anywhere to get one done.  I had no trouble in Kuta.  The guys in the little shop talked to me about teaching, and how in Indonesia I would be called "Guru Cait".  One guy kept trying to convince me to buy a tank top too, saying “Come on, I give you Obama price!”

One of the guys even offered me a ride down to the beach afterwards.  It was a five-minute walk to the beach.  I said I would just walk and the guy said, “I drive you for free!”  He couldn’t seem to understand that even a free ride was ridiculous to me when the beach was so close.

I had Mexican food for lunch and it was amazing.  That has got to be the one food I miss the most.  I used to eat Mexican all the time, and now it’s impossible to come by.  The meal was ruined, though when I saw a rat in the restaurant as I was leaving.

Walking around in the afternoon, the vendors kept calling out to me, offering all kinds of “deals”.  One called out trying to sell me sunglasses, even though I was wearing a pair.  I said, “I have sunglasses.”  Not to be deterred, he said, “How much you pay?  I give you good price!”  Now, even assuming I was ripped off for my new shades (which I probably was), what would compel me to spend even more money on another pair?  I cannot see his strategy there.

I also had a woman call out “hello” to me, and I smiled at her and kept walking.  She said, “Thank you for your smile.  Want some new sandals to keep your boyfriend with you?”  Is that all it takes?  I wonder if she found out I need giant shoes if she’d still think my nonexistent boyfriend would stick around.
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