Surf 'n Fail
Trip Start May 30, 2005
130Trip End Sep 30, 2006
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The streets of Kuta are a nightmare, it's mainly little alleys where heaps of motorcycles pass you both ways all the time, and then there is the occational car trying to get past. The streets just weren't built for this. It takes all your attention to make sure you don't get run over and there generally isn't a pavement to walk on. I bet the hospital casualty department does a roaring trade round here. And then you get asked the same questions all the time, "Transport?", "How are you?", "look at my shop!", "massage?", "Where you go?", it just adds to the stress of being on a tropical island with golden sands and blue skies.
I've been learning to surf here. I'm taking lessons from an Australian called Palu. It's a good exotic name that fits his image well, I just can't help thinking that his parents actually named him Paul, who knows? I've had a few lessons and a few practise days. It's a surprisingly tiring sport. I thought it'd be like skiing, you'd be able to go from 10am to 5pm, but I can only last 2 or 3 hours at the moment. I guess repeatedly falling off uses more energy than surfing properly each day. I'm starting to get half decent at it being able to stand up on the board more times than I don't, just give me another week at it....
I had one of my days off last Saturday. The day of the Ozzy Rules Grand final, an event as big as the FA cup final in England, the Superbowl for the yanks, or the haggis chasing final for us Scots. Being from the UK I'd only ever seen short clips of the game, and it looked confusing. I headed on down to a bar in town where they'd be showing the game. I stood there watching the first quarter, firstly trying to work out what was going on, and secondly who to support, West Coast Eagles, or Sydney Swans. A guy at a nearby table was looking at my emotionless face (more like confused) and wondered who I was supporting, so I told him that I didn't have a clue. Next thing, I was sitting at his table, two older ozzy gentleman, one with a Russ Meyer moustache, supporting the West Coast Eagles. They were kind enough to explain what on earth was going on as well, and after that I quite enjoyed it.
It was neck and neck after the first quarter, but the second quarter wasn't too kind, we were (see how I used 'we') 38-19 down, this really doesn't look good. However The Eagles must have had something in their half time drinks as they came out and closed the gap to only 2 points. It was anyones game now. Into the fourth quarter and we quickly took a 10 point lead, the atmosphere was brilliant, and of course by this time everyone was allowing thier emotions to show. Sadly The Swans kicked a couple of goals and managed to hold on for a victory, Russ Meyer was gutted, destroyed, poor guy. We hung around for a little longer enjoying the ambiance of the day. By the time I left though I was feeling rather hungry and tired. I managed to find some Salt and Vinegar Pringles (my favourite crisps in the world) and then trotted off to my room, I think I was asleep by 7pm, it'd been an exhausting day.
I splashed a little more cash for my room than I had to, deciding to go for the 5 US Dollar room, rather than the 3 Dollar. Almost double the price but well worth it. It's just a shame that as you sit outside, reading your book you get all kinds of various hawkers coming along trying to sell you 'nice bali painting', 'real bali handicraft'. At first I would happilly chat to these guys, but now I'm starting to be a little more rude and curt, not good for the Karma though. Anyway, one of these guys was telling me how he'd like to visit the UK, he had lots of friends there he said (reading between the lines he had lots of ex-customers there). Then out of the blue, he just said, "yes, I want to visit Cheltenham, I think it's a nice place". Wow, of all the places to pick. London, or Edinburgh I'd understand, but the coincidence of him wanting to visit Cheltenham! Good on him though. Anyone that I know there want to put up an old Bali Art Hawker?
So for the meantime I'm staying put in Kuta. I'm having a little rest from traveling and having to pack up my bag every few days. I've been here a week already and will probably stay just a little longer. I know that I should get out and see some more of Bali, but I just can't seem to find the motivation right now. Maybe a few more days of doing nothing and reading will sort that out though.