Bule Goreng & the shitability factor

Trip Start Jun 01, 2009
Trip End Feb 16, 2010

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Saturday, October 31, 2009

touchdown in Denpasar. The plan for the first couple of days on Bali was to sit by the pool, soak up the sun and drink some delicious natural fruit juices to cleanse our bodies from all the McChickens we had in Oz. The first day went according to schedule. In the evening we ventured out to Jimbaran Beach where we had a nice fresh red snapper and enjoyed the sunset on the beach with the rest of the tourists on Bali. That is what a Round The World trip is all about!

In the morning of the second day however my phone had a text message saying that Richard and Hester (R&H) who just got married were on their honeymoon in Bali. A couple of txt's later and after breakfast we were off to their resort to, what I thought, chill there. It was really cool to see them and we heard all the wedding stories and saw some cool pictures. Too bad we couldn't make it. Richard and I went in the pool and before I knew it I was engaged in a waterbasketball fight to the death. So much for relaxing... After lunch I worked up even more sweat, because we went for a game of tennis. I can honestly say that I probably could have filled a 1.5 liter bottle with my sweat. Luckily we were smart enough to play topless. The sight of two young gods with immaculate bodies (OK just one then...) soon drew the crowds to the court and they went as quickly as they came when they saw the dismal play....

The lack of fluids in my body soon got back to normal levels as we managed to get two bottles of champagne and some canapes at sunset. After dinner we said goodbye to R&H and went back to our place. The next 2 days we were back on track doing absolutely nothing at all.

Saturday we took a taxi and went to Padang Bai to catch a ferry to Lombok. The ferry could last anywhere from 3.5 to 6 hours to reach Lombok. Needless to say that this very interesting looking rusty old boat took 5 hours to get to the harbour and then had to wait another 2 hours in the boat traffic jam before it was able to dock. So by 20:00 in the evening and after carefully avoiding all the excursions and other "offers" by the bus driver we arrived at our destination Senggigi. We stayed in a great resort with a huge pool. The next day Floor and Gijs (F&G) would come to visit us. F&G are friends from Roosendaal (Yes Floor you too ;-) ) and they are also on a world trip. However they still have a sense for doing some good in the world, something you really loose after working in the City for a couple of years... and they decided to teach children English in Mataram, the capital of Lombok. F&G were vey glad we had a huge pool in our resort and G was especially looking forward to some beers as Lombok is Muslim and out of the tourist centres no alcohol is sold.

The next day we visited them at their home in Mataram. Their place is in the middle of a Kampong and they also teach there. And it is not half as bad as they told us it would be. A Kampong is quite a funny place as well given that big houses are next to very very small ones and Muslims live next to catholics and hindoes. And everybody is friendly! We can learn from that!

We had coffee in a place that F&G visit a lot. Run by an older Indonesian lady that speaks perfect Dutch. F&G also taught her how to make Dutch poffertjes (very small pancakes), but you will have to read their blog to find out how that went (link to blog). In the afternoon the four of us went back to our pool (of course) and relaxed with a couple of more beers... As a last note on that we think it is very commendable what they are doing and wish them all the best with their endavours and their travels!

The next day we were off to the Gili Islands. These are three islands north west of Lombok with apparantly great beaches, great dive sites and a very relaxed atmosphere. And they weren't lying! The first two nights we stayed on Gili Air in a cottage run by an Italian couple and the last two nights at our dive operator, Manta Dive. The diving was good, however large parts of the reef were gone by dynamite fishing. Luckily they stopped a couple of years ago but it will take decades before the reef is back in good order. Our quest of really linking up with the locals continued and we managed to befriend another Dutch couple, Lodewijk & Laura (L&L) who were also diving. In good Dutch style we had dinner and a lot of drinks together. Lodewijk is a lawyer and as always with lawyers we blew our daily budget big time! On the last day he also went for the Bule Goreng (fried tourist) look as he applied some SPF 4 sun tanning oil in the burning hot sun onto his extremely white body :-). I wonder how his flight back went.

After having enough of the slow boats we decided to take a fast boat back to Bali. This one only lasted for an hour and after a taxi ride of 1.5 hours we reached our next destination, Ubud, the cultural capital of Bali. And man did we see a lot of culture!!! At least 5 Ralph Lauren shops, a couple of Tommy Hilfiger outlets and so on. In all seriousness there were a number of interesting temples and palaces in Ubud and not to forget the Monkey Forest. Loads of small monkeys humping tourists legs, sitting on their heads and fighting each other. Everything for peanuts I guess. I wish those Investment Bankers were that easily pleased... We also walked through some rice fields, which was a magnificent sight and even more so if you consider the fact that only 3 grains of rice come from one plant. Hard work I tell you!

Our next stop, after another boatride, was Nusa Lembongan. A nice Island off the coast from Bali with beautiful beaches and great sunsets. After chilling there for a couple of days we will go back to our original starting point on Bali as the owners of the place will now be there and we finish in style like we started with a nice fresh grilled fish dinner on the beach watching the sunset. What goes around comes around.

Oh, I almost forgot. The shitability factor. Well, we introduced this after a week and half in Asia. Normally we rate the food by taste, presentation and smell, but after a week of getting used to asian food we decided to add another criterium, the shitability factor. Basically it works like this. 1 on the shitability scale means everything OK! and 5, the highest level means, well, we will leave that to your imagination... After some extensive research we found out that mie and curries greatly enhance the chance to advance to level 5, but with a good portion of white rice it would come back down to 3. If you need more info on our findings drop us a line.

Next update from Malaysia.

Ivo & Annemieke
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KP on

Hey Annemieke en Ivo,

Klinkt allemaal echt super wat jullie aan het doen zijn en wat een leuke verhalen om te lezen! Heel veel plezier nog en blijf schrijven!

Dikke knuffel, KP

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