Heather's Thairy

Heather's journey to Bangkok, Thailand: a year of adventure!

Monday, April 09, 2007

Vacation Day 10 and 11: Balinese New Year

Our Borneo adventure came to a close after we returned to Kota Kinabalu for one last night at Borneo Backpackers. We flew through Kuala Lumpur to Bali, which was almost an entire day affair where we became fairly well acquainted with the two terminals of the Kuala Lumpur airport.
We arrived in Bali on the eve of the Balinese New Year's, which had at first been an exciting prospect but we soon discovered was rather poor timing. Bali does not celebrate its New Year the way most places do, with a big party and all-night debaucherty: instead, the entire island shuts down completely for more than 24 full hours. The New Year is very superstitious in Bali, and it symbolizes the coming of the spirits, who will wreak havoc on the island if they perceive it to be inhabited. Thus, everyone on the island is to remain inside and off the streets for the eve, the day of and the night of New Year's. This was rather inconvenient for us, who arrived in the late evening and had some trouble getting accommodation arranged and transportation to that accommodation.

We managed to find a place with a pool, a television and a restaurant- the things that we decided would be necessary since we had to spend an entire day on the premises. At the time, it seemed like a good deal...later, further into our Bali trip, we discovered that we had overpaid and weren't eating as well as we thought we were, but at least we were somewhat entertained, sheltered, didn't starve and didn't curse Bali.
We amused ourselves by the pool and in the room in various ways...it was a fairly nice day, so most of the daylight hours were spent lounging in chairs on the pool deck. Alisa and I painted our toenails and did some laundry in the bathtub- yes, we actually had a BATHTUB, something I haven't even SEEN for ages! We ate some decent food in the restaurant but were often surprised by the "No have" response to our orders. You would think, since the New Year's is something that is celebrated around the same time every year and the same island-shut-down occurs every time, that the hotel might have stocked up a bit to compensate, but no- they even ran out of water. I was pretty irritated with the staff at the hotel by the end of our stay, which luckily was only two nights. The television turned out to be a bust, too: it only had one channel with any English programming at all, and even then it was only sporadically. Oh well: if I ever go back to Bali (which I might, I really enjoyed it when I was allowed out of my hotel!), I'll know when NOT to go.

Another thing that we did for fun was play with the Indonesian Rupiah that we had exchanged for at the airport. Indonesian currency is worth next to nothing: the amount that I'm fanning out is worth about $20. But boy did I feel rich!

Until next time,


Post a Comment

<< Home