25/11/11 – Friday

Perhaps the Gods have frowned upon my hedonistic holiday lifestyle, but Bali Belly has hit Big Boss in the late stages of the trip. There’s no cramping or serious repercussions, just the knowledge that straying from the smallest room in the house may not be the wisest of moves. Or it could be an internal, subconscious resistance against a trip into Kuta planned later that day.

Ms Emma has a job interview this morning. She’s been up early preparing in order to avoid holiday brain (forgetting knucklehead everyday stuff) in order to avoid screwing the interview pooch. Being yet another scorching hot morning, I availed myself of the pool while Ms Emma is being interviewed. I’m at one end of the pool reading my book, with my coffee perched on the edge of the deck. It is relaxing and although I’m not totally into the book (‘Hardboiled Wonderland and the End Of the World’ by Haruki Murakami) it is a great waste of a morning Ms Emma later tells me that while the interview was underway, she watched a giant lizard enjoying a cooling dip the pool (Komodo dragon size, but not actually a Komodo). Unable to excuse herself from the phone conversation, she claims to have been watching in amazement that I seemed oblivious to the fact of this fucker’s presence. In her telling of the incident, Ms Emma says that the lizard swam around in the water, came up close behind me, then spun around from whence it came, scampered out of the water and into the garden. As long as my arse points to the ground, I can honestly say I had no idea of a presence on the pool nor did I hear anything at all. Hmph!

This afternoon is a trip to the dark side. Centro shopping mall in Kuta; my ‘Apocalypse Now!’ moment. To paraphrase Martin Sheen’s ‘Captain Willard’ thus: “I was going to the worst place in the world and I didn’t even know it yet. A couple of miles up Jalan Bakung Sari that snaked through Bali like a main circuit cable that plugged straight into Kuta.”

Ms Emma goes underwear shopping (functional, everyday stuff, not kinky and playful shit. Relax lads). My Bali belly kicks in and I double-time it to the latrines. I give their shitters maybe two out of ten. Not for the faint-hearted, but I am grateful there’s even a toilet to help me in my time of need.

Kuta itself – while slightly like Kurtz’s compound sans a tripped-out Dennis Hopper greeting you and imploring you to shock the locals with your siren – isn’t necessarily a bad place. It’s the fuckheads who inhabit it that I can’t handle. The place is littered with schoolies and white trash. And yes, they are mutually exclusive terms in this instance. The schoolies are a mix of Bieber haircuts, LA Lakers and Bintang singlets, ill-fitting and unflattering bikinis and preposterously bad fake-tans. The white trash are obnoxious dirtbags with mullets, bad tattoo’s and offspring for whom hard-working people like you and I, dear reader, shall spend our lives paying for, as they opt out of working for a living and spending the rest of their lives watching both daytime television and car bodies rust on their front lawns. If my thoughts here make me an elitist, then sue me.

We spend that evening catching up with an ex-pat friend of Ms Emma’s who we’ll call Marion. Marion is very well-connected to a number of businesses and, mainly due to our KuDeTa disappointment, recommends a few contacts to us for wedding costings.

The night is warm, fragrant and relaxing and the drinks are plentiful. We spend out final night in Bali sleeping in the knowledge that we’re both ready to return home to the ‘real world’.


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