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Shawn, Emma, Ken & Potato Head

January 14, 2013
and i shuddered...

and i shuddered…

to infinity

to infinity

hello, California, this is Australia... i mean, Bali

hello, California, this is Australia… i mean, Bali

I think my face, hair and pseudo-sense of style are on vacation, offline, as it were. thick ankles, it looks like too. I remember in Palolem Beach, Goa, India in 2001, it was after my first Vipassana meditation course. The German, Thomas, and the Brits, Kevin and Dave, were there. I had a beach hut and hadn’t seen a mirror in a week. I came across a small mirror near the showers and thought, ‘Wow, I don’t look nearly as good as I feel’ – since then I’ve thought mirrors should be eradicated. I will add to this now, however, that yes – time and place. I feel pretty good though, nausea and gurgles but no runs yet!

Walked around down narrow streets riddled with shops, spas, restaurants, sweating profusely. Could’ve been Playa del Carmen. Found the ocean, walked awhile, past danger flags, enough to get my feet wet.

After, by the pool, I was alone at first and then heard a young kid say, ‘I’m just looking at her!’ So I look up a moment later and no, the Aussie tyke is on the edge of the pool, he had told his mom he was ‘just looking at it!’. ‘C’mon mate’, she called, and I got over myself – as quickly and easily as usual.

Went to meet Shawn & Emma on Umalas 2 Rd. Apparently it wasn’t known, or clear, or obvious. The hotel front desk got the guy at the hotel who can drive a motorbike to motorbike me there. It wasn’t far, we headed east on Jl Petitenget then I’d guess north, on a narrow paved lane between two rice paddies, really beautiful. We hung a left and as the numbers started and 1 and were rising (we were looking for 100-something) I was confident we’d find my friends up the road. My driver was less certain, stopping four times, asking others on the road who also didn’t seem to know or be sure. We eventually arrived and I erred. I intended to tip him $2-3 and forgot a zero (2-300Rp not 20-30,000Rp so $0.20-0.30). My driver graciously refused, so graciously in fact it hardly felt like a refusal at all. “Whatever you think. You stay at hotel? What room? When you leave? Need ride? To airport?” I left money and a thank you note for him at the front desk when I checked out.

Potato Head

“Bad pharmacy is good pharmacy,” Shawn laughed last night, “you can get liquid K and cocaine.”

Emma and I met maybe twice but neither of us would’ve recognized the other. Still, she greeted me warmly at Ken’s villa. Ken is an Aussie bud of Shawn’s, they met at a mutual friend’s wedding. Ken used to live in Japan, at once point dealt cards at underground casinos for mafia. Now he sells rings to military. “He can sell 1000 in a week, at $450/ring,” Shawn relayed. Interesting work and life, I think – Ken’s demeanour is good, chill, nice.
Shawn was resting post-accident. They filled me in on the accident and some of their trip and we headed to Potato Head for a drink. This place was California. I’d walked by it on the beach earlier: Lounge beds aligned an infinity pool, the lay of the land was a semi-circle, facing the ocean, a fancy-pants restaurant (“We could go upstairs, at $200 a head,” Ken remarked with a grin) circled above on the second level. Ken saw Fat Boy Slim and other big acts play here.” People were lazing on the beds in bathing suits, sarongs, shorts, drinks in hand, others were dressed up in button shirts and short dresses (shirts?) and heels. Pricing was the same as and more than home (cheapest drink was a small Bintang, tax and service charge included: 43,200Rp ($4.50). The entire building was tucked in by shudders: literally, the whole grand exterior was made entirely of old, metallic-looking shudders of every pastel colour imaginable! “It’s like someone ransacked an entire housing community before demolishing it,” I thought aloud. “Or they probably just took them,” Ken added. Ken has lived a lot on Bali for 10-12 years. He owns a two bedroom villa with pool and living room with a friend “For $12,000 a year…” Shawn told me, “We saw a 2BD villa in Canggu for sale for $5,000 year too.

Samayana
Ken suggested we follow him in taxi to Samayana – a great and cheap restaurant. We got to the highway and our taxi driver took off, leaving Ken behind. Our driver didn’t know where he was going though, and I looked back to see Ken bolting forward towards us on his motorbike, motioning to the left, beeping to get our attention. We eventually got a red light, and Ken rode up, calmly, “It’s back there. Follow me, yeah? Follow me.” Emma had asked the driver to put on the meter, the driver had asked for 40,000Rp ($4), Emma said, 20,000Rp ($2), it was mostly agreed upon 30,000Rp but by the end, the meter had been running, it was at about 20,000 when we passed Samayana and about 33,000 when we actually arrived. Emma made exact change for 20,000Rp stating had he not gone ahead it would’ve been 20,000.

Samayana had two restaurants in one: Indonesian and Japanese. I was pretty nauseous and light-headed most of the day, so with no appetite I had a Sweat – an electrolytes drink – only. Too bad, as it was mostly my dream feast: prawn skewers, two fish tacos, large sashimi, calamari & fries, tuna fillet with gomae, two orders of gyoza and 4 beer: for everything it came to $35!

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