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You Get What You Pay For?

January 28, 2013

Tribal taxi dance would’ve been fun. I wasn’t sure what we were in for. What we got was young boys from Ian’s taxi driver’s village, just young tykes practicing for the weekend’s gamelan ceremony, banging very, stupendously loudly, in fact, on bells made of differently sized metal bowls and a good 12 of them crashing their cymbals together.  The kids banged as loudly as possible and laughed a lot – it was neat to witness.

Then we went to Nyoman’s (the taxi driver’s) wife’s home for tea, followed by stopping by a neighbour village’s comical play – lots of laughs, who knows what they said.

gamelancomical play

I’ll be honest – I’m mostly low-balling here in Bali. Not always and no stooping, but I’m thinking about every dollar. I’ll eat a $3 meal and have a $3 beer instead of a $6 meal and no water or juice. I’m not really a juicer. When it’s come to massage, I’ve gone for $6 not $10 – Balinese massage was good, acupressure massage last night was better. So far my most expense gift is $12 (thought the space where there were unique head-tilted paintings by a local artist were on my first night in Ubud literally vanished, paintings, walls, brother-of-artist-vendor and all). Take out the I-can’t-afford-it, more-than-two-months’-rent guitar I bought and I’ve not spent a lot. The mani-pedi I wouldn’t have gotten – the pricing in the flyer was ambiguous, at least I misunderstood and straight up, I think she double charged me (this was not Padma Hastaa), unless everywhere else in town is cheaper. I’ve felt goofy with polish on, I smudged it right away and begrudged the whole thing briefly. And then the wax job – I recommend paying an extra few bucks. Nuff said.

I have downgraded every place I’ve stayed at. Last night in Sanur wasn’t my choice – Ian and I agreed on a place and at the last minute, Ian tells the bemo driver another. It wasn’t the cheapest either ($30) but I could have left. I thought to leave for the last three days, to leave Ian to his own trip. But good mixed in with bothersome — I stuck around until the day he was leaving Bali, longer than I maybe ought to have. Poor close, girl.

painted ladies

Is it worth the frustration to not be alone? When I’ve never been not okay being alone. Man, I have spent a lot of this life thus far on my own. This year’s been an anomaly, more courting and affection than most, though more drama and confusion too. If I can learn, feel, love, learn and not hurt anyone too much in my fumbling, that’s all I would wish for.

solo monkey

I have had some good luck as well: bought a $2000 guitar that has $3400 market value; had a great $6 acupressure massage (not sure if you can call it acupressure but she made my neck feel good!); had two sessions with a spiritual healer for $40 (her pricing was $65+); had an hour tarot reading for $50 (her pricing was $75); and I found a nice place on Nusa Lembongan online for $13/night (one website and at the place itself it lists the cheapest room at $33/night, and another site said ‘full’). I also met Hannah, a German, who’s sharing it with me for three nights and they didn’t charge us more. Same price as a meal. The beach, breeze, quiet and infinity pool are exactly what i was looking for. And for another travel mate, a chill European girl is super.



From → Bali

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