Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Candidasa? Should have checked for Haribos before you sat down

One of my criteria for selecting places to stay around Bali's repetitively pleasant coast is the presence of attractions nearby that could make for enjoyable day trips and not require a long bus ride (really done with those).

The popular resort town Candidasa seemed to be the best option along the island's eastern terratoma, offering easy access to photogenic palaces and temples, sweaty rice field trekking and volcanoes, but what I hadn't counted on was local taxi operators being such greedy, pestering cocks, and with unreliable-to-nonexistent public transport at the other end of the scale, and no energy for or interest in haggling (really done with that too), that resulted in another week of not ending up doing very much.

Which is fine, because one of my other criteria for selecting places to stay around Bali's repetitively pleasant coast is that they look like nice places to hang around not doing very much, so we mostly did that. Shame those mercenary taxi drivers and boatmen didn't shut up all week, bothering me when walking around and even infiltrating the fringes of our fogey resort. This is your fault for being so generous with your tips in the Third World - if more people would be cheapskates like me, taking advantage of the depressing wealth gap rather than being all egalitarian and fair, maybe they’ll learn their place again.

Looking back, I really wasn't racist enough against the Indonesians when writing foreboding blogs the first time around, so I’m having to learn these lessons fresh. Maybe I was just in a good mood or something? Thanks a lot, Past Dave!

Candidasa walkabout,
Slightly spoiled by relentless pestering

- 'Snorkelling?'
- 'No thanks.'

- 'Watch, watch?' [Proffering watch for sale, like there's any way I'm going to buy it]
- 'No, no.'

- 'Room, room?'
- [Five minutes later] 'Your motorbike impression is coming along, but Michael Winslow doesn’t have anything to worry about just yet.' [But only in my head]

- 'Hello, my friend.'
- 'I don't know you.'

- 'What are you doing?'
- 'Walking.'
- 'Why?'
- '...'

- 'Yes, transport?'
- 'No: person.' [Alright, that was only in my head too. The actual response was probably more like 'eurngh, leave me alone.']

- [Motorbike stops alongside me, apropos of nothing] 'Yes?'
- '...What?'
- 'Can I help you?'
- 'Wh--? NO!'

- 'Hello?'
- [Pretend my headphones prevent me from hearing]
- 'Want snorkelling?'
- [Continuing to pretend. Little does he know, I'm listening to stories at moderate volume, not a loud song. I can hear every word he's saying]
- 'Yes, hello...?'
- [Yes! He walked away! I win this one! HOW DO YOU LIKE THAT, BALI?]

Today's irrelevant soundtrack: Doctor Who: Invaders from Mars (audio drama)

Tirta Gangga Water Palace,

I gave in to their solicitations eventually, when we wanted to head inland a bit to see one of the few remaining sights I hadn't seen last time, but even after explaining the uncomplicated plan to our willing taxi driver we were pestered with add-ons throughout the hostage situation of the trip there and back, despite my unwavering insistence that, no thank you, just the one water palace, we don't need to combine it with the others that are basically the same. No, it's okay, just the one I specifically asked for originally will be fine. No, I don't need to look at your laminated map of tourist sights, I already said... Jackie, don't encourage him. Well I told you about that before and you said you weren't interested. Yes I did, when we stayed in that area and you said you didn't want to do any day trips. What are you talking about? It looks the same there as it did on the screen. Well maybe they Photoshopped it or something. Fine, we'll go another time, don't let... excuse me, I'm not paying you to talk, I'm paying you to drive and sleep in your car for 90 minutes while we walk around a lake and surrounding fields failing to find an attractive angle for rice paddies.

Thank you for the trip, sir. Well you can give me your business card if you want, but do you really expect me to use it? Like there's a shortage of available taxi drivers around here if I need one. Better to just intrude on our resort a couple of days later and bother me into booking your service for our next destination then get pissed off when I tell you I've already arranged it with our hotel because you're not my contracted chauffeur. Mumble something indecipherable about my girlfriend on the way out, there's a good chap. You're a credit to your profession.

Kind of a rubbish Merlion

Fairly irresistible stepping stones

Don't step here though

Just imagine there was a convenient hill offering a panoramic view

Now that's DIY

Come on, toxic waste has to go somewhere

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