Nick’s Indonesian Diary

4 Apr

We were both keen to visit Cafe Batavia which came recommended so were went together to get coffee. Inside, it had the look and feel of an old colonial establishment. It was on the pricey side, but I was hungry so I also ordered a club sandwich. Jeanette, I learned, was a teacher, here on business, though she was now enjoying some holiday time.16
Oddly enough, we mostly chatted about life back home. We basically went into typical Brits abroad mode, discussing British politics and our favourite British comedians (Jeanette was not a fan of Jimmy Carr).
Jeanette wanted to explore the area more, so we got the bill and headed off together. We came across a place that sold cigarettes. Jeanette was also a smoker and we each bough a pack of my new favourite fags. I was also offered the services of a not unattractive young lady, which was a slightly awkward moment in the presence of Jeanette.
Jeanette now wanted to find a supermarket. By this time, I was fairly keen to get back to base, so we said our goodbyes and I hopped in a Bluebird.
That evening, at Paul’s suggestion, I was “treated” to a massage (the “normal” variety). Paul and Shinta have these massages usually once a week after Paul’s played football, but for me, it was not an experience I would particularly like to repeat as I actually found it quite painful and more of an endurance test.
The next day, unsure if I’d find a better opportunity, I went to buy some cartons of cigarettes (Sampoerna of course) to take home. I also had a quick look round the local street market. I bought some sunglasses (Rayban copies as I’d hoped to acquire!) and some cheap, but quite attractive shoes. The shoes turned out to be a mistake as though they seemed to fit ok when I first tried them on, they later turned out to be uncomfortably small.
The following morning, we were having to get up at around 3am for a 6am flight to Bali (I was getting a bonus holiday within a holiday) so there was to be no late night, but before Paul returned home from work, I did meet up again with Bart’s friend Per, the Swedish guy who at one time had been a poker journalist. I wanted to pick his brains about any possible contacts thinking it might be a good job for me, but unfortunately, Per had left this job some years ago and regretfully informed me he couldn’t really help. No worries, I guess I could still pursue it myself.
As it was a Friday, Per and all his friends were wearing very attractive Batik shirts as it’s the custom to wear these on a Friday in Indonesia.17
As the evening approached, we moved to the bar that had a happy hour and Paul met us having finished work. Sadly, Paul and I could not really take advantage of the offer having to leave early to get an early night before our flight to Bali.
I had with me a pretty effective alarm clock which was fortunate as this aided me in rising at the ungodly hour of 3am (I’d regularly been sleeping in till around midday). I’d also packed the day before, so there were no real stresses. A quick wash, and Paul, Shinta, Tulus and I were off to the airport in our pre-booked taxi.
We touched down in Bali and were now greeted by Paul’s Balisian driver. There was a festival going on in Bali with processions taking place in the streets, so weaving our way around the packed out streets proved tricky.19
Paul had guests to stay in his villa who weren’t due to check out until 1pm so as it was still mid-morning, we camped up in a nearby beach bar. Paul and I ordered breakfast as we lazed by the bar, watching sunbathers and surfers.
Eventually it came time for us to go to the villa. I was quite taken aback by it, I have to say. The villa, containing five large bedrooms, plus an external “cottage” was lavishly decorated throughout. Paul had bought the villa 90% furnished from the couple who had built and decorated it. The previous owners consisted of a builder plus interior designer, so you can imagine that it was beautifully done out. Paul employs staff to keep the place up to shape as he rents it out to travellers on airbnb, so every room was immaculately clean. Along with the extravagant interior, there was also a pretty garden and pool.22

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