Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Seminyak, Bali.

Originally uploaded by gr8wendini
Yesterday we got our introduction to where we are staying, starting with an early morning beach walk with Carrie and Putiah (Pronounced Poo-ti, not to be confused with my favorite word Pookey or Carrie’s house helper Putu!) Putiah is the cutest, sweetest, Bali dog who resides here at 4 Gang Uma Sapna, that’s our address if you want to Google Earth us. The name translates to Gang (little road) Goddess Dream, just a few doors down from the Hotel Uma Sapna. The people visiting or those who are ex-pats in Bali are mostly Aussie and Europeans, not many Americans.

There is currently a construction project on the beach with a condo high rise in the works, none of the locals are happy about it, that is perhaps the only thing that reminds me of New York. I did meet the foreman, a certified ham who had me photograph his crew (see flickr) while they were on break @ 7:30 a.m. The ‘hip factor’ is in the red here. Not that’s it’s bad thing, just a déjà vu of Williamsburg meets SoHo on the coast of Bali, and I wasn’t expecting it. There is a street, Jalan Oberoi, also known as "Eat Street", where all the high-end designer boutiques are, and this is where celebrities shop while visiting Bali. Because we are staying in an upscale area, nothing is cheap.

We got initiated with the destination sunset beach bar/restaurant Ku De Ta. We blended right in sipping Bellinis on lounge chairs overlooking the Indian Ocean as well as drinking up our first Balinese sunset rich in pink, fiery hues painted before our eyes. Ku De Ta (kudeta.net) even has a “Chill Out” style sunset soundtrack. Oh yeah, they’ve got it covered. Our server was named Wayan (meaning first born) as is most every male here.

After the sunset, shopping tour (nothing bought), we came back to the house tired, although still early (9 p.m.), and, (OK full disclosure) proceeded to watch the DVD season of 30 Rock. How ironic, we are in one of the most the beautiful places in the world, and there we were having a giggle-fest watching TV before retiring. An anomaly.

We rented motorbikes for the month from a man named Wayan (surprise, surprise). This morning was our first day out to the local supermarket called Bin Tang. We followed Putu into town for a 5-minute ride in rush-hour traffic. My hands were shaking by the time we parked. Riding home was much better, but Cheryl and I need to get over the newbie wonky factor, and gain confidence by continuing to bike.

While we grow accustomed to Bali time, reading our Lonely Planet and Rough Guide by the amazing salt-water, perfect temperature pool, Carrie, our host, is hard at work with WWF organizing publicity stunts around the Global Warming Conference. The day before we arrived, she had Brazilian-style Capoeira dancers pop big balloons that said CO2 at the end of their routine. This made the cover of the Jakarta Post and today she is doing something with Penguins on the beach. It’s hot in Bali—sometimes dry, sometimes humid.

The middle of the day is shade activity time or else it’s oppressive. We are just entering rainy season, and got a little today. We came armed with umbrellas as we were told this is a good gift.

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