Wednesday 21 July, 2004 – Legian, Bali, Indonesia
My last full day in Bali and I’ve decided to spend it at the beach. A lounge chair and umbrella cost RP20,000 (about AUD$3.00) for the day and I settled in. Much more comfortable than sitting on the sand. I enjoyed watching the surfers battle the waves, especially the beginners as they try to stand up.
Various hawkers came up, some stopping for a chat and to sit in the shade of my brolly. I related to a very persistent chap with awful teeth who wanted RP60,000 to do a temporary tattoo. I beat him down, and was quite pleased with the result (although I did end up giving him my pen into the bargain). Another very nice but persistent lady waited patiently for my tattoo to dry for an hour to give me a massage – gritty but firm. I officially have no knots left to rub out.
After a few swims, another lady was horrified at the state of my toenails (including one toenail that was badly broken when a footpath in Ubud gave way unexpectedly a few days ago). She insisted on my having an immediate pedicure (RP15,000). While they can be persistent I did not find the hawkers at all unpleasant. Many would just stop for a chat and sit in the shade of my umbrella for a while.
The boys doing the beach chair and brolly trade are also pleasant, keeping an eye on one’s things whilst having a swim and holding the spot while one retires for lunch to one of the beachfront cafes. A service well worth the modest cost.
By late afternoon, tired of the pounding surf and worried about sunburn, I retired for a shower then went to the Bintang supermarket to buy a coconut grater which will be necessary if I am to accurately reproduce my Balinese feast. Grating fresh coconut would be a challenge for my grater at home, and it cost less than AUD$1.00.
Wandered up to Seminyak to the Batavia Restaruant for some good nasi campure, including crisply tempe, tofu (that I liked!), fried little fishes (ikan bilis) with peanuts and a beef rendang, a fish and a chicken satay.