Friday, October 28, 2011

Bali Hai

It's a whole new world. An oasis of frangipani trees, pink and apricot bouganvilleas, and red hibiscus; of enormous white towels, smooth sheets, and mountainous beds; of paths lined with fluttering flags, stone lanterns, and votive candles in the evenings; of breakfasts of noodles, cereal, rice, tofu, miso, doughnuts, pancakes, eggs, bacon, and a rainbow of cut fruits. There are a pair of gold-dressed dancers and a gamelan in the lobby each evening, greeting the guests as they arrive back from a hard day's touristing, snap-shotting, t-shirt buying and hair-braiding. It's quite nice, I must admit, but not what we are used to. As Chef-D said, it's the kind of place we normally scurry past and feel dirty.
Outside our resort, our enclave, we enter...I don't know... not quite the Bali I expected, but what must pass as Bali for many visitors here. Not a paradise, that is for sure. Oh, there are palm trees and beaches, mangroves and sunny skies and sea breezes. But the streets are much scruffier than I had expected, mostly from the dust and stone and chaos of endless construction, the mangroves nearby are full of plastic detritus, and the blue sky at the resort fogs up at dusk with an insecticidal smoke that my inner-ecologist cringes at ('For your comfort...')
We have not been far afield yet, we've had a brief glimpse of some rice fields full of whirlygigs and flags flapping to scare birds from the ripening crops, while in other fields sickles flash in the withering midday heat as people gather the grains. We've been to see one holy site so far (Tanah Lot) where we sizzled on the concrete paths like damp sponges on hotplates. Mostly we have just hung out by the pool, which is actually a novel holiday experience for us, so why not?
Today's photo is of the view from our lovely large balcony (after our last room in Singapore, this place is not just spacious, it's practically palatial.)


Liz - Suburban Tomato said...

Get ye to the hills! I much preferred it to the coast - having said that it is quite some years since I went to Bali so all advice should be taken with a pinch of chilli of my abiding memories of bali is the lady I rented a room from making me toasted banana sandwiches for breakfast and my trying to work out how much I could leave without appearing rude...

Mrs Bok - The Bok Flock said...

Your holiday has been so interesting to follow alongside. I've never been to Bali.