Mar 12, 2013

BALI- DAY ONE.



Here goes. It’s finally time to blog about BALI! Last January, 6 of us hopped on the plane for a (sort of) graduation trip. "Graduation trip" as the official reason is pushing it quite far because only me and Suzanne were the real “graduates” while the others have a semester or two left. As if we needed a reason to justify madness. Travels shouldn’t be ‘justified’. If you feel like going, just go! Hehe. Anyway. That’s what I’ve been telling myself. 

If you can sense it, I’m a person of all talk and no action. Maybe once in awhile I can be serious enough to make a move but most of the time I prefer to laze around and hopefully someone will do it for me. Usually someone does. HAHA. I love travelling but my trips have a low probability of taking place unless someone else books the tickets, does everything for me and then leaves me with no options but to go. (I’m trying to change that!)

So. The trip was conceived as a slew of rushed whatsapp conversations and urgent calls. Once again we thank Airasia Zero Fares for all the commotion. Who wouldn't be tempted for a trip?? On one hand I had restrictions such as budgeting and timing, but on the other hand it would be the last trip that I can make with the volleyball mates :(

In the midst of all this, my ongoing final year campaign demanded my full attention so I forgot about my phone for a couple of hours. At the back of my head I planned my final answer to be “nope, can’t make it, really sorry!”. HAHAHAH.

Scrolling through the messages in my phone much, much later, the conversation ended something like this:

“yeah, joyce is on.”
“ok. 6 of us, tickets booked.”

waitaminute. 

BOOKED???!

My heart paused for a couple of seconds. :O
How will I explain to mom? How will I explain to my lecturer? From where will I get the money??

Ah. Screw it. BALI HEREEE I COMEE!

So basically I have liz and sing han to thank for making the decision for me. HEHEHE.

Unbelievably we managed to survive the long wait amidst torturing projects and finals for the day to come. WOOTS. It was the start of the new semester so we hung out around INTI for awhile before heading to the airport. 
One of the plus points of studying in Nilai—the airport is so near!

It’s fun watching the reactions of friends who’re all: 

what are you doing back here?”. 


“I’m going bali later!”. 


“… shieettt you…”
Without much trouble we reached the airport and said our farewells to Wilson the driver. It’s Gordon’s first flight and he’s really excited. Hence the camwhoring. Here’s a couple of them.
ok lah. i'm excited too. HAHAH.
 
Spent most of my time reading and chewing gum in the plane. If I ever get around writing a list of travel essentials, gum would be on it. You know how people stock up on snacks and chips and cup noodles before trips? I stock up on gum. Also the reason that I can’t ever be a stewardess (apart from not-so-customer service personality) is that my ears hurt like crazy during flights. It’s not just the ears getting stuck. It’s like someone pushed in a pin DEEP into my head through the ears. And moved it around, lengthening it. T.T 

everyone else asked for chewing gum too! See it’s totally an essential. Bring lots of it. 

After the smooth landing at 9:30pm, we were stuck in the plane for about 20 minutes. During the wait I turned on my bb and received a message from yatsin! So excited to see my phone still working in Bali (showing a weird data provider on the screen) so spent the 20 minutes whatsapping with him (bali showoff hahaha) before checking my phone credit. WHAT THE X IT WAS REDUCED BY TWENTY BUCKS. Since I’m not quite sure how the data plans in Bali work I just took out my sim card to prevent helpful credit deductions. (basically the only way i dared to "keep in contact" after that is with wifi. heheh)

The queue started moving then. Upon reaching the entrance we found out the reason for the delay. 

TOTAL STORM. 

The poor airasia staff got loads of umbrellas to bring us to the bus and everyone is soaked and I was worried of being blown off the stairs! With everyone looking ugly and wet (but still fun hahaha), the shuttle bus delivered us safely to the arrival hall.

Here I got my first bad impression of Bali. On the plane the stewardess apologized for running out of arrival cards. She also said that we will be able to get them easily at the arrival hall. So I thought its okay lah. 

When we entered the arrival hall, there’s a counter where the officers are waving for visitors from a certain country and giving them arrival cards. So I asked them for one. The lady rudely pointed to table B. When I went over there, the guy at table B only had a newspaper and nothing else. He seemed to never have heard of them before. 

So we went back and forth at least 4 freaking times at the crappy airport and no one is helping! Worse the lady at counter A became so rude and refused to give us any and said "you should ask airasia for it". Some officer seemed helpful but then left, never to return. 

Gosh the attitude. @#$%.

Finally Sing Han got some forms and we managed to join the queue. Then a helpful security-looking person sidled up and told us that with a certain amount we can skip the queue! 

BALI. Your airports need some serious cleaning up.

After the long delay, we finally left the airport at 11pm. Luckily the rain let up already so we can get to the driver’s car without much trouble. Nyoman (the driver) drives a newish Avanza and he told us that most of the good places for food were already closed for the night. Wet, tired, and hungry, we didn’t care anymore. Seeing a travelling cart noodle vendor still open in a dark street near the airport, that’s what we gonna have then!

Bali closes really early for the night. Dark, empty streets, the sound of trickling rain and reaaally windy. 

The stall we stopped at has a sign with Mie Bakso scrawled on it. There were about 5 tables at the tiny place. 3 tables had locals having their supper. Definitely a good sign.  
liz & suzanne! spot the coke bottle heh
starving faces. look at the oozing chili! mhmm


Trip planner Sing Han made the orders for us. “Mie Bakso, enam mangkuk.” Or something like that. HAHAHA. Communication barriers. Everyone had glass bottled soft drinks while waiting for the noodles. 
The noodles looked so good when they arrived! It took all of my self control to take 1 picture before starting on it. 
Mie Bakso is basically soup noodles, with bakso (meatballs. The bak is supposed to originate from the Chinese word for “meat”! Sounds legit. Chinese Indonesian fusion?). 

The version we had consisted of wonderful, flavourful beef broth, springy noodles and falling-off-the-bones chicken. The meatballs were slightly salty but the broth definitely deserves five stars. Customize your bowl all you want with all sorts of chili. This stuff is perfect for a cold and rainy night. MHMMM.  In all, the meal cost us 69000IDR.


Lesson Number One. What’s the easiest way to convert the Rupiah to Ringgit? 
Malaysians take note!
(According to finance student mr chew)
First you ignore the last 3 figures of the amount. So 69000 = 69. Then you divide the 69 by 3. That’s roughly how much the noodles cost us in ringgit.

***

Stomachs sated, Nyoman drove us to the budget hotel of the night-- Sapta Petala. This was a sort of random choice made after reading a couple of agoda reviews. 

Plus point. It’s really near to the airport. 

Other than that, the toilet is slightly creepy with lots of green tiling and a temperamental water heater. Since it’s a budget hotel we can’t really complain much. The bed is quite comfortable and there’s flat screen TV. No hairdryer but hong li brought one. Indonesia had different plug points from Malaysia’s. All of us ignored Sing Han’s reminders to bring adapters LOL. We ended up sharing his adapter between 6 of us, charging phones and camera and hairdryers. We had a “meeting” in the girls’ room to sort of discuss the itinerary for the next day and watch television, but halfway through the “meeting” hong li dozed off! There were weird sounds in the night but I concluded that it’s just the wind blowing through cracks in the windows. HAHAH.


fuh. working hard on the next post. till we meet again! 



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