Friday, May 22, 2009

The Great Bali Trip 2009 - Thursday Night

Sometime this time last year, Suanie called me up in the middle of the night (around 2am), asking me if I wanted to go Bali. In my half asleep mode I must've agreed to it because there we were almost a year later, in the Air Asia plane on the way to Bali, on a fine Thursday night.

Being the lazy ass that I shamelessly am, I conveniently left all the planning to Suanie. From itinerary to hostel bookings - everything was managed by Suanie via the internetz. All I had to do was sit on my ass, give her some indication of how much I was willing to spend (not a lot) and give my opinions on lodging and destination selected by Suanie. Hehehe, thanks a mill babe. Until the evening we took off, I still wasn't sure of the details of our trip. All I know was that we were going to stay in some hostel, climb some volcano (I thought she was kidding), eat some babi guling somewhere, check out the sunset at some nice expensive place and make a trip to Tanah Lot. :P

So Air Asia was on time - I know right, should've bought a 4D ticket. QZ 8395 I think. Inwardly, I was a little apprehensive about the whole swine flu thing, but thought that if it was time, it was time, let fate decide (and here I am still blogging, thank you powers that be). 3 hours and a bottle of overpriced bottled water later, we finally arrived at the Bali airport.

Have I mentioned before how much I really hate our LCCT? I have? Well, here's a reminder, I really, really, really hate LCCT with every fibre of my being. It's so chaotic, random and the layout so badly planned it was as if a 5 year old had designed it. If I was god I would used my divine powers to obliterate this sorry piece of excuse for a plane terminal away from face of this earth with my thunderbolts. Or a level 10 fireball.

By the time we got out of the Bali airport it was nightfall. Around 10 maybe? Outside the airport greeting us were swarms of touters. I thought that there were too many touters in KLIA, but in the Bali airport the numbers were multiplied by at least 5. Feeling hot, tired, cranky, and to be greeted by scums of the universe at the first step into a foreign country doesn't really make a visitor feel welcomed. I think suanie and I were ready to take the first flight back to Malaysia, or at least, I was. I don't quite know how to articulate the feeling I had at this point of time, but it was a mix of intense hatred and extreme annoyance caused in part by the uncomfortable as fuck air asia seats, partly by the touters, and partly by the fact that it was bloody late at night.

Thing is, I've been here many years ago with my family, but didn't recalled the outside bit of the airport so chaotic.

Of course we were approached by a few touters charging us some pretty ridiculous (on retrospect, not really lah) prices to take us to our hostel. Suanie being suanie layaned them very friendly-like while in my mind I was screaming at her to just ignore them, but with the obvious lack of telepathic powers, I couldn't transfer my thoughts to her. After a while they left us alone, but a couple of them had a really unfriendly face after which made me even more jittery.

We spend a little time wandering around the area looking for a legitimate taxi line or a counter, because I didn't care how third world this country I was sure that there HAD to be one! AHAH FOUND ONE! But there were like 10 people ahead of us ARGH. We spent at least 20 mins queuing and it was finally our turn. RPH 50,000 (abt RM20) to central Kuta. eventhough it was 20-30k lesser than what the touters offered I still think it was a damn rip off. Annoyance level increased twofolds.

Not only was this driver bloody unfriendly and looked like he could rob us at knifepoint, this motherless lying pond scum had the nerve to bloody tell us that he won't be able to drop us at our hostel front because the lane where the hostel was located at is too tiny for a cab to go through. We didn't argue because we didn't know better and agreed that it was okay as long as he could show us how to get to our hostel by foot. Thank you so much for the bloody vague direction you useless piece of shit. We must've spent what felt like hours (less than 15 mins tbh) wandering around the tiny badly litted lane surrounded by closed shops looking for the right lane. Kept asking every white person for the right direction because hey, in a foreign land, you can only trust another tourist to not lie to you. Suanie had a humogous rolling bag which was pretty damn horrible to carry about town with uneven lanes and at so late into the night, I felt so bad for her. Berat mata memandang......

I regret until now that I didn't take a picture of his damn cab to plaster it all over the blog and other tourist advisor sites to tell everyone to STAY AWAY from this cheating ass wipe. Because we found out the next day that he could very well enter the lane through another way. ANGER! HULKRAGE! CRUSHCAB! CRUSHDRIVER!

We finally found the hostel - which looked really dodgy and shabby on the outside. If we weren't already disheartened from our airport and cabby experience, the exterior of the hostel would've killed all our spirits. At this point, we couldn't care less anymore. Just give us a damn place to chuck our things sit and lie down and a place to shower kthx. We checked in, walked in, and lo and behold, the interior was bloody fantastic. It was like we walked into a secret garden which as maintained by fairy creatures. 2 swimming pools, lots of plants, well maintained lawn. Ever 5 steps we took Suanie and I went "WOAH. WOAH. WOAH!". Definitely more than meets the eye.

We were shown to our room, which had all the basic amenities, 2 super single beds & blankets, a tv, mini bar, cupboards, aircond, shower, toilet, sink. No toiletries though, but that was expected so no complains there.

So I thanked the heavens that something went right that night, chucked our stuff, and together with Suanie, went out to the nearest pub for some booze.

After a couple of big bottled Bintang and a glass of arrak cocktail, we were ready to call it a night..... not too peacefully because everything creaked and the walls were too thin but oh well, one has to stop bitching sometime, right?

I think at the end of the night, I might have said something to the effect that we've been through what was probably the worst parts of the trip and things could only get better. But not sure if it was out loud or in my mind only, heh.

No pictures on the first day because while going through our fantastic night adventures, I really couldn't be bothered. Will beautify post later after stealing some from Suanie.

Read Suanie's version of our first "day" here.

P/s: Mum, if you are reading this, we were never at any point of time, in danger. It was just a little scary at times, but mostly a whole lot of inconvenience. The whole place very safe one, hehe. You know lah bloggers. Have to add in more spice to make story interesting mah. :P

Monday, May 11, 2009

Words + Images Makes a Post Too.

Yup, this is going to be one of those "today I woke up and had cornflakes and have nothing else of interest to say" post.

Do you remember Care Bears? I do. I'm an 80s child and the best times for cartoon I would argue, would be during MY time! I don't see the cartoon being aired but it looks like the toys are back in a big way. Big ones, small ones, some as big as you.


Do you remember the catchy theme song?

Let's do the Care Bear Countdown
And send a wish out through the air
Just do the Care Bear Countdown
When you need them they'll be there
Do the Care Bear's Countdown 5, 4, 3, 2, 1~


I don't remembered their names though, do you? But they are so bright and cheerful looking aren't they? Makes me wanna get a whole lot of them just to brighten up my dreary apartment.

When I was back in Malaysia I had the biggest craving for some good ol' KFC.


It was so awesome I almost cried. But right after inhaling the whole meal my tongue felt so damn itchy. And it was itchy for the rest of the day. Argh. No! Is this really happening to me?? Has my tongue gotten acclimatised to the lack of MSG?!?!?! NOOOOOOOO!

Some drinkies had to be done last week. I had some Macallan. It's not too bad at all with water and ice.


Also had my first taste of a Moet. Personally, I feel it's overrated.


I've also discovered that I'm not a big fan of bubblies. It's too... gassy and sweet for me. Give me some nice tasting beer and hard liquor anytime. Which by the way, I might have to cut down on pretty soon. I'm pretty sure that it's fucking up my short and medium term memory, attention span and my vocabulary.

Someone told me that it's sexy to see a girl drink champagne. I wonder if it has anything to do with the fact that when the girl takes a sip of her drink she looks like she's holding a phallic object to her mouth?


I had a Yoshinoya ricebowl for lunch today. I don't care what anybody says but I think their rice bowls are goddamn tasty. It's really not bad for SGD6.50 which is basically the same price as a McD's value meal but healthier.

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The beef ricebowl for the win! It's the only ricebowl I will ever have. Forget about the chicken,fish or the ramen. Take only the beef rice bowl. Only the beef!!!!

And then for dinner today I tar pau-ed a packet of white rice to go along with some homemade chicken cabbage soup which turned out very, very nicely thanks for asking and yes,I'm very proud of myself too! Mum! Can you teach me some more easy to cook stuff when I get back? Kthx!!!


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The Lull.

So.. my current tasks entails me to be in Singapore for long periods of time. In between my stay in Singapore I would go back once or twice a month just to stock up my lungs with the polluted Malaysia air otherwise it'll collapse and die. Also to stock up my appetite with the food of course, otherwise *I* will collapse and die. Sorry Singaporeans, I really can't stop bitching about the city local food. I've heard that food around your hdb flats are awesome but heartland areas are like another continent to me.

Anyway, one of the worst parts of going back to Singapore after a short stay in Malaysia is the waiting period for the flight. The freaking airport is like a no moving time zone. It's like the place where time goes to take its last breathe and pass on. It's okay if you're in the airport with someone, or if you know you're off for a holiday. Not so great when you are there by your lonesome, especially after a really hectic schedule in Malaysia spending time with everyone you care about and running errands, waiting for the damn flight to take you back to the land without smiles, for work.

So you're there at the airport. You go through the motion - check in, immigration check, then move to the waiting hall. You tell yourself you'll bring a book along with you - just to pass the waiting time during the no moving time period. Sure you've got the laptop - but it's too much of a bloody hassle taking it out of your bag, waiting for it to boot, and then having the wifi function seek out a wireless connection which may or may not be working - you know lah Malaysia. Gaya ada, mutu... dipersoalkan. So fuck the laptop. You have the book. And you know you're not really concentrating on the book because you keep staring at the watch willing with every fibre of your being for time pass but it's only been 20 seconds since you last checked. Crap. Rinse and repeat another 30 times.

Then you look around and you notice there are happy shiny people with their happy shiny partners smiling talking, in their damn casual clothes and their damn screaming kids and their damn bright happy suitcases. And you picture in your mind squishing them with your bare hands because who are you kidding? You're blooding miserable and everybody else around you should feel just like you goddamnit. Argh screaming kids. I hate screaming kids. Slap the parents! Mind squish everyone!

You read another paragraph of your book. Watch check. Oh god why is it taking so long. Look up and see what's playing on the LCD above you. What's the point? It's muted anyway. Your eyes are too lazy to move anywhere else so it stays staring at the LCD. Oh good, it's almost time to go... but WAIT where is the bloody plane? Ding dong. Sorry your flight is delayed by another 30 bloody minutes. Fuck you Air Asia. Out of 10 flights I've taken with you you've been late 8 fucking times. Paragraph, watch, LCD, mindsquish. Rinse and repeat.

Plane finally comes. You go in. Sit in the miserable cramp seat. Paragraphs, watch check. Served paid in advance single serving food. Eat it without tasting anything. Touch down. Get out. Immigration. Taxi. 90 minutes later it's just you, your luggage and your dark, empty, apartment.

Then that familiar feeling creeps into you, that feeling which clutches at your stomach, squeezes your heart, clouds your head with greyness, steals away all your happiness.

Ohai, loneliness.

It usually goes away after a few days. But the first night is always the hardest to get by.