Tuesday, June 16, 2009

away. indefinitely.

figuratively speaking, there's a dementor sucking away every bit of happiness from my body and my will to live.

so no more energy to blog for the moment. at least not until i've finally figured a way to patronus charm the fucker to oblivion.

p/s: what the hell?!?!? i'm referring to harry potter?!?!?! i must be in worst shape than i thought.

Update (14/7/09): In case you don't already know, I'm still twittering, at least. Check out my side bar ---->

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

not an update

Sorry, very busy. Bali updates tergendala untuk sementara waktu.

Meanwhile, check out the trailers of the movies I really want to watch.

Coco Avant Chanel
- A french film about the genius behind the label. Audrey Tautou stars in it and she hasn't been in any movie which sucked so my money is on this movie not sucking.

Transformers - Childhood superhero robots, can't miss it even if it might suck (because Michael Gay has that gift to fuck things up for all of us).

Up - Another Pixar film which will be great because Pixar cartoons have been consistently great so it shouldn't start sucking now.

Fame- Might be fun, like how Mama Mia was fun. I'm a HUGE sucker for synchronised group dancing and harmonised singing. In case you were wondering - No, I never watched High School Musical and never will. I do have some standards, you know.

Dance, Subaru! - Based on the Japanese manga with the same name. It's about a girl who aspires to be a dancer and could be goosebumps inducing. I'm a sucker for goosebumps. Don't diss this movie because it stars several hot Japanese chicks often wearing tight tight clothes and frequently being in compromising positions.

What are your must watch's of the year?

Thursday, June 4, 2009

The Great Bali Trip 2009 - Saturday (I)

We hadto wake up before 2am for the trek up the Mt. Batur volcano. Crazy right? Crazy. So both Suanie and I tried to get some shut eye at about 8 something, 9pm the night before. Actually unknown to Suanie who I found out the next morning could not sleep a wink, I woke up almost every hour because the walls were too damn thin and there were too much noise from people moving about. However, I was determined to stay in bed because zomg trekking up a mountain is no bloody joke and the thought of having no sleep for the next 24 hours is not very appealing to me.

I'm not the most adventurous person on earth, but I've done my share of out doorsy adventure stuff, ie - trekking up hills and through forests to know that this fun-filled activity requires a lot of energy, water and some fitness levels to go through it. It's hard work. It's nonstop hardcore walking and trekking through rough, uneven, unpaved lanes. I already know the drill. But I had found out a little too late that Suanie expected something a little different, but more on that later. So when Suanie very excitedly told me a few weeks before about wanting to do this VOLCANO climb to catch the sunrise, I was a little skeptical. VOLCANO? TREK? A FEW HOURS? SUANIE? IS SHE KIDDING?!?!? Then again, I reminded myself that this was the same person who organised a trip to the quite challenging Chiling Falls and then I felt fairly confident that Batur wouldn't be a problem either.

So Yande, our hired tour guide for the weekend (Suanie fixed this up for us, because I'm a lazy bitch and left all organising details to her and she did an exceptional job at it!*kiss ass kiss ass*) picked us up from our hostel at about 2am. When we had to wake up at about 1 something I had a good mind to tell Suanie to do this herself because I really badly wanted to bloody sleep and it's a damn holiday and I'll sleep in if I want to but decided to just go with it. It took us about 2 hours to get to the mountain, and I slept through most of the journey. You could say I'm the worst/best passenger on earth because every time a trip takes longer than 15 minutes my system would automatically shut down. ZZZzzzz. Whenever I woke up I would notice that everything around me was covered in darkness. ZZzzzz. 2 am is still too damn early to be awake lah really.

Finally reached the foothill of the mountain and Yande arranged for a guide to take us up the mountain. It was about 4am and we were still surrounded by blackness. Without a torchlight you couldn't even see your own toes. So whoever thought they could've done this without the local guides either had a death wish or were out of their freaking minds. Paid for our guide, quick toilet break, quick intro to our mountain guide (wayan) and off into the darkness we go.

We were on the way to trek up a live 1707 km high volcano. In almost complete darkness. With nothing but a guide and our tiny LED torchlights. Walking through uneven clearings filled with rocks, pebbles and lava ashes. After about 15 mins to half an hour, we took a quick breather. We still couldn't see much but outlines of the path immediately ahead of us with the help of our torchlights. Apart from Wayan, another small guy named Ketut (who would sell us drinks when we are up on the volcano later) accompanied us too. Some small talk was made between the guides and us. Noticed a few other smaller groups ahead of us and behind us. It felt chilly, decided to put on my jacket. Nothing to see. Still too dark. This was work man. It's not some leisurely walk by the flower park. We had to focus and just keep moving. March on.

After our second or third quick stop within the first 15-30 minutes of our trek, Suanie began to show signs of cracking. At the first and second stop she was saying the expected "omg, i'm not fit man shit" which I was also also thinking to myself about myself. But after the third or fourth stop she felt I think, exponentially worse with each stop and we had to stop after almost every 20 steps. You see, she had for some unexplainable reason, JUST realised that the trek up the mountain was NOT going to be something as easy as say, a walk by the beach or even a trek through a forest reserve. We were going uphill most of the time, on very uneven ground, navigating around rocks and which stuck out at every wrong angle possible. We were both carrying backpacks with some essentials, eg, water, jackets etc. She had NOT foreseen that it would be so tough. In her mind we would just reach the peak and take pictures of the sun rise. Her brain did not process that we actually had to CLIMB this thing.

Suanie looked like she was ready to pass out, from my point of view. I shit you not. She was in very bad shape. Panting very hard, pale as a ghost, sweating, she wore the most miserable expression on her face that would shatter the hopes of even the world's biggest optimist ever. I had also suggested that we should slow down our pace because we were going quite fast, but Suanie would have none of that. She said that she was used to walking fast and that slowing down would be somewhat of an effort. Through the entire time I had also tried to encourage her through very poorly chosen words and tone (imagine how a perky cheerleader would sound like) which not only did not help her situation, but I think also made her felt so bad that she had to asked me very nicely, to STFU. I felt really stupid and horrible for making her feel worse. :( At this point in time, I have to honestly say that I also had thought Suanie wouldn't make it to the top. I didn't know what else to do or say anymore to perk her up. We still had at least another 1.5 hours to go at least and we were barely 3/4 of the way to the top. Groups which started later than us were passing us by. At this rate my OCD mind thought that we might not make it to the top in time for the sunrise. Suanie was in bad shape. We just can't go on. I was already making up my mind that this was climb was a crazy idea and that we should head straight down.

Suddenly, Wayan suggested that I should go ahead with Ketut and that he and Suanie would take it slow and catch up with us later. I had never thought that this would be an option before but it took me less than 10 seconds to agree to his suggestion. While I hoped with every fibre of my being that Suanie will make it to the top, apart of me wasn't too sure anymore. There and then I thought it was best that one of us go first so that at LEAST one of us would at least attempt to be on time to catch the sunrise which we both can enjoy later digitally. So I left her with our very abled Wayan and continued trekking with Ketut.

Read Suanie’s version of our third day Part 1 here.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Great Bali Trip 2009 - Friday

(Been a long couple of weeks. Apologies for the lack of updates. Had work and a life to attend to, no more spare energy left to blog. No time to process pictures either. Will edit posts with pics later. :P)

Woke up relatively early for some hotel breakfast which wasn't life changing. I think I had toast, cheese & bacon - it was dry. And I had asked for boiled water because it was either that or papaya/banana/watermelon juice, coffee or tea. None of the options appealed to me. Unfortunately, boiled water tasted salty. Note to anyone who's going to go Bali - always drink bottled water. Always. Everything from the tap tastes salty. If you're anything like me and prefer your water to not taste of anything, always choose bottled water. And not any bottled water, mind you. Don't go for the one branded "Club". Club tastes weird. Go for the one manufactured under Nestle. That's still okay. But mineral water in generaly has that slight weirdish minerally taste anyway which really bothers me, but hey, give me some water with hint of mineral than full on salty one any day.

Took a walk by the beach with Suanie. It was really, really nice. Breezy, sunny, sandy, wet. Got our feet and slippers wet every time the waves decided to come and splash on us. It was fun attempting to avoid it while laughing at ourselves silly for not quite being able to run away from it. At this point of time, it felt like I didn't have a thing to worry about. All the worry just slipped away as the waves rushed back to the ocean. It was so liberating to just not care. Felt like I never wanted to go back to Real Life. It's been so long since I last felt like this. So... free.

Tonnes of tourists by the beach of course (mostly mat sallehs). Hot ones, old ones, young ones, fat ones, fit ones. There were so many white people it was almost as if we were in Hawaii. Almost. They were everywhere - sun bathing on rented beach chairs under rented beach umbrellas, surfing with rented surfboards, getting touted by #@($*@ touters selling everything from fruits to beads.

Walked back towards the paved roads and chanced upon a Starbucks. Maybe not by chance. I bet Suanie was subconsciously drawn to it because she has this Starbucks tracking device embedded into her nose and her nose led us to it. Just can't run away from the damned Starbucks. Of course we had to go in. Had our brunch of ice lemon teas (which wasn't salty) and sandwich and we were off towards Legian.

We did too much walking on this day. We passed by never ending rows of shops selling everything from tshirts to seafood and it just kept going and going and going. After a while all the shops started to looke the same. We must've walked for hours under the frying hot sun in the 1000% humidity level thinking we could get to this place called Kudeta from Legian by foot. Straight road only what. Straight straight straight. Straight my ass. We just kept walking until we felt like we couldn't walk anymore (about 3 hours I shit you not) and then decided to stop to ask for directions. Only to find out that there were still too many kms left and that it was nearly impossible to get there by foot and not die of exhaustion by the end of it (I exaggerate here. Of course you could walk it, you could walk all the way to bloody Ubud if you want to. It's not impossible, but you gotta be out of your bloody mind if you really wanted to, that's all I'm saying). Right there and then, we decided to grab a cab. And I like to quote Suanie here that "That was the best Rph30,000 (about Rm11) we've spent in Bali". That cab was practically life saving. I think we didn't even bother bargaining. Even if he charged us 50 bucks we might have taken it...... actually no, 50 bucks is a little too much. Maybe 20. or 30. Not 50, though.

I have to honestly say that I was a little apprehensive about Ku de ta at first. You know how when you get a recommendation from a friend (in this case it was Suanie's friend Ah Seng) telling you how awesome this place/food/drink/movie/book is and no matter how much you try to tell yourself not to do it you will, consciously or unconsciously set a certain level of expectation which is of course a level much higher than when you didn't know anything about the place/food/drink/movie/book? Ku de ta was like that for me. After hearing (or rather, reading) Ah Seng's rave about the place I was worried that it would end up to be some overpriced stupid tourist trap for silly rich tourists who didn't know better and therefore, not meet my expectation of it being a scenic, ambient chill out haven I had imagined it to be. I was already constructing a nasty email to Ah Seng in my mind which would begin something along the lines of "Dear LYING SON OF A BITCH! KU DE TA SUCKED..... etc."

So I was right. It didn't meet my expectations.

Kudeta trashed it to a bloody unrecognisable pulp.

The place was in the middle of nowhere, and the exterior of it was very unassuming. But once you enter the actual place itself, it felt like an oasis. Tastefully decorated with stones and wood, the entire place gives you a up market lounge/chill out area feeling. It feels like... a cross between Luna bar and Bar Savanh but a million times better. We managed to get an awesome corner overlooking the beach to catch the sunset. But eventhough it was really cloudy and we didn't manage to catch too much of the sun, being there itself was the best shit that happened to me in a long time. We didn't even say much to each other. Suanie and I were contented just sitting/lying on the couch, stuffing our faces with pork ribs and the best pizza in the world, guzzling down bottles of ice cold Bintang, and chilling. It was bliss. Suanie blurted out something like "I wished you were my boyfriend!" Ghey. lol. It is a great place to bring your partner. I don't care how much this fucks up your expectations of this place but I very highly recommend that you make a mandatory pit stop here if you're making a trip to Bali. Evening is best. No sun? No matter. Just being there is so bat shit crazy amazing you won't even miss the sun. Seriously, just go there.

We stayed till the sun had set, and decided to leave at about 6 plus? As if we had completely forgot about treacherous afternoon, we decided to try walking back to Legian via the beach route. No sun what, sure can! Yeah right. After about and hour or so, when Suanie suddenly realised that it was a terrible idea, we walked towards the tar road to hopefully flag down a taxi. Thankfully for us there were motorbike touters who happily accepted our Rph30,000 offer to zip us back to our hostel. Another fantastic Rph30,000 spent ever. The ride through the teeny tiny lanes of Kuta with the breeze in my face transported me back to Batu Gajah times where my cousins would take me joyriding around the village.... sigh.

Friday ended pretty damn perfectly.

Read Suanie’s version of our second day here.