Up 6:33am. Alarm was set for 7am but I was up. Solid sleep. My right knee was now painful and stiff and I could barely retract it. No problem putting weight or walking on it, though.
Left my bag outside the room as instructed. Everyone in our group was on the 3rd floor so the staff was gonna collect all the bags and take them down to the lobby for us.
Since I was up already, I went to breakfast at 7:20am. Fried rice, sweet & sour fish, mango juice. In 2000-2001 I had a boss who referred to my coworker Ian as "Mango" (SNL). Accurate. He was gay, but so much more. So much Mango.
An observation I could have mentioned on any of the 9 pages here: I've seen one homeless person in Indonesia. In LA I can't go a couple blocks anywhere in the city without seeing an encampment with tents. Homelessness isn't caused by mental illness (in fact, having lived in my car for a period many years ago, I can see how mental illness is the effect rather than the cause). Otherwise we'd see the same rate of homelessness everywhere. It's caused by being a dick who no one wants as a roommate. I've had roommates without jobs, and I've been the roommate without a job, but as long as everyone is good people, things work out. It takes a shitload of effort to make everyone you know hate you so much that they won't let you crash at your place. Maybe it's something about American entitlement that makes people think they deserve to live on the street in LA rather than an apartment in Dubuque. And yell at people and stab them and set fires.
Left the hotel 8:05am on a minibus for the Surabaya airport.
Not prompted by anything specific anyone said, but...all conversation should add information (the improv rule--add information!), insight or humor. Otherwise, STFU. Oh wait, my note says this was prompted by a specific person. Saying something that everyone else has in their head does not add information, insight or humor. Asking questions (see earlier discussion) does not. Posting "thanks for the ad" on a Facebook page does not. Small talk does not. Copying "RIP" or "sorry for your loss" from a comment thread about someone's death and pasting it into a comment thread about someone else's death does not (and it's heartless and cold on top of that). Most things are better left unsaid. You're supposed to learn this by adulthood. Most people should do much less talking and much more listening.
Arrived at Juanda International Airport 10am. My knee regained full motion sitting in the minibus. At the X-ray machine they flag you if they spot any aerosol cans, or maybe they can identify gas under pressure. Clare had to open her bag and show that her bug spray was for skin only. Same with me, but the guy said I had two aerosol cans. Ah, my deodorant.
Don't need a translation here. Perks you get depending on how long your flight is delayed. In the US I'd be getting a lot of bottled water and food and cash every time.
On the plane 11:17am. Barry and some of the others weren't on the bus with the rest of us from the gate to the plane. Turns out they met a celebrity. But they made it it to the plane. This was Citilink (Shittylink? Most people don't realize that Shitty Wok on South Park is a parody of City Wok, which is a real restaurant I get food from.) flight 668 on an Airbus A320-200. So not a turboprop plane that will crash. Oh wait, that 11:17am becomes 12:17pm because Bali is an hour ahead of Java. It's been a while since I changed time zones within a trip. Left the gate 12:26pm Bali time. In the air 12:38pm.
6 minutes after takeoff. I identified this (one of the >17,000 island in Indonesia) as Mandangin. This is east of Java, but not really because that landmass to the north is still Java. Only in preparing for this trip did I realize Jerry Seinfeld's line "Those brave Krakatoans, east of Java" is a reference to the 1969 film "Krakatoa, East of Java". During production someone realized Krakatoa is actually west of Java, but the title was retained because it sounded more exotic.
Touched down 1:29pm (49-min flight). To the gate 1:34pm. Collected our bags. Went outside. "Bali Bali!"--Classy Freddie Blassie. Definitely a funner vibe here. On bus 2:15pm. Arrived at our hotel, the Swastika Bungalow(s), at 3pm.
Our room has an outdoor shower! Also sort of an outdoor toilet, next to the shower here. The shower and tub and toilet and sink are all one room but only the shower has open sky above it. The toilet had two rolls of toilet paper in addition to the one on the dispenser. I will definitely not need any TP for my bungalow.
View from our porch.
Welcome drinks. Non-alkie.
We're in the city of Sanur. It runs north-south with a main road near the beach, which is where the hotel is. 3:28pm I left to walk to the beach.
3:45pm. Bali. I could have spent more time here.
No waves crashing against the beach. Any water motion is from wind, and was parallel to the shore here.
My feet in the water. Got to do this in Bali and in Wildwood NJ this year. A good beach year. Maps say this isn't the ocean but rather the Telaga Waja River, which would explain the lack of waves, but it looks like sea between Bali and Penida and Lombok beyond.
Yeah, now that I look at it, it's a clean river.
Just a brief visit to the beach. Walking back I found 2,000 Rp! It's worth 14¢, but it's still paper money, so it's noteworthy. See what I did there?
Back to the hotel 4:10pm. After 4 years of applying for jobs and getting no interviews, I sometimes wonder, did I accidentally make a completely unnoticed cultural faux pas and thank Hitler in my résumé?
Our room. Tile floor + lush vegetation outside = good vacation.
I washed the sand off my feet in the tub, then went down to the pool.
These are difficult photos to take, because I'm sitting on a submerged edge nipple-high in water, not the dry upper edge, so it's a balancing act between keeping my phone or camera out of the water and keeping my feet afloat and centered in turbulent water. After this dip I sat and transcribed till 5pm.
Showered. And because the bathroom was huge and the tub was far enough away that I could rest my camera on it and keep it dry, I took shower photos. A plant in the shower! I found out that most people didn't have an outdoor shower, but Carrie did on a previous stay here and it was a different room so there's more than one.
Best shower ever. That's sky (on a 90°F/32°C day) and hot water.
My tan is back! I'm totally wet and TOTALLY NUDE here.
Rested a bit. Phone/Internet. The G app finally works again.
Went down to reception to meet for dinner. There was a scale so I stepped on it. 153 lb. Assuming 2 lb of clothes, that's 151 lb, so I've lost weight.
Left on foot 7:05pm. Arrived Retro Kitchen & Bar 7:20pm. It's happy hour all night because we're a group. 1/4 off beers, cocktails are buy 2 get 1. So my large 620-mL beer goes from 50,000 Rp to 37,500 Rp. So that's around $2.50 for almost 2 standard US beers. Indonesia is cheap.
My traditional group photo at the farewell dinner. Barry offered to take the photo to include me but no, that's not what this is. Clockwise from front left: Missy, Clare, my empty seat, Linzi, White Barry, Ryan, Cam, Rose, Lindsay, Ian, Toomas, Carrie, Stevie, Black Barry.
From the opposite corner so I didn't miss anyone. Clockwise from front left: Rose, Lindsay, Ian, Toomas, Carrie, Stevie, Black Barry, Missy, Clare, my empty seat, Linzi, White Barry, Ryan, Cam.
I had 3 large beers here (5 drink equivalents) and spicy prawns curry (exactly what I wanted). Total was 265,000 Rp and I thought I was splurging but that's only $19. I had ~900,000 Rp to get rid of (apart from Barry's tip and the taxi to the airport tomorrow) and that's not enough of a dent. But the night is young.
Finally some sparks of conversation tonight with the drinks flowing and the extra time. I wish every night had been like this and we'd all gotten to know each other better.
I checked the weather. Next Friday in Sanur the forecast was sunny, high 90°F/32°C, low 79°F/26°C. Next Friday in Los Angeles the forecast was rain, high 53°F/12°C, low 38°F/3°C. This trip was at least a week too short. Bali is where it's at. [It turned out to be even worse. On Thursday the high in LA (or at least in Studio City, according to my phone, according to weather.com) was 48°F/9°C. As far as I know that's the lowest high temperature in the 28 years I've been in LA. 48°F is the average low temperature in the coldest part of winter.]
At 9:50pm we bounced to a bar called Casablanca, because cool people bounce. Had 5 small Bintangs here. There was a live band performing seemingly-random '80s songs like Easy Lover. Solid choice. It was Hulk Hogan and Mr. T's workout song in the promos leading up to WrestleMania 1.
Some of the girls (with Lindsay as their spokesperson) asked Ian and I if we were going down to the dance floor during I Feel Like a Woman. I looked at her like Beavis and Butt-head during the entire Walking on Sunshine video. After they left I sez to Ian I sez, "They know we're in our 50s, right?" But it's not an age thing. I've talked about dancing ad nauseam. I've never wanted to dance. Difference in brain, not age.
Rose, Carrie and Lindsay dancing to I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Whitney recording, because the band was done). When I was a kid we used to record songs off the radio and my sister had a tape with IWDWS at the beginning. I hope that tape is still intact, somewhere. It might be in my closet.
I had a few (well, 10, as accounted above) beers in my at this point, so I made this note: Barry is one of my coolest CEOs ever. A CEO has to be able to run the tour smoothly and adjust for hiccups and all that, but making a connection with the group is a bonus. I've had tour leaders who were flawless on execution but didn't have much personality, and they're less memorable. At the bar I thanked him and shook his hand. I think I told him I needed this [THE BLUE PEN I'D BEEN USING FOREVER AT THE CRISPY SHOW FINALLY RAN OUT ON THE WORD "THIS"] point in my life.
This was a loud bar. Couldn't really have those finally-getting-to-know-you conversations with my tourmates. The music was good though. Did Internet stuff on my phone, and watched Liverpool. Ian, from Aberdeen, is a Liverpool guy. So is my brother. I texted re my current situation. He'd asked me to check in during this trip. I figured drunk in a Bali bar watching Liverpool on the last day (and when he was awake in Philly probably watching) was suitable.
Goodbyes were happening, one by one. By 11:57pm it was down to me, Black Barry, Ian, Toomas and Ryan.
The house band performed Come On Eileen. Wow.
I woke up the next morning with "pic of bathroom" in my notes. Eh, it's a sink in a keg.
This was one of the best final nights of any tour.
Left the bar 12:24am. Back to the hotel 12:32am.
My shirt reeks of cigarettes. I hung it to air out in the outdoor bathroom, but it still stank in the am. [And per my FB post, it still stank in LA after I pre-washed it in the shower.]
Contacts out 1:02am (I keep track of that whether or not I'm travelling because I monitor how long I keep them in) so bedtime was sometime after that.