http://karlosophies.blogspot.com/ has been dropping a few subtle hints, like "hey, I've got some blog inspiration for you, your favorite memory with Steve". Seeing as I as just about to steal her blog idea of walking down memory lane, I think its just meant to be!
Soooo, what is my favorite memory with Steve? hmmm, the past few years I've only really focused on the shit ones! This will be a nice change!
One of the things I love doing with Steve is exploring, but we've explored so many places, this blog isn't long enough for all of that! So I'm choosing Our Honeymoon where we made our first visit to Bali, Indonesia.
Because of the 2001 Bali bombings it was cheaper at the time to fly to Bali than Queensland, really that was the only factor in our decision making! The brochures we were given at the travel agents showed white sand, blue water and palm trees - paradise really! cool, decision made!
So we boarded the plane, but what we found wasn't paradise! We were met at the airport by 6 rifle holding soldiers who then lead us to the terminal where the only signs in English read "Illicit drugs = DEATH PENALTY" Cool, welcome to paradise! After 3 hours we were through customs and just as we were thinking "where to now?" 2 airport porters walked up to us, guided us through to our luggage and through to our tour guide waiting on the other side of those doors. The doors dividing us from paradise (I hope!). How lovely right?! Not so fast!! out come their hands! "I haven't changed my money yet" I tell them, "That's fine, Aussie dollar good" the reply, hands outstretched! I look in my wallet and I have a 10 dollar note, I hand it to them and they are extremely thankful, and off they go.
We Jump on the buss with our tour guide and probably 10 other Aussies. And still, we didn't find paradise! In hind site it wasn't too bad, but talk about a culture shock! Mangy dogs running all over the place, motor bikes zipping past holding 2, 3 even 5 people, whole families, surfboards, furniture, groceries, even animals! We arrived while all the roadside drainage and sewage was being replaced, the smell was horrendous! We dropped the other Aussies off at their various resorts, hotels and back packers, we kept driving, and driving, and driving! Finally we drive down a tiny little alley way to a tiny little village looking resort. Nothing around but run down, unused buildings, mangy dogs and wild chickens!
The hotel was actually beautiful, we had a 2 storey villa surrounded by blue stone walls and lush tropical gardens, a private out door shower and our own little plunge pool. The resorts facilities only included a pool and a tennis court and not much within walking distance (or so we were told).
So after we settled in, we caught a taxi for the 15 minute drive into Seminyak. We had planned to have a drink but as we were pretty much the only tourists there the street sellers were hassling us big time so we decided to go back to the villa and get room service.
When we got back Mum called, and I broke down! Steve and I had said that we should have stuck with Australia, we're not travellers, and we're stuck here for 14 nights! In my tired, emotional breakdown I asked Mum to get me home, ASAP! Steve agreed, this wasn't for us! There ended up being nothing Mum could do from home so we organised to go into Dempassar the next day to change our flights.
We woke up the next day and headed into Dempassar and learnt that the earliest flight we could get were in 7 days. We were stuck, but we looked on the bright side, I wanted my hair braided and this would give us time to do that.
We caught another taxi into Kuta, surely it wasn't set up when the taxi driver dropped us in front of a guy with scratchy tickets, telling us about the wonderful prizes we could win, Awesome, I scratch mine, and win a T-Shirt, Woo hoo! Steve scratches his and he wins a video camera, now that's cool! "all you have to do is come with me on a tour of a new resort we've built, no strings, we just want you to see the beautiful quality of our resorts"Sensing a little dodgyness, Steve tells him, "I've promised Jandy we'd get her hair braided today", "that's OK, my friends over there do braids, you go there then come with me" with that he walks me to his Friends who immediately start putting extensions in my hair and braiding, we were there for about 3 hours, Steve even had a manicure while we waited (by no choice of his own!). They did an amazing job, i had perfectly neat braids down to my lower back, they looked fantastic! 1 million rupiah they tell me. hmmm not bad I think, to get this done in Aus would have to be around a grand, 1 mill rupiah is about $300 Aussie dollars, bargain! I hand over the money and we're off to get our prize and fulfill our side of the deal.
4 hours later we walk out of a time share seminar and tour of the paradise we were looking for - in the form of a resort we'd never afford, with a T-Shirt! To get Steves prize we would have had to hand over $1300.00 for a 4 night a year time share! Disappointed we caught another taxi back in to Kuta. About 20 minutes into the trip Steve says to me "I think we've seen that shop" yup, there it is again! The taxi driver had driven us around the same block 4 times before we caught on!
The next night we went to Jimbaran for tea. It's a beautiful place where you eat on the sand and watch the sunset. We met another Australia couple who told me my hair looked great, did I get it for a bargain? YEAH! it only cost 1 mill!!! They looked at each other and then sadly told me I'd been ripped off about $290! We also told them about our day before and they told us almost every Aussie couple on their first trip will get caught out with that one! When we told them that we had given the airport porters $10 they couldn't help but laugh when they told us $10 was quite possibly a monthly wage for them!
The next few day we did a couple of tours, we found the paradise we'd hoped for, we relaxed and swam, we shopped till we dropped and then drank till we dropped again! We met some beautiful Balinese people and some great Aussies. One night at Paddys I met a girl in the toilets who was so excited because Stevo and the producers of Jackass were at the bar. Wee man too apparently, but we didn't see him. We ended up drinking the night away with my new friend from toilet, Stevo and the producers! Well until Stevo took the toilet girl home!
We took our regular 15 taxi ride into Seminyak most night to eat at The Bush Telegraph, an Aussie pub, until one night we thought we'd have a wonder down the alley way that the villa was on. We turned the corner, and there it was! The Aussie pub we'd caught a 15 minute taxi ride to each night! Not even a 5 minute walk away! We'd been done again!
Despite, or maybe because of that, we fell in love with Bali and its people, culture and history, we started to regret our choice to go home early! We ended up having an absolute ball. We saw and experienced things we could never have imagined and best of all, we were going home with a massive suitcase full of bargains! Bali is now our favorite place in the world! We've even been back 3 more times!
Our honeymoon in Bali is my favorite memory with Steve because together we turned a not so great time into a trip of a life time, we didn't fight once, we supported each other and learnt about our selves, each other and a new part of the world. We made a life long friend in a Balinese man called Dear and his family. And many happy memories, besides, what's a holiday without at least one disaster story?!
The swim up bar, or in other words, heaven!