It’s the morning after the night before. It’s 10.30 when I am woken up by the housekeepers banging on the door and then opening it. Fortunately I had put the chain on the door. What I didn’t realise last night, however, was that I had put the sign on “Please make up my room” instead of “Shhh! Please don’t wake me up.” I could have sworn I put it on the latter, but then I was stumbling a bit when I got to the room last night.
My mouth is dry. The pool bar below my room has started playing what seems to be its one and only CD of tropical house versions of Thinking Out Loud, Rockabye, Despacito and all the other six or seven of pretty much the only songs I’ve heard every day all summer long. Light is leaking through the wicker shutters.
I wouldn’t call myself hungover, as such; I’m not woozy and I don’t have a headache or feel sick. I have the feeling that I usually get when I have been drinking which is that I just feel a mixture of hunger and thirst.
I’m well enough to step outside. I can’t stand the crappy music. I take a walk along the street and pass the paddy fields. I read a couple of days ago that there is a Sunday market in Canggu. In the centre there is an open patch of wasteland which is normally used for parking cars and bikes. Today there are a few market stalls on it, and at the back there is a stage that has been set up for some kind of performance. Several plastic chairs are set out in front of it.
A view of my hotel (with the triangular roof turret)
The road that leads from my hotel to what is referred to as the centre
I wander into the Love Anchor marketplace to take a look around. It’s the same as yesterday, but a T-shirt catches my eye. It’s dark blue and has a series of moons on it showing the sequence of the moon from waxing to waning. I quite like it, but I’m sure that it won’t be my size. Of course, the sale person assures me that they have my size, and I tell her that during my 11 years of living in Asia I have only ever found clothes that fit me a handful of times. Then again, I have lost weight this year and my clothes are all baggy, so it might be okay. She offers me a special price of 100,000 IDR, which is 50,000 off the advertised price, and spends ages digging though her canvas bag looking for my size. I get it anyway; I can always regift it if it’s no good for me.
I grab a coffee afterwards and watch the street while I drink. I’m hungry, but I don’t know what I want to eat and I don’t feel hungry enough to have a full meal this close to lunchtime. I think I might take a walk since I haven’t got many steps recorded on my watch yet. I might even go down to the beach.
I begin walking back down the road that leads to the hotel and I’m looking across the rice field when I realise I haven’t really explored the restaurants on the other side of the field from the centre. I see a place across the field that looks modern and interesting; it has an open front and there are some people sitting on the upstairs terrace. I make my way over to investigate.
I loiter outside and I can’t quite make out what the place is. It has an interesting bar along the front, and I haven’t seen a restaurant with a gate like this before. A lady appears and beckons me in – presumably she is the proprietress – and I ask about breakfast menus. No, they don’t do breakfast here. I tell her I’m feeling a bit off after drinking last night and I fancied something breakfasty. It’s not long after noon now. I look at the menu and then I decide to stay.
The lady – she’s Italian, I’m presuming, since this is an Italian restaurant called La Baraca – brings me a bowl of warm, crusty bread and a dish of olive oil. I order a lime juice to satisfy my thirst. As I’m waiting I break off a bit of the bread and dip it into the oil. The bread is so good. I really miss good bread in Korea. She tells me it’s homemade when I ask. I’ve got three of four really thick, big slices. I’m going to enjoy this.
I decide to order ravioli with spinach and feta. It will come in some kind of tomato sauce. Okay, it’s not what I fancied – I wanted something breakfasty like eggs and bacon – but I like the place. I pick up a copy of the Canggu Times – a local newsletter – and browse it. The Italian lady comes over to talk to me. I tell her it’s my first time in Canggu. She’s very friendly, though it weird me out a little that she keeps putting her hand on my shoulder as she talks to me. Perhaps I’m too stiff and English… We get into the where are you from, what do you do, how do you like Bali chat. I tell her I live and work in Korea but I’ve been thinking of moving on. More shoulder squeezes. I’m dipping the bread in the oil and I compliment her on it. I tell her I miss good bread in Korea. And good Italian food – especially ravioli.
She asks me if I had tried the starter they give out. I think I misunderstand what she’s saying because I presume she’s asking about a start portion of the dish I ordered, so I tell her I didn’t know they had one. No, she says; they cook a small portion of a dish I forget the name of and give it as a small snack. It’s basically a spaghetti quiche. Interesting. I tell her I always make a big portion of spaghetti and have it for leftovers. She tells me that in the south of Italy they mix any leftover spaghetti with eggs and milk and bake it to eat. I’m going to try that when I get home, I’m say.
She goes off to attend to some other customers. I keep eating the bread and reading the Canggu Times. The bread is so good and I eat two of the huge slices before my meal arrives. The portion is pretty big, and I’m feeling a little full already. With my stomach feeling how it is this might be too much.
I tackle it anyway, and I do enjoy it. I go slow, and I use the bread to mop up the sauce. The Italian lady comes back to chat to me about it. I have one piece left and a lot of chunky sauce. I say I wish I had just half a slice of bread left to mop up the sauce. “Let me go and get you some,” she says, squeezing my shoulder again, and swiftly returns with two more huge slices. I only need a bit, which I use for the sauce. I resist the urge to eat more bread, because I’m already so stuffed.
In the kitchen there are several Balinese working with a stocky Italian man, who I presume to be the head chef and perhaps the husband of the Italian lady. She’s sitting now with a family that has come in and talking to them. I stand up to go upstairs and take a look at the view from the upstairs terrace. There’s an interesting painting on the wall about arak, the Indonesian rice wine, which I have fond memories of imbibing on my first trip to Bali in 2006, which just about sums up how I’m feeling. When I get back downstairs I take a photo of it. the Italian man asks about the food and squeezes me on the shoulder as he does so. It must be their schtick, I figure. He invites me to try their desserts but I am so full. I don’t want to move, though, so I order a coffee.
I’m there for a while. A girl comes in and sits at the table across from me which is next to the gate. She already knows what she’s ordering, she says, and orders a pizza and sheepishly asks for the Wi-Fi password. “I have some work emails to do,” she says, seemingly trying to justify why she wants it. I realise this is what I always do when I ask for Wi-Fi – make up some bull about needing to send an email to a travel agent or something. I notice that once she’s got the phone out there is a lot of swiping and scrolling but not much typing going on.
Time to move. I don’t know what to do, really. I figure I’ll take a walk back down to Echo Beach, since I haven’t seen it in the day time and a walk often helps me when I have a full stomach. I’m follow the road around and walk down the road. It must be a kilometer or more away and it’s quite hot. At the end of the road I step down onto the beach. I don’t know what to expect, but it’s nice. The beach is wide and sandy and the waves are big and rough. There are tens of people out in the waters surfing and people hanging around with paddle boards on the wet sand. I mooch around trying to get some photos of the surfers out on the waves. I move away from the girl who is lying topless at the water’s edge lest I be thought of as perving on her with my lens extended and walk further along the beach. It’s interesting to watch the surfers trying to catch the waves. Some can do it for a short time but no one seems to be able to do it for very long.
I make my way back and I see several rocks and rock pools so I make my wave other to them. As I get round them I realise that I am really close to the end of the road that my hotel is on. Interesting – I could come probably come back here quicker and more easily than walking up to the end of the street and taking the road around. I spend some time at the rock pools and then head along the beach to the end of the road. I’m still feeling a bit full but having a walk has made me feel better.
I make my way back up the road to hotel. Being out in the sun has made me feel thirsty. I’m trying to think what I could do this afternoon and I suddenly just feel that as it is Sunday I just feel like lazing around. I haven’t really had a lazy day on this whole trip and I feel like I just want to wallow in bed with the air conditioner running and do nothing; maybe I’ll even watch a movie, since I have some on my laptop that I haven’t watched yet. I might even have a swim in the pool to cool off.
This is what I’ll do. I stop at the shop and buy some juice and a big water and I head up to the room. It is about 3.30 pm. As I exit the lift the cleaning staff, who have been quite chatty with me on past days, tell me my room is not ready yet.
Damn. I tell them I’ll head downstairs for a bit. I sit around in the reception for 20 minutes or so. I use the phone to find some information about doing a stopover in Kuala Lumpur, since this is what I will do when I go home in just a few days’ time. While I’m at it I arrange my car to the airport through the hotel. When I go back upstairs the room still isn’t clean yet. I head up to the roof and sit on a bench. I see a plane coming into land, and I follow it and watch it settle onto the runway and turn off. I knew we weren’t far from the airport but it’s interesting to watch. I see another plane lined up on the runway and I watch as it hurtles along and then lifts up into the sky. I follow it until it disappears from sight.
I’m on the roof for about 40 minutes. It’s about 4.30 by the time I get into the room, and spend the afternoon just chilling in bed with the AC on. I don’t watch a film in the end; I browse online and finally upgrade my WordPress plan for this site; I post a couple of entries and I spend time going through photos and saving them to my computer and then clearing some space on the memory card. I get my Bluetooth speaker out for the first time and have some music on. I’m enjoying the indulgence of not doing anything. I even order room service at about 6.30 pm when I inexplicably feel hungry.
I’m relaxed and feel a bit better having taken in some water and juice, though I still have a couple of thousand more steps to record on the watch. I decide at around 8.30 I’ll just go out for some coffee. Monsieur Spoon, my go-to coffee shop, is closed, so I find another place and have a coffee and a chocolate mousse and read for a while.
At around 10 pm I head back. I find a shortcut from the coffee shop through the road which leads to my hotel. It comes out near Monggo’s. It’s quite quiet in there tonight – no Kim or anyone I’ve met. I have one quick beer because it would break the run if I don’t, and then I head back to the room hoping to get a good night’s sleep.