This gentleman offers parasailing rides - complete with rattan basket hardhat lined with a bit of styrofoam
The beach in Sanur is nowhere near as pristine as are beaches in the Caribbean, however, they are arguably more lively. There is a paved foot-path the runs the three-mile length of the beach, and along this path you can see the free-enterprise system at its finest.
There are little cafes and food stalls, some catering to Westerners, some to locals. There are little stalls, some no more than a few shelves set against the wall, with wood carvings, batik sarongs, paintings, kites, shell work, jewelry. You can rent a kayak, a canoe, a bicycle, go parasailing, arrange a tour. One young man even offered to arrange a long-stay visa for me. (What is it about me that makes people want to help get a visa?) This time, though, I declined the offer.
I’m usually pretty immune to beach vendors; I’ve met a few in my day. But I met my match in the “Super Sales Ladies of Sanur Beach.”
It started with Annie, who intercepted me about 50 feet from the field where she and her friends had set up their stalls. We began with the pleasantries as she walked me in the direction of her shop:
Bikes for rent
They also have blue bikes in case you just can't handle riding a pink one
“Selamat pagi” (Good morning.)
“Apa kabar? (How are you?)
“Baik, baik, Anda? (Fine, fine, and you?)
Small talk over, she set to work:
“Please, you come look in my shop?”
“Why not come now?”
“I’ll see you on the way back.”
“We here, now. Just look, five minutes.”
“Lahti-lahti. (Only look.) For my good luck, please, I have no business for three weeks. Just for my good luck, OK?”
OK, even I am not that hard-hearted. Truly convinced I was “only looking,” I entered the field with Annie, and was immediately set upon by four other ladies, all of whom insisted I look in their
shop, buy just one thing.
Once upon a time, I visited the Michigan State University Bio-Station, where they studied and rehabilitated native birds, particularly migrant birds. I came upon a flock of ducks. I had some corn in my pocket, and being the soft-hearted person I am, I threw some out to them. Big mistake! What had been a few cute ducks quickly grew to a whole lot of ducks following me until they had separated me from every kernel of corn I had. These
Super Sales Ladies
Annie is on the far left. The lady in the plaid shirt didn't have a shop, just wanted to watch the show.
ladies reminded me of those ducks.
At one point, another lady - who didn’t have a shop - came over just to watch the show. One lady even fanned me with my hat while everyone pleaded with me to buy “just one thing - from each of us.”
By the time the price of a batik shirt had fallen from 220,000 Rupiah (about US$ 24) to 50,000 Rupiah (about US$ 5.50) one lady said “If you buy from me I go away.”I had to laugh, resistance was futile. I won’t go into the rest of the negotiations, but suffice it to say I ended up with four shirts and a batik sarong. Bali, May 18, 2010
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