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Published: July 20th 2010
I was given about 24 hours notice that Richard would be joining me as his visa has run out in China and he’s got to wait for his work visa to be sorted out. Apparently it was between seeing me and the Philippines so I’m glad he decided to come to Bali. I was also glad he was able to find my hotel with only the street name and being told to look for a small sign with the name of where I am. We went up to Tulamben which is at the north of the island and is a popular diving place as there is a sunken US liberty wreck very close to the beach. I helped on an open water course whilst Richard tried a bit of snorkelling and chatted to the locals. I think Richard has already learnt more Indonesian than me and he’s only been here a few days. I’ve tried learning a word a day but I just forget - I’m awful. He has a little book where he writes down small phrases and useful words from various languages and seems to be doing pretty well with it all.
I decided to take a few days off diving to see a bit of the island with Richard. The first day we had a bit of a tour of the middle of the island. We had a driver take us to various different places on route such as silver jewellery shop. We had originally been told that we were being taken to a place to be shown how they process the silver and make the jewellery. That part of it lasted only a few minutes, we were then taken straight to a massive shop. We had a quick look around but I don’t think they realised we had no intension of paying a few hundred dollars for a piece of jewellery. We also saw someone’s home who lives in the countryside. It consisted of a mud hut for the kitchen, sleeping rooms and them the family temple. Every household has to have their temple and this one looked for expensive than their kitchen. This was all on the way to volcanoe we travelled to. I had hoped to do a bit of walking and maybe go to the top but we stopped off at a restaurant. There are tours where you can climb to the top for sunrise which would have been good. There was a great view and the food looked good but it was very expensive so we just had a drink, which cost pretty much what we had hoped the meal and drink would cost, but enjoyed the view. We had hoped to be able to eat where our driver was eating but he had disappeared very quickly so that didn’t happen! On the way back we visited a temple which had turned quite green with various mosses. There were a lot of little statues at the temple which Richard pointed out, all looked like they were doing little dances.
It was a good day but I definitely felt like people were looking at the colour of my kind when it came to money. Everywhere we went there was just a charge of 5,000 rp or 10,000 rp for things such as parking at the overpriced restaurant. I did want to be wearing a t-shirt saying, I may be white but that doesn’t mean I’m rich, I’ve just been a student for 3 years and haven’t got a job yet! I don’t think such t-shirts exist.
I have to pay 50% extra for my room whilst Richard stays here so I’ve found out how much my room is costing me a day. It’s £3 a day and that includes breakfast. That’s why it’s costing me the same price to be out here as others stay for only 4 weeks as they have rooms with air conditioning and hot water! You can’t argue at that price though considering how big my room is.
Anyway we didn’t get up in time for the homestay breakfast and lunch was too expensive so we are thinking of going to an all you can eat Chinese very soon!! We can have a true comparison between Balinese, Chinese food, and the real thing.
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