Travel Talk

Cheap Hotel, Surfing, Ripped off in Bali

Greetings ladies and gentlemen as well as monkeys trained to read,

Today I got a cheap hotel in Kuta, Bali, went surfing for the first time ever and rode some waves, had a great massage then got RIPPED OFF! Let me elaborate, will you?

Woke up after a rejuvenating 5 hour sleep on the top of my bed, try to never go under the sheets in these places. Decided this place costs too much, off to find my fate. I roll out of bed and presto run into this extroverted Irish girl also looking. We cruise around… I was paying 165,000 a night. I think I did because I hung with those cheap Austrians and they were 2, I was 1. Therefor it was more “their night” and I was on for a ride instead of making my own path, my own destiny.

I digress.

So we’re cruising and I see this beautiful blonde haired blue eyed beauty sitting in a restaurant after looking at a few places. One place was 150,00. If I pay for 1 week 100,000 checked for bed bugs with Irish girl and we both saw lots of black. Maybe sand maybe not, definitely not risking it. She got them and said it was horrendous. So I ask that girl eating for suggestions she points me to a place nearby and get this, 45,000 a night! DEAL, yes?

The place is full so I ask for a similar place, leads me down this little lane and find a cool place, no bed bugs I could see and it was only 45,000. So I go back to my hotel, check out with and switch rooms. I get there and say “anything on top floor?” he says, yes. I remember when I was a kid, like 8 years old. I was freaked that my bedroom was closest to the stairs… If a pyscho killer came it was my room first. Similar now only thieves. Upstairs is more secluded but you have to pass through the area longer so in theory a lazy thief will hit ground floor, yes?

I get up there and there is a crew of cool looking people. Awesome.

Rent a surfboard for 40,000 for the entire day. Guy on beach wanted 50,000 for 1 hour, no way. I was like totally lost but thought hey, lets go for it. I run into this instructor way out and he’s like if you’re new, you are too far out, try and catch closer near the breaks. Also showed me where to position myself and said your board is too small for more advanced people, you want a massive long board. Then tried to sell me lessons, I said “If I can’t get up, I”ll come see you tomorrow”.

First few times you fight through waves haha it’s interesting. My arms were tired after 10 minutes but I surfed for 3 hours. About 30 minutes in I realized, better to wait for bigger ones and whatnot instead of going for all. Supposedly today wasn’t that good aka no big ones but whatever. I finally get up all sketchy for 3 seconds, I was hooked. 3 attempts later I was fully standing and just glided into the beach. What a rush it was arguably the coolest sensation I’ve had in ages, I’m totally hooked and so glad I tried surfing.

Spent another 2 hours and got up about a dozen or so more times and eat it hard about 3 dozen times or so. It’s not easy. I will say twice I got up as it was breaking further out where I stood up then felt the wave starting to break and you drop like a foot and really start motoring, that was awesome. I will be doing MUCH MORE SURFING. It’s my new “thing” and a great way to pass a day. If I have nothing to do I tend to smoke and eat aggressively. The beach in Bali is sick, like chilling no your board waiting for waves and look to the shore and there are topless women swimming around… Paradise, “Heaven”, I think so.

Ok, so I’m all sore from sleeping on a couch and getting rattled by the ocean, get a full body massage for 48,000R or ~$5US. It was awesome and I THOUGHT the lady was nice.

This is how I got ripped off in Bail… I ask the massage place “I want an authentic Balinese meal” away from the touristy place for cheap, she says “follow me”. I follow her for like 30 minutes through a labyrinth of lanes until we get to this crappy little diner. We’re “off the beaten path” and I didn’t see one other tourist. I mean there were flys all over the food and it was just sitting there, no ice nothing. A big chicken leg with stands and some odd looking stuff. I don’t want to offend her so I say “oh yes, looks great”.

Ok, so I’m eating the sketchiest meal I’ve had on my trip. If my stomach does not explode in 24 hours, I have official been “broken in” to withstand almost anything. Long story short I go to pay and she says 100,000. I’m like WTH, 1,000?!? She says no, 100,000. She adds it all up, the lady bought food for her whole family it looked like she was grocery shopping and expected me to pay. She is like “no money” and other lady “No speak English”. I saw a guy earlier leave with bags for 20,000. So she says mine is 25,000(Still being charged 4-5X) and then adds ridiculous sums for the ladies.

Since 50,000 is smallest bill I have I say listen, here is 50,000R and that’s it, I’m not paying anymore. Others would fight and make a scene, others are so cheap it’s obscene and others get knifed in back alley’s. I mean they could of said anything to some gentlemen who came over had we started arguing and I was far from the tourist area. I mean there was no tension, I just wasn’t going to get ripped of and we both left with smiles. They made some money, I learned a lesson.

They take it and I leave. Then I walk home, get to town and notice I can buy delicious sounding dishes, around the corner from my place for like 8,000-12,500R ($0.80-$1.25US). Yep, I got played and ripped off.

EVERYTHING happens for a reason. What have I learned?

A) Never ask women in these countries where to eat, or go with them to eat. I’ve done it twice and both times they thought I was their meal ticket. This time was even more ridiculous as she had other things and they jacked the price 10 fold.

B) As soon as you exchange money or take out money, go to a 7/11 and buy something, anything to get change and smaller denominations. 25,000 was still too much but had I had smaller change I’d of left that and been like sorry, have a nice life, or don’t, I don’t care.

C) Whenever you get all culturally lame like “show me this or that” all too nice, you’re asking for it. Someone left a comment saying “Hey Rob, are you mixing with local people or just tourists”, so I tried this out. I do meet lots of local people but it’s through random encounters where you’re like what’s up, have a beer, or meet on the beach or meet out surfing like I met Joe the instructor today, or meet at a resort etc etc…

Yeah, that’s it. Whatever I got 30 days here and my hotel bill for 1 month will be less than $150US and I’m in paradise. I seriously love it here, coolest place yet. Everyone agrees if you get dropped off on Poppie Lane at like midnight it’s a sketchy feeling but it’s still “all good”.

Have a friend coming on the 16th, here until then (for now) and take it from there. Plan on doing lots more surfing, the stuff is near free (free if you have a board) and is amazing fun and that’s what Bali is known for. If you are reading this “Munbr0ach” and “WIllzzzz”, next time in Vic, excited to hit up Sombrio Beach and Tofino.

Do I miss being home, shoveling snow, trading my youth for peanuts and “security”? hahah, no.

One thing I will NOTE. I love how I’m 13 hours ahead of EST. Why? Now when I used to be at home sleeping before work, dreaming of this, I’m living the dream. Also when I WOULD OF BEEN at work, I’m now enjoying a cold one for $2-3 and resting up to do it all again.

Anyone can do this with some wise money management. There is only 1 golden rule YOU CANNOT BREAK. DO NOT GET IN DEBT. Once you get in debt you trade your freedom for the crap you bought, remember that.

Peace out, off to have a cold one and hopefully an early night. Hear the waves are good early morning.

Good day to you!

P.S Photos I take to come tomorrow as I’ve been busy. Will try and replace others I used a well as “Bali” for some reason isn’t heavily updated on google images… I smell opportunity.

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