Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Oh shit! There goes the charabang / Looks like I'm gonna be stuck here the whole summer

We went across to KuDeTa for Mother’s Day (and no, that's not us). Yes I know a few weeks back I swore that was it, and I’d never return after we’d been charged ludicrous amounts for very substandard cocktails in the company of wannbe property developers from Perth and bar girls from Jakarta. And, yes, that was the way I felt the time before and the time before. And the time before…

But the thing is you do go back because the view is quite magnificent, plus it’s a rather easy place to meet those less than familiar with the quagmire that calls itself the Bali roading system, and thus you compromise. And the compromise we made this time included the proviso that we were only to do breakfast there. Because, at US$5.50 for a three course breakfast, including pretty good coffee, I can think of worse places to sit in the sun, watch the surf roll in and pass an hour or two.

So for Mother’s Day we took our Brigid and found the best table on the beachside deck free.

Lucky us.

I‘m never phased by the beach touts..they’re just doing their job and really are nowhere near as aggressive as the horror-show hawkers up country at places like the grim volcanos. No, they’re fine, so sitting within their hailing distance is not really an issue and it allows one to watch the goings on. And the goings on, as usual on this stretch of Seminyak Beach are often somewhat intriguing.

I’m not one to leap into racial stereotyping (he says hoping to divert the flak) but the Russians are always worth watching. They come dripping in gold and silver, in labels and they flaunt. The old gangsters bring their trophy girlfriends who try and make the most out of what inevitably will be a short window of Amex bending opportunity before Boris gets bored and moves on. If you’ve ever wondered who buys that gruesome Versace tack..look no further.

I liked these two the most.

Russian Hookers

The one with the short Helga styled pigtails had a ridiculously brief bikini when seen from the back, covering just the bit between the cheeks, and then only in a very token way. And she wore, to compliment that, until just before she went into the water, very high gold heels with twisty bits on them (I tried to get a shot but these boys carry guns). She seemed to find regular reason to bend right over, backside facing the boys on the beach who come in bus trips from Java, just to look. Not to excuse anything, but it’s often occurred to me that those boys from the fundamentalist Madrassas in Jawa Tengah, who later blew a few tourists sky-high, must have though they’d wandered through the gates of Sodom when they first arrived in Bali. Or the gates of heaven……

Moving on from the odd mix of Eastern Bloc hookers and Islamic terrorism…. I wonder about the European, mostly Italian, parents who allow their kids to swim, unattended, outside the flags...often indeed directly in front of the large red skull warning flag. That flag was missing today but these two, aged 4 and 7 I’d guess, spent much of the time we were there floating towards a very obvious rip as their happy parents ignored them..chatting, having a fag and a lager, looking at the Russian hookers, that sort of thing. You see it every day, and not in the ones or twos, but the many dozens.

Over 100 people drown on this beach every bloody year. It’s almost as dangerous as the roads.

Then we had the two, I think, Italian girls who asked the sarong hawkers if they had any cloths in a ‘French Colonial Style’. Dear, they can, of course, instantly be in any style you want if you have the money and the touts on this particular stretch of the beach, much in the tradition of KuDeTa, take some pleasure in the ease at which they can overcharge, grossly, tourists who want to be seen as moneyed or beautiful.

These two paid over Rp100,000 each for their ‘French Colonial’ sarongs. They could’ve got 4 for that price in a market but who are we to intervene? As I said..I quite like the hawkers here and if they can get away with it, so be it. P.T. Barnum/Sucker/Minute.

And that’s the name of the game along Seminyak Beach, which is why KuDeTa fits so well there….everything they serve is priced at about triple the going rate. Even the formerly very well priced brekky has jumped 100%, and wasn’t that good. Hell, it used to be the only edible thing on their bloody menu.

And it’s full of those Perth property developers because the beautiful people have long since scarpered (although I’m not quite sure where to…..those budget fares from Wagga Wagga and Geelong are doing some damage to the style factor here with even the travel agents and hotels complaining that nobody spends any more).

I’m never going back.

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