Saturday in Bali: Shopping, Beaching, and Hawkers

Saturday morning, we enjoyed (*kind of) the free breakfast that our hotel offered. The menu was very basic, fried rice, fruit, eggs and toast, jaffle (like toast with filling) and some other things. I ordered some banana pancake type thing, and everyone else got the fried rice. My pancake thing was ok. The pancake was thin and chewy, green, warm, had bananas, palm sugar syrup and coconut shreds on top. The fried rice looked pretty generic and as lacking salt. So, this was now two iffy meals in a row in Bali.

The plan for the day was to go back to Denpasar to the silver shop, where Vriz forgot her jacket, and then go to a souvenir shop, then relax on the beach. We drove down to the shop, and stopped at some others along the way, because I wanted to get a long silver necklace to put my pendants on, but didn’t have any luck. People were either trying to charge too much, or they didn’t have anything long enough.

We did some shopping, and headed to the beach. At the souvenir shop, I bought a beautiful, huge Balinese fan to hang on our wall, a little Balinese fan, some gifts for other people, a new batik bag, and some really awesome ‘Aladin Pants’ in purple. Sam bought some of the pants too, but it red. I was skeptical but it turns out they are the most comfortable thing I’ve ever worn. There were so many awesome souvenirs to buy, but I tried to be good and save some money for the next trip, to Jogja, where Sam says I will be able to get some really cool things. I was surprised at how cheap everything was, which seems to be a theme for this trip!

Next up was lunch. We didn’t really want to have another sub par meal, so Vriz wanted to go somewhere that she knew was good. Where did she choose? Drumroll please… MCDONALDS!!! So, in Indonesia, McDonalds is a fancy fancy place. You tell people you are going to McDonald’s and it’s like ohhhhh!! We pulled up, and there was a Coldstone and a Starbucks right next door! Was I going to get coffee or ice cream? or both!

Walking into the McDonalds was kind of a trippy experience! It was clean and pretty fancy! And there was stuff on the menu that we don’t have in the US, like KFC style friend chicken, rice, and different desserts. McDonald’s usually doesn’t sit too well in my stomach, so I just got some rice, and a McChicken mean with fries and Sprite. Vriz was so excited to be at McDonalds and honestly, Sam was too! I don’t think I have ever actually seen her eat McDonalds before… Anyway. We ate lunch and honestly, that meal may have been the highlight of Vriz’s trip! We finished up and headed over to Starbucks where I ordered a tall green tea frapp, all by myself. #Skills. We hit the bathroom and were off to the beach.

We got to the beach and bargained with a stick thin, Indonesian surfer dude, whose swim shorts were hanging dangerously low, for one lounge chair and an umbrella. It was so hot and the sun was burning full strength, so I actually put on sunscreen! Amazing right? Most people know that I like to just burn once and then get tan… but I didn’t want to spend the rest of my time in Bali, burned. Plus, L isn’t here to lather me up with aloe post burn. While we were lathering up, the hawkers began. There are a ton of people on the beach selling things to tourists; sunglasses, ice cream, bracelets, pedicures, massages, speakers, selfie sticks, cotton candy… just about everything! I was sitting on the end of the chair, looking out at the water, when Sam said ‘Caitlin… don’t turn around, but there is a woman selling sparkly sarongs right next to you.’ Um, hello.. SPARKLY SARONGS?? Of course, I turned around and saw this old Indonesian lady holding a beautiful white and light blue sarong, with silver sequins. Oh hell yes I’m buying one!! She had a really big bag, so I began to look. They were so soft and big! Sam originally told me not to look, because at the souvenir shop I had just purchased myself a sarong, but when I put it on the beach, realized that it was super small. The woman offered me 1 sarong for 100k, which was quite a bit more than I spent on the one I bought previously. I was choosing between two, when she offered both for 150k. Sam still thought it as a bit much, and somehow got the lady to give us 3 for 200k! So I got 2, and Sam got one. I chose the original blue and white one that I first saw, and a black one with silver sequins and multi colored patterns. We thanked the woman, and she then offered me a massage, which I declined. Later, there was a young, french couple that was next to us, and they seemed to be struggling to tell the hawkers to back off. A different sarong lady approached them, and the woman bought 1 grey and white sarong, with no sequins, and a second one, for 300k. Perks of being with people who speak Indonesian and can bargain!!

I was really glad to be with Vriz and Sam, because to the other tourists that were on the beach, the hawkers were invasive and relentless. They will not leave you alone even if you say no thank you a million times, and if they see you buy one thing, they all kind of swarm you at once. The offer pedicures, and just jump in and start giving you one before you can say no, or offer you a massage and touch your shoulders.. At one point, while Sam and Vriz were down by the water, I saw a woman with a baby and a little girl probably around 10, being pretty much attacked by hawkers. The little girl was getting her hair braided, and a bracelet sales person and a foot massager and a pedicure person, just swarmed her. She kept saying ‘no, please, I just want to relax and enjoy the beach, please’ and seemed really stressed. They even kept bothering her while she was nursing the baby. I felt so bad! So when Sam came back up from the beach, I told her what was happening, so she went over to the hawkers and told them, politely, that the woman said no and that she was nursing and to leave her alone. The hawkers packed up their things, ridiculously slowly, and left. The woman was extremely grateful!


At this point, I had my sarong, had been sitting in the sun, watching uncoordinated people getting surf lessons, and was ready to swim! The waves were beautiful, the sun was hot, so Sam and I walked down to the beach. Sam didn’t get in initially, because she has this really intense fear of being eaten by a shark, so I went in alone. I have never in my life been in water this warm! It felt soooo good. The water was crystal clear and the waves were perfect for wave jumping, so I waded out farther, dove under big waves, until I was far enough out to just float over the big ones. It was so much fun! While swimming, I was really appreciating my short hair, because when it is long and in a messy bun, and then you add salt water and crazy waves, you end up with a lovely birds nest type knot hair ball to try to detangle when you’re done. I loved that I didn’t have to worry about my hair!!

I bobbed around in the waves for a while, and saw Sam walking back toward our stuff. I figured she was hot and done watching. But a little while later, she came back down the beach and got in the water with me!! We swam for a bit and she went back up. I am a water baby, so I stayed in.

When it was time to get out, I went back and grabbed my stuff. We sat on the beach and dried off a little. I saw a woman sitting on a chair in front of us, getting a massage/scrub down from one of the people selling foot massages. I saw the woman using a nasty sponge to scrub down the other woman’s legs and feet, and was immediately glad that I didn’t get one. How many nasty, sweaty people has that sponge cleaned off?! I mean, she only had one sponge and you just know that it is not cleaned or sanitized in between people. EWW. Sam and I were so grossed out! Anyway, we packed and headed back to Ubud for dinner. When we got back to our hotel, we decided we wanted to swim in the pool for a bit. Sam, Vriz and I played in the pool for quite a while. The water even in the pool was really warm! I was in water baby heaven for sure!

We got out, showered, and headed to a fancy restaurant that was across from our hotel, for dinner. Sam and I had mie goreng  (Fried noodles), and Vriz had nasi goreng (fried rice). Again, the food was ok, but everything I had in Malang up to this point was way better. Except, we did get some bread and greek garlic dip for an appetizer and the bread was so crispy and delicious.

After dinner, we walked around the town for a little, and then headed back to the room for bed. The sun really wears you out! The next day, we had a lot of stuff planned, and I fell asleep pretty quickly, while staring at the ceiling watching a lizard run around.

I apologize if some pictures are doubled.. it was hard to keep track of what driving around picture was what day and where 😛



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