Lessons Learned on the Road – Indonesia
- If you have to ask “Is that smell us?” it is.
- It’s always Happy Hour somewhere.
- Always carry toilet paper. Yes we’ve learned this one before, but it bears repeating.
- Expect a power outage at least once a day. Like right now, for examp….
- Bug spray – don’t leave home without it. Ditto for malaria pills, Immodium, 30 factor sunscreen and Gravol.
- The amount of weight Mel loses is directly proportional to the amount of weight Brendan gains. He really will eat anything.
- Eat local. Hamburgers in Flores, Indian food in Gili T, pasta in Tokyo – all bad ideas. Local interpretations can be very, very scary.
- Lie about your age to fellow travellers. B can pass for 30. Mel likes to think she can pass for 27. Enjoy everyone’s surprise that we married so young. (If any of you are reading this, sorry, but we’re actually 36 and 38.)
Best of Indonesia
- Ubud – the countryside, the rice paddies, the people
- Escaping the Flores tour and performing the Happy Dance to celebrate the return of electricity, toilets and all the good things in life.
- Dancing at the Jazz Cafe: from salsa to disco, we managed to be so memorable that upon our return a few days later, we were welcomed by the staff with ‘Welcome Home!”
- Healing and purification – from temples, to massages to random healers – Bali really is the massage capital of the world.
- New Year’s eve fireworks on Kuta beach.
- Our private villa in Bali, and some other spectacular spaces.
- The coffee. The micro-brew.
- Being grown up and finally buying local items that don’t fit in our backpack – and sending a container home via ship – real furniture!
- Good time on Gili T
Moments we’d rather forget
- Our series of near-death experiences – from winding sheer-drop roads to scorpions to killer night snakes to the world’s largest bees to hungry komodo dragons to bomb threats
- Showing up at 3 pm for our New Year’s eve reservation in Kuta – and finding out it’s for next year.
- Failing miserably at the 24 hours of silence. Over and over and again. Then just deciding to go into town and have some beers instead.
- A lot of the food.
- Accommodations in Flores and Gili Meno – from cockroaches to bedbugs to filth and mould we won’t even try to describe.
- Early morning wake-ups – from roosters, to motorbikes, to the call for prayer.
By the Numbers
- Bintang barometer (price variance of beer throughout Indonesia) – 23,000 – 60,0000 rupiah for a large beer ($2.50-$7)
- Number of massages: 12 each (price range: – $7-$35 an hour)
- Books read: Mel: 18, Brendan: 3 (which we are actually kind of proud of)
“She looks heaps proud”. (Georgia, commenting on Mel’s reaction to Brendan’s disco moves).