i have adventures (sometimes)

Friday, 24 February 2012

Sun, Shrines, and Spoons

It's so hot I could die. But I feel like I can't complain about it because I'm constantly complaining about the cold in England. So, um, it's delightfully temperate here. So delightfully temperate that after a few hours of walking this morning, I had to buy three litres of water and lie down in the hotel until I felt human again. And all of this before 11am. I may have to become nocturnal.

No really. Delightful.
Truth be told, though, I have missed hot weather. I like wearing a dress without having to layer it with tights, socks, jerseys, a scarf, a hat, and a jacket. It's just the being sticky and wanting to die I'm not so keen on. Maybe I'm just bad at temperature in general.

After a very disturbed night which at least had the advantage of getting me out of bed early, my day got off to a disappointing start when I found out that the complimentary breakfast was a single option, and that single option contained chicken.* But never let it be said I fail to be prepared where food is concerned (exam time notwithstanding); I ate some of yesterday's fruit, packed snacks, smothered myself in sun cream, and set off to go adventuring before it got too hot.**

Lacking a helpful city map, I picked a nearby-looking veg restaurant off HappyCow and headed that way, because, if I'm going to structure my travels around anything, it's going to be food. It wasn't a pleasant walking route, but it gave me the chance to get a sense of the city.

Outside my hotel.
 

...Is that hot dog doing an evil laugh?
 


HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO CROSS HERE?
Winning at having a motorbike.
Yeti crossing?
These little shrines are everywhere. Practically every house or shop has one.
The ubiquitous offerings.

And I've decided that it's not just the social anxiety: people really do stare at me a lot. Is it the hair? Is it being white? Is it being this white?

So very very white.

It might be my clothes (it's not like the women here are dressed in burqas, but they mostly seem to be more clothed than me), or it may just be that I seem to be more or less the only pedestrian - Denpasar definitely isn't walking friendly. The zebra crossings are just a way to lure unwary tourists to a messy death by bus, and the pavements come and go according to their own whims. I spent a good five minutes hovering at one intersection before I latched myself onto an official looking guy with a flag who told me when it was safe to cross.

I was hot and tired by the time I reached the restaurant, but I managed to negotiate a pineapple juice and a take-away... something. I would normally trust vegetarian restaurants, but this one seemed to have seafood and steak on the menu, so I'm not convinced it was very good at being a vegetarian restaurant. Anyway, the woman at the counter told me the something was vegan, and I just had to trust her. I'm sure that was tempeh and definitely not bacon. Probably.

As an added challenge, she gave me a spoon to eat it with.

This is not the fork you're looking for.

So, do I like Denpasar? Honestly? Not much. But tomorrow I should be off somewhere more interesting. I can't tell you where exactly, because it's top secret. Or I left the wedding invitation at home and need to wait for Lauren to arrive before I'll know where I'm going. One or the other.

*And I am a horrible horrible cultural and linguistic imperialist for wishing that I could elicit this information without a complex game of 20 questions with hotel staff who don't speak English.
**"Too hot" is obviously relative.

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