After La arrived on Friday, we were firmly resolved to go out and go exploring. But Denpasar hadn't become any more interesting since that morning, so after a lot of Googling, we settled on going out for lunch. At an Indian restaurant. Across the road. We are bad tourists, and possibly bad humans.
|We have disappointed the statue.|
It's at times like this that CouchSurfing is so valuable. With a little insider knowledge, we might have found all sorts of exciting things in Denpasar. As it was, we didn't. But we did at least have the chance to catch up, which, given that we've been living in different countries for almost five years, happens rarely enough to justify being bad tourists/humans. (That's my excuse, and I'm sticking to it.)
We checked out early the next morning and headed for Nusa Dua, which Wikitravel describes as an "artificial and sanitised" enclave of fancy beach resorts. So, definitely not the sort of place I'd usually visit, but I wasn’t complaining. It was certainly an interesting change from my usual sleeping-on-sofas-and-eating-pita-bread routine, and it wasn't as if a holiday which involved spending a ridiculous amount of money on flying across the world in the middle of term for the wedding of someone I actually know and am friends with could get much more bizarre than it already was.
You guys, that resort may have been the classiest place I've EVER BEEN. At the very least, it was the classiest place I've ever been as an independent adult (I use that term loosely). It's lucky I couldn't possibly look like the sort of person who stays in that sort of place anyway, because it meant I really had nothing to lose by gaping at everything and taking pictures in the lobby.
Once we'd had time to marvel at our room and open and close all the drawers and work out what was complimentary and what wasn't (“This water’s free! This water costs… a kidney. Don’t drink that.”), we went out for lunch as a start to a day of being slightly better tourists. The restaurant we ended up at served food even better than its name was weird, which, given that it was called "Deity of Miracle Vegan Resto", was quite an accomplishment.
|Can I get this with extra Miracle?|
|Om nom nom. (I still have no idea what crispy vegan nourishment is, but that's it at the top left.)|
After lunch, we spent some time looking at touristy gift things and then went to Kuta, which is apparently where all the tourists are (the ones who aren’t artificially enclosed in Nusa Dua, I suppose). We had time for a brief look around, and found La a pair of shoes for the wedding. I would just like to point out here that I am an absolute boss at haggling, although, having benefited from our schoolfriend Yennie’s haggling skills when we were in China, I know that nothing I accomplish will ever measure up to her gift. She can almost get people to pay her to take things from them. I didn’t manage to pull off such a miracle, despite my choice of lunch venue (the Deity of Miracle failed to smile upon me), but I reckon I did a pretty good job. At any rate, Mission: Shoe Acquisition was successful, and we headed back to Nusa Dua.
We took a slow, hot walk around Nusa Dua in what was technically the early evening but may as well still have been midday for all the sun cared, and we found a weird mixture of shops clearly aimed at tourists, and little streets which had a more local feel. As a diehard post-practicallyeverything-ist, I can’t help being sceptical of “authenticity”, but I do at least feel that Nusa Dua wasn’t an island cut off from the “real” Indonesia in the way Wikitravel would have had us think.
Our quest that evening was to (1) survive the heat and (2) buy a wedding present, because neither of us had really remembered that wedding presents were a thing, not being used to friend weddings. It turned out that our options were wild bananas, caged chickens, tacky souvenirs, or a bottle of wine, so we went with the bottle of wine, reasoning that at least one of them was bound to like wine. Probably. We had plans to present it elegantly with ribbon and a card, but at some stage we realised that we had neither ribbon nor a card, so it was a bit more BYOB than wedding gift, but there you go. Sometimes we’re so classy, we astound ourselves.
Once we realised that dinner was being paid for (along with our rooms) by Anny and Alan’s very generous families, we gladly accepted the invitation to the buffet, where we shamelessly overindulged in everything, including the most unbelievable coconut milk ice cream. They made it for me and the other vegan (there was another vegan! Hi other vegan! Hi!), and I nobly shared a tiny amount of mine, then quickly devoured the rest before anyone could ask for any more.
|This is what happiness tastes like.|
|With the bride to be.|
We dragged ourselves out of the perfectly warm sea to eat a take-away lunch in our rooms while we pretended to be classy ladies in hotel bath robes, and then set about getting ready for the wedding. (I feel like this line should be much more dramatic sounding. Insert dramatic pause wherever feels appropriate. Or maybe imagine a montage of hairandmakeupandprettydressesandalsoshoes. Because you've gotta have a montage.)
|The classiest picnic.|
And then, of course, there was the wedding. Which was, roughly, the beautifullest and loveliest thing of all time ever. But that deserves a post all to itself.
|To be continued.|