Monday, May 9, 2011

The Best of Bali

Aaaaand we're back!  I realize it's been a bit of a hiatus here and for that I apologize, faithful readers*.

I will relay one funny/chilling tale from Bali and then get back to our Bangkok basics.

Now, every vacation has a few good stories and a few good stories usually mean a few good monkey stories and a few good monkey stories usually end with at least one screaming/scarred-for life child/me**.  Therefore, if you follow the formula correctly, most vacations end with at least one screaming/scarred-for-life child***.  You don't need Bali for this or a monkey, but those elements do provide for a great backdrop and a merciless antagonist.

This guy would never hurt you...right?

It was our second day in Bali.  We had spent a day relaxing on the beach in Kuta.  And by relaxing, I mean fending off the bracelet vendors, the ice cream man, the massage lady, the cross-bow salesman, the fake tattoo hawker, the pedicure woman ("Oh my God," she would murmur as she examined my toes****), the fruit-on-her-head lady, the beer guy (didn't fend him off), the giant wooden penis retailer, the sarong representative, the carved Buddha clerk, etc ad nauseum.  In summation, Kuta Beach in Bali...wellllll, hard to relax.  But it was great to watch the surfing, drink Bintang beer and eventually give in to the bracelet lady and walk away with five wooden bracelets that I haven't worn since Bali...

A more innocent time

That afternoon, we decided to get out of the tourist strong-hold of Kuta and see some of the "real" Bali.  For a price, we got a private driver to take us right into the heart of it.  Where, you ask?  Well, the tourist temple of Ulu Watu, naturally. 

We paid the fee (about a dollar), were given a sarong to wear over our shorts and entered the temple grounds.  The sun was beginning to set, providing a brilliant backdrop for the terror to come.  We were excited, as the naive are, to see many a monkey prowling the vicinity.  They're so cute and funny and just like us.

It was all going well, we posed for some pictures cliffside and enjoyed breathtaking views over the ocean.  We smiled, we relaxed, we let our guard down.  As we stared across the vast ocean, contemplating deep meanings and the complex truths of our lives - a bloodcurdling scream tore through the air.  Behind us, an ugly scene was unfolding.  A young girl was wailing and flailing hysterically as her father held her back.  One shoe ominously dangled from her right foot.  In front of her, a monkey.  Calm, cool, collected.  He held her other shoe in one hand.  He stared deep into her eyes.

And then he ate it.


**India, 2004