Day 220: The Confessions of a Shopaholic

It still baffles me to this day, how are women so easily able to be interested in shopping. Here in Bali, every third stall is the same. I have stressed this point countless times, yet both Ann and Sarah are always able to find something to buy. Given the chance I’m sure they’d be capable of finding mud in a snowstorm. The reason I have opened today’s post like this is because for a part of the day both Simon and I were dragged around the shops. The rest of the day was spent at the resort. That’s right folks, today we took a day off the tourist thing and just relaxed.

• To say it was our day off Sarah still insisted we set an alarm. This meant after breakfast she’d be up early enough to capitalise on the sunbathing all day. At 8am we all met at the restaurant and conversed around the table about the newest headline in England. Two Muslim extremist had chopped off the head of an innocent British soldier. This was horrendous news, and what’s worse was the attacker’s rationalisation to the cameraman of what he’d done. Throughout the day Facebook was plagued with the opinions of armchair philosophers, each throwing in their two pence worths on the subject. The most common being “kill them all!!!”, or “get them out of our country!!!!” Both opinions are fine, as they are after all only opinions, but what’s not acceptable is the fact they are uneducated opinions. Instead of these people directing their hatred towards the Jihad extremists, these people posting nonsense on Facebook, believe all Muslims think like these men, and therefor should be punished. It’s sad that the press in our country push these ideas upon people, leaving everyone scared and angry for all the wrong reasons. I hope one day, as human beings, we will evolve to something greater than we currently are. All this violence will only evoke more violence, and on some level I guess that fuels wars, all the while the cowards in the governments continue to get rich from it all. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying these two psychopaths shouldn’t be punished in some way or another, I just feel that if we were to live in a society that kills out of revenge, what would that say about society itself. It’s a very delicate subject indeed, I’ve been walking on eggshells just by mentioning it in this post, and I chose not to have an opinion on the subject because, ultimately, I can’t do anything about it. All I will say is I don’t think violence is the answer. By killing these men more extremists will act out. Then again, the popular reaction to that would be, by killing them it would set an example for others who’d attempt the same mindless attack. Over the period of the day this topic was discussed, but in the end, everyone had to agree to disagree. At the end of the day the human race is going to be its own demise anyway, in the mean time read my blog and be happy for what you’ve got.

With the world set to rights for the second day running, we chilled by the pool. I began by reading through previous blogs to get up to date. I quit after half an hour or so to return to the room where it was cool. It was too hot to concentrate, and there were no shady spots. In the comfort of the a/c I spent the next 3 hours finalising everything. Just before I’d finished, Sarah came back to take a break from the heat as well. Within 10 minutes of her arrival, the weather outside changed. Down came the rain, soaking everything in a matter of seconds. We were then trapped for the next hour or so as we waited for it to pass. Eventually it subsided and Ann came knocking on our door with some bags in her hands. Inside each one was additional clothing they’d been holding onto for us. I tried on one of my shirts, but was saddened when I looked like a young boy in his dad’s clothing. There used to be no room to breath when I wore it, nowadays it looked more like a pyjama top. If I were to wear it again in Australia, one thing’s for sure, I’d need to hit the gym hard to get back what I’d lost. Sarah and I strategically packed everything into our bags, leaving little room for anything else, then the four of us walked into town now that the rain had stopped.

The first thing we did was order food at a restaurant we’d eaten at the other day. I had two dinners on accounts of being so hungry. After that we spent the next 2 or 3 hours looking around the many shops. I absolutely hated this by now. Sarah and I were still looking for acceptable gifts to buy our friends, but there was literally nothing, unless of course they’d like a mini statue of Buddha or a frog. As we walked down the street we crossed over back and forth many times, stopping in every shop which sold trinkets, sarongs, and other junk. At first I thought I was going mad, how was it possible for these two women to keep finding something new to look at!? My mind was put to rest when I discovered Simon shared the exact same thought, for the most part he’d wait outside while the others went in. It always seemed I’d follow them in each place like a lost puppy. One particular shop we stopped in saw me being the main attraction. I was the eye candy for once! There were three women (short women) working inside, when I stepped through the door they made a point of telling Sarah I was tall – you know, in case she hadn’t already noticed. One of the ladies then stood next to me and took off her high heeled shoes. She was now shorter than ever, and just about came above my belly button. “While you’re down there love!” Would be the popular sexist phrase wouldn’t it?

After a while of walking around aimlessly, we reached the indoor market area. This was a ridiculous place that frustrated me to no end. If every shop up until now looked the same, these small stalls were practically mirror images of each other. The first section seemed to sell nothing but sarongs, yet Ann and Sarah spent a good 15 minutes looking at everything. We then moved on to the next area which sold slightly different merchandise, but for the most part it was pretty much the same. Masks, penis bottle openers, children’s clothing, plates, sarongs… I can’t emphasise enough just how many sarongs there were. I’d had enough when we were nearing the half an hour mark. Upstairs I managed to buy a couple more pairs of shorts, but this didn’t make me any happier to be there. The lady initially started off the bidding at 250,000 (£17) for both pairs. Seeing as I’d only ever paid 40,000 (£2.71) each, that’s all I was willing to pay. She put up a good fight, coming down to 200,000, then 150,000, followed by 100,000, before finally matching the price I was used to. Shortly after that purchase we called it a day. We made a quick cash withdraw ready for Lembongan tomorrow, then made our way back towards Inata.

At first we feared we’d have to walk the whole way because we hadn’t rang the resort for a shuttle. By a stroke of luck, when we reached Cafe Des Artistes, the shuttle happened to appear behind us. It was a new driver behind the wheel, so he didn’t recognise us, and nearly didn’t stop. After much hand waving and frantic jumping, he hit the brakes. He was then kind enough to take us the rest of the way, saving our tired legs the additional 15 minute walk. Back in our room Ann helped me with my online banking again. It took a while, but eventually we sorted everything out. After that, Ann returned to her room, then I Skyped my mum. Over the period of our conversations she told me about a film she’d recently watched, and in return I told her about “The Mentalist”. Together we would solve the mystery of Red John. Around 7:45pm we caught the shuttle to the Cafe Des Artistes area. There was a nearby restaurant we hadn’t tried yet, and seeing as it was our last night in Ubud, we gave it a go.

Their food was nice, if not slow to arrive. I wasn’t feeling all that hungry so I only ordered a chicken sandwich. We had the pleasure of sitting around a paraffin powered candle, which Simon toyed with throughout, making the flame roar and simmer. To both Sarah and I the smell reminded us of the flame dancers from Phi Phi. When it came time to get the bill, because of how long it took to arrive, we were against the clock. We told the driver we’d be ready by 10pm, and it was already getting on for five to. Sarah and I popped to a nearby convenient store, while Ann and Simon settled what we owed. We grabbed a few items, and made yet another withdraw ready for Lembongan – there are no cash machines there, so it was better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it. When we got back, Sarah’s parents were waiting on their change. With everything sorted we walked up the road to find our driver. Back at Inata we said goodnight to Ann and Simon at our door, then went about packing our final items. I took a quick shower, then concluded the evening by writing the blog. I even checked it over ahead of time, as I wanted to be completely free tomorrow for one reason, and one reason only, it was my birthday. Like the famous song goes… “It’s my birthday and I’ll not check over blogs if I don’t want to!”

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