27 August 2005

Jakarta, Bali and Surabaya

So one day in April, right, I’m having lunch with Vid and Fel and we joke about how cool it would be to go on holiday to Bali with everybody. Four months on and we’ve done it. We went to Bali. Seventeen of us. For three days. Some people even threw Jakarta, Surabaya and Makassar in to their holiday mix as well. It was an amazing week and here’s what I will remember the most about it:

Shopping in ITC: There’s not a lot in Jakarta to show people but Vid, Fel and I decided to take everyone to ITC in Mangga Dua to buy cheap (and therefore probably stolen) goods. Chris and Shifu stopped at every fake DVD stall we passed and bought enough to set up their own shop. We wish them all the best at Customs.

Shifu taking liberties at Fel’s house: Shifu made himself at home by walking around Fel’s house in his boxers in the morning. This is not surprising from the guy whose regular pick-up line is “Are you alone?”

Raman and the turtle sate: Our tour guide Raman told us that Balinese men eat turtle sate on their wedding night to prepare them for...erm…action. But before the boys went out in search of this mystical delicacy he warned us that he over did it on his wedding night by eating 15 sates, giving himself a stomach ache thus rendering himself incapacitated and getting a first telling off from an unhappy Mrs Raman.

Being banned from tanning: I told Shiling I didn’t have a six-pack so she banned me from taking my shirt off at the beach. At first I thought she was joking but when I took it off at the water sports centre she ran towards me wagging her finger saying “No no!” Just in case I wasn’t surprised enough, she whipped out her camera and took a picture of my belly.

The monkey stealing Gary’s glasses: At the monkey forest one of the cheeky little things hiked up on to Gary’s shoulder, nicked his glasses and legged it up the tree with them. Luckily, one of the guide ladies remembered that I had bought strawberries to feed them so she grabbed some from my bag, tempted the monkey down with them and stole the glasses back.

“SI-O-LENCE!”: Our midnight dip in the hotel pool was stopped by a nutter European annoyed by the noise we were making. He threw his chair at us from the third floor balcony, smashing it to bits on poolside. The security guard came, had a little chuckle and told us to go and make noise in the other pool instead. The guy probably wanted some silence so he could sleep but I bet he didn’t get a wink that night from the guilt he must have felt afterwards.

Polar bear
: If you don’t know it, ‘polar bear’ is a bit like ‘mafia’, which is a bit like ‘murderers’, which is a bit like ‘cluedo’…well, maybe not but it’s a fun and addictive game anyway. We played until 4am for two nights in a row. I’ve never known a sitting room game to get people so worked up. In the heat of one particular moment, Hong Choy jumped up on his chair and pointed at Chris and I while screaming at everyone that we had to be the polar bears. He was right about me – I was polar bear with Gary but we went on to win the game anyway. This was partly because his assertion later that Gary was polar bear was based merely on the fact that Gary “looks like a polar bear”. It was hilarious.

Being offered drugs on Kuta: Do I look like a druggy? I got offered marijuana and mushrooms four times on the beach. Four times! I got used to it by the last time so when the last bloke came up to me and Fel and whispered “Marijuana?” I just told him “Sorry mate, I’m not selling”.

Football at sunset on the beach: We claimed part of Kuta
beach for our selves and had a game right by the sea. The sideline was the tide. The girls got bored and did their usual thing of jumping up for the camera while the game was still going. The moment was made memorable by the gorgeous sunset. I must admit that I felt very moved by the beauty of the setting…which is probably why we lost the game.

Karaoke in Surabaya: The difference between karaoke with girls and karaoke with guys is that girls like to hear a technical brilliance in your voice and enjoy the music. Guys just like to make noise. Guys outnumbered girls 6:3 in Surabaya so we just made noise. Having said that, Fel and Kian Hui have awesome voices. They sang the slow songs very well. Chris and I shocked the girls with our rendition of ‘Sexual Healing’ but the best moment was everyone singing and dancing to ‘YMCA’. Thanks to Yus and Yudi for taking us (although it did worry me that you had the Karaoke place’s number on speed dial).

Thank you everybody for a fantastic trip. I won’t ever forget it. Thank you especially to Yus for being so hospitable in Surabaya and giving us a good time.

However, I want to give the mother of all thank yous to Vid and Fel who worked so hard to get us to Bali and made the dream come true. Also for having us in their houses. You girls are the best.


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