Thursday, January 14, 2010

Just Happy to Be Alive

Well my countless trips to San Felipe, Mexico are finally paying off. I have spent more hours than I could count down there riding quads, dirt bikes, and everything else. My ability to dart, jerk, and respond quickly on a motorized vehicle is my newest lifeline here in Bali.

When we first arrived I was pumped to rent a car, but after seeing the craziest roads I have ever seen that all changed. All I wanted to do was ride in the back of a taxsi (the spelling is right) because that was thrill enough.

But then a few days ago we ended up on Nusa Lembongan. A mouth-dropping beautiful island off the coast of Bali. The island doesn't have any cars so we decided to rent a scooter and check it out. Turns out we got around just fine. Although, Stefanie did dig her fake nails into my flesh every once in a while.

[Sorry, this next little bit is a side story.]

Today we boated back to Bali and I kind of had a breakdown with the Taxsi drivers. They are all the worlds greatest scam artists. I think they must all wake up each morning and recite some personal mantra like, "I will do and say whatever it takes to trick and scam money out of foreigners today." Really?!? Do you they have to be such jerks? Anyway, we got off the boat and started bargaining, but everyone was telling us different prices and they all said it was the best price.

Finally, I just blew up. And said, " YOU ALL SAY YOU HAVE THE BEST PRICE. BUT YOU SAY 100,000 RP, YOU SAY 90,000 RP, YOU SAY 110,000 RP. YOU ARE ALL LYING TO US! WE HAVE 60,000 RP! THAT'S IT. YES OR NO?"

We got it for 60,000 Rp, which was still probably too much. Oh well. I just need to get my head around this whole Asian culture. Everyone wants to bargain, all the time. ANY ADVICE? I'm sure by tomorrow I will have had an attitude adjustment.

[Back to the story]

So when we got to Jimbaron today. I didn't want anything to do with more taxsi drivers so we rented a scooter and braved the streets. I do some of the craziest things I could imagine on that scooter, and work every second to be safe. It's probably not that bad so don't be worried ma and pa. But we're doing good and praying a lot for safety.

[Another note]

Jimbaron is home to great seafood and the Four Season Hotel. We drove up to the resort and walked right in past security. Foreigner status gets you lots of places. On our way in we bumped into the hotels director of marketing. He ended up taking us on a little golf cart ride to one of the restaurants. On the way I asked about his work and he asked about what I was doing. I told him I wanted to work for an airline. He handed me his card and offered to put me in touch with some good friends and Cathay Pacific and Singapore Airlines. SO COOL!


SueAnn said...

Hello Scott & SteFanie; enjoyed your blog. It sounds like you are having a fantasnic time on your travels. What an exciting time in your lifes as you experiance the cultures their, people and haggiling for a deal,it your$ not theirs. I would suggest that you walk a few block away from the boat before you cut a deal on a taxie as they are there for the pickings when you get off your boat bus or plane. It sound like fun the places you have visited with the ocean right around you. The pictures looked good,we hope and pray for your health safty. you might find that you combine your purchases and sent them home in a box so that you are releaved from the concern of carring them with you, 1 st get the cost to ship home, love Mom and Dad

Julie T said...

Scott, listen to your mother's words! Never get a taxi right at the boat, big hotel, etc-go offtrack. You must remember, our way and what you're used to is NOT their way. They are actually being true to themselves and doing what has been done for centuries! Next time just announce the money you will pay first (after you learn what's fair) and if there's no takers keep walking until you find someone hungrier. Good job keeping Stefanie in line. I've found she behaves much better when you keep her stomach full! :)