Bali – the educational bit
One of the advantages of having internet access on the beach or round the pool is that you can spend a bit of time researching the history and culture of the place you are actually lazing around in. Well I have and here are the things I have learned. Here are some quick facts for those of you like me with the attention span of a goldfish.
The Mystery of the Whistling Policemen
- Indonesia is the fourth most populated country in the world with 230 Million people and the largest Muslim population in any single country. Both of which surprised me as I had in my mind that it was about 60 million and mostly Hindu; but then again my geography teacher at School caned me for forgetting my exercise book in year one so I hated geography from thereon - so what would I know
- It consists of 17,508 islands archipelagos most of which are uninhabited
- Like us, the Dutch were a bit greedy taking over foreign lands in the past to profit from their natural resources – in early days the spice trade – nutmeg and cloves which apparently in the 16th/17th centuries was the equivalent of Gold - all plundered by the Dutch East India Company
- After the second world war and the occupation by the Japanese the Indonesians finally decided they had had enough of the Clog Tapping Colonials and fought for the next four years until they were kicked out after a series of rather bloody battles.
- Bali unlike the rest of Indonesia (Islamic) is mostly Hindu
- Islamic extremists bombed tourist resorts of Kuta (where we are staying for our last two days – Gulp) in 2002 and again in 2005 causing much damage to the tourist industry . 80% of Bali’s economy relies on the tourist trade which they have only just recovered following these attacks.
- The volcano in the centre of Bali last erupted in 1963
- They produce Arabica coffee here which is well tasty and has strong flavour, without being too harsh, trust me I have it for breakfast .
We were at Bar this evening and one of the policeman happen to take up position just outside, so I had the opportunity of watching his whistling (do you know how hard that word is to type and get right – go on try it) for quite some time. It appears the red glowstick and whistle are to alert drivers to stop while he lets people cross the road. I now know the reason I had some trouble discerning his purpose the other night was that 99 out of a 100 drivers of mopeds and cars see the red baton, hear the whistle, completely ignore him and put their foot down. Mystery solved.
Craig n John take up Residence
All to ourselves
I said in my previous post that it was quiet at this time of year– well one of the advantages of this for us is that the very nice and expensive beachfront hotels are desperate for business. So, on the payment of the princely sum of £3.50 each per day John and I get to take up residence on their beach sun-loungers , get to use all of the Hotels facilities, get access to free fast wiffy, and their fantastic pool. In addition to that we get what can only be described as 5* service from the staff as we are about the only people about. We are feeling for them as its quiet so being generous with the tips which means we are getting an even more personalised service. Just brilliant.
You know you love them
As I predicted little to report on while I laze about the beach so thought it only right to unleash pictures of things that have tickled or intrigued me so far..
- The first is a tourist brochure I picked up in Bali. As it says the big cremation event - one for the whole family huh.
- To the right a picure of me in the rain during our inclement buddah trip in HK looking very sad - and wet.
- I told you in an earlier blog how much the twin towers impressed me. Well the picture absolutley confirms that - Do I look impressed or what.
- Now I have a big inner child in me which I have to keep repressed so and I just could not help sniggerring at these shops every timeI saw them in HK (what's their strapline - Look (and fuck) before you buy? - Do they sell pearly neckalces I ask myself.)
- Now who said asian women were two dimensional? These two were outside the executive lounges in KLIA and were asking to be photographed., much to the amusement of the executives in the lounges.
Right very lazy day round the pool today - its a tad cloudy but still bakingly hot, off this evening to Kuta to meet some friends of John's who are staying here also. TTFN.