three halves make a short story long

and so, with a bit of pluck and a bit of daring (and some directions from our guide, Mr. Lucky plus some money for a cab in case we get lost), the missus and i set off on an adventure within an adventure: walking the streets of a foreign country with only our pair of grumbling stomachs to guide us.

not five minutes from the hotel we come across a massive, ornate gate /  tower.  the thing must have been 20 foot tall at least, and marked the entrance to the nusa dua beach resort.

enter and cross the threshold

soon after that we walk through a beautifully sculpted park (only, it's not a park as we eventually find out, but is a kind of gated city made up of different resorts; a resort city if you will) that was dotted with statues.  with striking frequency, we would encounter a statue of a boy, or an old woman or a garghoulish humanoid with a sword.  (yes, i know there is no such word but the statue does look part gargoyle, part ghoul with a bad hangover.)

the amazing thing was, it wasn't an ugly statue.  in fact, it was a beautiful statue.  but it was a beautiful statue of what i think is a ghoul who looks like he's had one drink too many.  (i wonder: if you set out to carve a statue of an ugly thing, and it turns out beautifully, does it mean it's an ugly statue?)

never had ugly been so beautiful

we eventually walk past the beautiful ugly statue and see another statue, or so we thought.  my wife sidles up to it and beckons, "take my picture quick".  i oblige and later we realize, it's not actually a statue, but a trash can.

now imagine that: how many countries have you been to which make you want to have your picture taken with a trash can?

bali, you had me at "the turtle".

talk about trashy art.

after containing our amazement with the trash can, we realize that we were getting hungrier but were not getting any closer to a restaurant.  we rounded a corner, and i thought,  here we go there must be a restaurant somewhere close by.

of course there wasn't and instead there was another huge gate/tower in a large rotunda.

with our stomachs rumbling in chorus (mine louder than hers) and generally just making it difficult to concentrate, i kept thinking, food.. just around.. the corner.. i.. can.. make.. it.. 

we trudge through the rotunda and round a corner and...

i blink and nearly pass out at the thought of having to cross such an impossibly long stretch of road while trying to keep my stomach from cannibalizing my spleen in desperation.

but somehow we make it, one agonizing step at a time, to another stretch of road with restaurants on both sides.  there was a japanese grill, and there was a sports bar, and we thought, just how wrong is it for us to eat in a sports bar in bali?

we eventually end up eating at what the signage said was a mediterranean italian restaurant, the Lotus SomethingOrOther (apparently, one of the first things to go when you're dying of hunger is the ability to remember names).

after being seated, i notice that even the placemat is made from carved wood.  now i've seen plastic placements, glass placemats, woven placemats, molded placemats, but a carved placemat?

my wife and i place our orders and twiddle our thumbs in anticipation.  at this point, i decided to keep my camera at the ready, realizing i needed to be quick with the pictures: i knew the two of us would set upon the food like a pack of starving wolves as soon as it's placed on the table.

and i was right.  as you can see, i was not fast enough for the bread.

[at this point, i figured it would be best if i stopped messing around too much with the saturation in photoshop.  i don't think green colored mutton is appetizing in the least]

first up was the soto ayam, a curry-ish (according to wikipedia, it's tumeric) sour-ish chicken soup with vegetables and vermicelli.  for a while, there was only silence, broken by the occasional slurping sound.

i thought that going for the soto ayam was adventurous enough for one day, and ordered tortellini and ham in cream sauce.

my wife on the other hand, was a little more gung-ho and ordered indonesian satay with rice and vegetables on the side

the tortellini was, well, pasta in cream sauce, but the satay was awesome, and i end up trading some of my tortellini for a few sticks.  my wife tells me it was a combination of beef, pork and mutton.  i couldn't tell though since i was too busy just gulping it all down, barely remembering to chew.

with stomachs filled and sated (my wife was sated, i was still reaching for the menu when she elbowed me discretely) we thank our waitress for the wonderful meal, paid and left.  we drop by a convenience store to buy some snacks and walk the long way back home.

on the way back, we notice that the turtle has a lid (that's how we found out it was really a trash bin.  if you look at the picture closely, you can see) and one of the guards at the resort greets me "konnichiwa" as we pass (i wanted to say, "hey yeah, konnichiwa to you too, dude." just to see his reaction, but just nodded instead.)

when we got back to the resort, it was just after dusk.  we then decide to have a relaxing nighttime dip in the pool which we had all to ourselves.

what came after that is hazy at best, and all i can remember is being sprawled on the bed, half asleep, tired but good-tired, and not-quite-hearing my wife telling me to stop hogging the pillows.

and that we had signed up for an 830 am tour the next day.

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