Wednesday, September 17, 2014


I am the sort of person who could quite contentedly spend a week in Bali sleeping, eating, drinking, reading and floundering about the swimming pool like a dugong undergoing anaphylactic shock. But my travel buddy is a man of action, and he demanded that we go to Waterbom.

I didn't resist, because Waterbom is amazing. In fact I'd forgotten how much fun it is. In the last 18 months they've opened three new slides, all of which are awesome enough to compensate for the endless stairclimbing required to reach them. The queues, if they existed, were modest.

You know your day is going well when, while walking from one slide to the next, you realise that you're giggling gleefully. There are moments at Waterbom when there's a feeling air of unironic, unimpeded joy rising off the crowd.

I was in such a good mood coming away from Waterbom that I found myself amused rather than annoyed by the taxi touts who closed in on us the second we walked out the gates. They wanted $20 to take us back to the hotel. I laughed in their faces, since it had cost $6, including tip, in a proper metered taxi, to get there. They swore they couldn't do it for less than $11. So I walked down the street a bit and found a driver who was more than happy to do it for $10.

Of course I could afford any of those prices, but more than tripling the cost of something shows a certain lack of respect.

After freshening up at the hotel, we went out to dinner at another of the restaurants on my to-do list. Ginger Moon, the brainchild of New Zealand-born chef Dean Keddell, is a groovy Asian fusion joint embodying the slightly kitschy style that's so popular in the trendier Australian restaurants.

Unfortunately, I discovered that while I'm a foodie who'll try anything once, my travel buddy... isn't. He's allergic to shellfish, for a start. And he can't stand pork. And isn't too keen on fish or beef either. And he hates carrots. And isn't fond of peas. Or indeed most vegetables. And he hates spicy food. And he doesn't drink alcohol.

While I gorged myself on salt 'n' pepper tofu and spiced chicken with sambal and avocado and slow-cooked lamb with black beans and goat's cheese, he checked the menu and found, with an air of great martyrdom, a pizza that was only partially distasteful, then carefully picked off a few offending fruits and vegetables and just ate the base and some chicken. And while I had a chili mojito that was, frankly, incredible, he had a couple of Cokes.

But we could both agree that the bill being presented in a coconut monkey head was pretty awesome.


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