The sun is blazing and I hope I have enough sunscreen on. I am blogging from the beach since it is so relaxing and the sand is not of a castle building variety ;)
This morning I walked to the beach, taking in the bustling streets and honking horns of gridlocked traffic. It was a good 10minutes before I realised much of the honking local to me, was in fact addressed at me. "Hey! You need taxis!? Cheap taxis!", "Tour for the lady?" and "Pretty lady like shopping yes?!" This perturbed me for a few minutes and then I accepted the way of the tourist in Bali. I have since been told this is mostly Kuta. I intend to get out of Kuta soon ;)
Then... I met Al-something. I tried in vain to pronounce his name and after failin I'm not going to attempt to spell it now. ;) After a quick chat with him and I was accepting a voucher for something. Then I had agreed to sit for a timeshare presentation for a chance to win an iPad ;) Now I realise I now sound like a total sucker here but I actually have quite the curiosity for a number of odd things. I find old prisons really interesting, gargoyles cute and I find the psychology of pressure selling interesting (I basically don't understand how it is supposed to work)... So new place, new style of selling and this led me to meet Eno.
Eno grew up wanting to be a doctor but his family couldn't afford the education fees and so he told his mother not to worry and he took a bank job in Germany working with his uncle... He hated it and so after 4 years he quit for a job as a salesman which eventually allowed him to come back to Bali doing what he loves, talking to people. Eno likes talking a lot and this is very clear after the one hour I have agreed to sit with him. This hour was filled with talk of science and life and what our favourite bits of Europe are. I think he gave up trying to sell me a time share after I told him about the time a chap in Florida tried to sell me a time share - I earnt tickets to Universal studies by breaking the spirit of a salesman) and I showed Eno I was setting a timer ;) He laughed and the timer went of before he had said much about the time share. He looked stunned and I said I would give him 5 more minutes ;) and he thanked me and gave me his best and speediest pitch.
Time share is still a massive faff and a waste of time in my opinion but I told him it all looked nice and if I could have been sold to, which I assured him I couldn't, that he would have be the man to sell it. This seemed to please him a small amount and I received a voucher for a free 45min back massage which I booked for 4pm :)
Use your judgement very carefully in these situations though as there are some dodgy people out there:
Peta's tips for avoiding trouble.
Ask the locals (hotel people or taxi drivers are good) where is and isn't safe and what are the things to watch out for. I was advised to watch out after midnight and i have taken that advice to heart and am not planning late night craziness.
Never let anyone have your ID. Showing them is fine but not let them take it/scan it.
Don't give your correct email... Why would you?
Always know where you are going first and assess the people, building before going in.
Check out the 'deal' online first if you can. If it is seriously dodge it's unlikely it won't have gone unnoticed.
To avoid beeping from the taxis? Walk on the side against the flow of traffic! :) (Top Tip from a new Bali resident, Antony)
I had a fun time chatting with Eno, booked my massage and left for the beach!
The beach is a long stretch of hot golden course sand with traders lines along the boarder with the road. They are clearly short of trade and all look a bit miserable until you make eye contact and a flicker of the selling spirit takes them and sees them re-animate in front of your eyes into smiles and overflowing words of praise. I can not even count how many times I have been spoken to today.
I am planning to surf but I wanted to check it out first and now I see a t-shirt is really required out there and waterproof sunscreen! Holy moly the sun is strong and I don't want to get burnt. So now I am chilling today and surfing tomorrow morning when I have a t-shirt and waterproof sunscreen with me :)