First Impressions of Seminyak

We started our morning with a swim in our private pool. Erin called an Uber to a breakfast place that had good reviews on TripAdvisor. The taxi wound through the repeative Seminyak streets to Grain Espresso, where they served excellent coffee and Western-style cooked breakfasts (although they were a little saltier than served in NZ). I also had a strawberry soy smoothie made with real fruit. Delicious!

Grain Espresso

We wandered down the main street, looking at shops. It had been raining so our jandals left dirty footprints in all the stores. At first I was too shy to haggle, but once I remembered the skill I got some nicer sandals and a knock-off Jimmy Choo bag. The day heated up and the tourists filtered into the streets, by now we were down the slightly nicer end of town. We went into a bar that was preparing for their ladyboy show that night and I had a couple of mojitos. By now the midday heat was in full force and we were trying to find a supermarket - one thing about staying in a villa is having your own essentials. Erin was definitely 'swangry' (sweaty and angry) and it was hard to say no to all the taxis that tooted us every 30 seconds.

The afternoon passed drifting in the swimming pool drinking beer. My bite, purple with a circumference of 10cm) had subsided thanks to some anti-histamines I bought from a pharmacy.

Our villa garden

After dark we ordered another Uber which didn't turn up at first, so we waited in the warm dark alley with three stray dogs and one cat. This driver went through the flash tourist streets to a sports bar that was possibly going to play the NZ cricket. The bar had a live band playing Beatles covers (they were actually really good) with the cricket in the background. Not your usual kiwi viewing experience!

The next morning began with a walk along Seminyak beach. The pathway from our villa wound down a dusty road past fancy hotels and spas. It then became a thin, damp concrete alleyway less than a metre wide. It popped out to a slither of an ocean view. The sea breeze was refreshing even at 8am.

Breakfast was another TripAdvisor/Uber mission across town to Revolver Cafe which was shut on a staff day. We then went to a very average, white toast type place. I ordered a Balinese Coffee on a whim not knowing what it was. It's made after the beans pass through a possum-like creature and are pooed out. Josh gave me a lot of shit for it.

Back at the villa, we met the gardener cutting the grass with a sickle and broom and the maid. We felt awkward fanning ourselves on the couches (it was so hot) while they worked slowly but thoroughly. The power cut out so we went out for lunch. Men hung precariously from wonky power poles, smoking and sawing wires. We tried to go to a spa along the way but they couldn't do it without power. Without wifi we were lost trying to find Mozaic beach club, but luckily it was close and a friendly local pointed it out.

It was a beautiful, resort-style restaurant just over the 'road' from the beach. We had a delicious but expensive lunch by the lounging pool and shaded booths with long cotton hangings. People sunbathed in the pool. The others ordered burgers and chips, I got vege dumplings and tempe salad. They were amazing - tangy and spicy.

Erin went to an expensive hotel spa (that had generators) while me and the boys went back to the house, sunburn and a sticky heat that couldn't be cured without a working fridge. The pool was like a hot spa and the biting ants were out in force. Around 4pm we heard a cheer go up at the neighbours as all the aircon units of the surrounding houses began humming in unison.

Dinner was at a Mexican restaurant that we called an Uber for only to discover it was about 500 metres away. The food was pseudo-mexican and different to how we have it in NZ. We all had huge burritos, a large beef nachos to share (that had no meat) and a passionfruit margarita which was murky and salty. The others refused to drink it. We walked home only to stop to buy eggs and bacon for breakfast.

First impressions? This isn't the real Bali, but it's a mad, crazy, relaxing world which is fun to see.


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