Well, I am off to Bali for a couple of days. This is the first time I've been to Bali. For those of you who are not familiar with Indonesia, our country is such as big place that it takes time just to visit other parts of Indonesia.
I live in Bandung, so I chose to take flight directly from Bandung rather than from Jakarta. The flight from Bandung (West Java) to Bali made a 30-minute transit in Surabaya (East Java). So the total time is around 3 hours, including a transit and a small delay because one passanger was "missing". We had to wait for her :( I didn't worry though because my meeting was on the next day.
At Surabaya, the airport was full. There was an airplane queue! When I looked outside the airplane window, there were three airplanes in front of us. So we had to wait and take off one by one. I saw there were two more planes in the back. Surabaya's airport - Juanda - is definitely a busy airport.
A few minutes later we were in Ngurah Rai airport, Denpasar, Bali. Somebody from the hotel was there to pick me up. So I followed him and went in a medium-sized minibus. I was the only passanger. We went to Hotel Padma. The driver wore traditional Bali headband(?). He was very polite and told me that tourists (mainly Australians) were back. I thought there was still a travel ban, but apparently tourists were still coming. I don't blame them. In fact, I would do the same.
Hotel Padma is excellent! It's right by the Legian beach. I saw a lot of arts done by Nyoman Nuarta. I really like his creations. Really. One of these days, when I have enough money, I'll buy one of his arts.
After checking in, I just had to find a place to access my emails. I know there's a business center at the hotel, but I want to access the internet for long hours. Business center facility might be too expensive for me. So I went outside. Around 100 meters from the Hotel there's an Internet cafe. It was cheap, Rp 4000 for one hour!
After checking my emails, I walked around the area. Lots of shopping stores. I bought some handycrafts for gifts. Lots of intersting stuff. I wish I had a bigger suitcase. (An a lot of money of course.) I went back to the hotel and was going to take a nap. But there was a phone call from Bandung. An emergency call from our team who was working for a client. Apparently the client wanted to get a proposal that evening and the scope of work that we proposed was extended substantially. My team there was not ready to make changes. So they phoned me and asked me if I can go online and discuss things with them.
I jumped and went to an internet cafe 100 meters from the hotel. We tried to use Yahoo Messanger, but the connection was unstable. I don't know whether the problem was on my side or was on the Bandung's side (reliability was part of our client's problem to solve). I suspect it was on the Bandung's side. But we managed to get things going. A woman next to me was also discussing her business (perhaps in Australia?). Doing business next to a beach is definitely nice.
I had to cut the cyber meeting short since I had a welcoming dinner that evening. I wouldn't miss it.
In the evening, we all went to Intercontinental Hotel at Jimbaran(?). It was a long drive from Hotel Padma at Kuta to Jimbaran. Fortunately, I didn't drive. They provided us with busses, three of them in fact. I was told that there are traffic jams in Kuta in the evening when everybody is out to get something to eat. A Police forerider was provided. Personally, I don't like this. We were not in a hurry. We were just going out for dinner. No need a Police forerider. We shouldn't abuse the previledge. But that's just my personal opinion.
Intercontinental Hotel is a huge hotel. Our dinner was located in the back of the hotel, closer to the beach. The weather was great. Clear sky. I could see stars in the sky. No wind. Not too hot or too cold. It was just perfect. It took us quite a while walking there since the beach is located at the other end of the hotel. We looked like soldiers marching to the beach. I noticed that there were not many hotel patrons. Actually. I only met four tourists in the hotel. It was different with Hotel Padma which was packed with tourists. Or, it was just the hotel is too big? I don't know.
Dinner started with Balinese gamelan dan dances. [picture here?] It was beautiful. Then we all got to eat, buffet. There are many dishes to choose, from traditional to western-style. Too many perhaps. I was trying to loose some weight. I think, I made an excuse that night. I didn't eat too much, but definitely more than I should. So much for my loosing weight plan. Let's move on to plan B, then.
Well... that's the story for now. Pictures will be added later on.