Our arrival in Bali was everything I had dreaded. The flock of “taxi” drivers hovering around us and rudely saying “ok” and grabbing our bags to steer us in their direction. I was overwhelmed, stressed and annoyed. These “taxi” drivers, and I say “taxi” because most of them don’t drive an actual taxi, and most of them try to mimic the infamous reliable taxi company The Blue Bird Group by flashing a blue card with “The Blue Group” REALLY QUICKLY in front of you.
It was like entering a man eats man world. The lack of honesty and sincerity was already getting me flustered. Having a couple of them hovering around us while we attempted to connect to the slow wifi at the airport was adding coal to the flame. Finally Clement managed to connect to the wifi on my phone and logged into his outlook to retrieve the directions to the abode of our Helpx host in Jimbaran.
We were going to attempt the 14km (approximate) walk but thankfully, although not really, the “taxi” driver that was hovering around us the whole time, accepted to take us to Pura Goa Gong which would cover our journey by 12kms. It was 10pm at night and my righ foot was throbbing in pain each time i had pressure on it so although we hadn’t planned on taking a driver, it would have been better for us in the long run.
He agreed to take us to Pura Goa Gong for 100,000 IDR, after much haggling he initially asked fo 200,000 or 250,000 or something ridiculous like that. Once we got in the car, the sly toad then said he wanted us pay100,000 IDR each!!! I was speaking to him in Bahasa at this point, I knew he was trying to be dishonest and taking our lack of knowledge of the area to his advantage.
To show him we were unafraid and weren’t at a disadvantage, we told him to stop the car right away and to let us out. He told us he would take us back to the airport instead and we said “fine”.
Then he pulled another dishonest card, by missing the turn off to go back to the airport and then said he wanted 150,000 from us. We stood our ground and again asked to get out of he car. He wouldn’t stop. After much debate, we agreed that if he would take us directly to Kelly’s house we would pay 120,000 IDR and if he only took us to the temple (Pura), he would take 100,000 IDR again. He wasnt oblivious, he knew the exchange rates of every country by hard. He was trying to extort every dollar out of us by saing we would be paying much more in Australia. I told him that is true, however we are not in Australia, we were in Indonesia and insisted to pay local rates and not be extorted. I told him the truth, that while we may have arrived from overseas, we weren’t on a blow out holiday and we didnt have much to which he just laughed back at us.
Atlast when we reached our intersection, he said he didnt want to go down he road to take us to the house. His excuse was that his car was too nice to drive down gravel road. We were happy to continue the rest of he way by walking. Note that the roads had no street lights at all. When we took the 100,000 IDR out to pay him, he rudely asked for 120,000. We reminded him it was not part of the agreement and then he got nasty, he said if we didnt give him the 120,000 he was going to backtrack 200m back and get us to start walking from there, to which i reminded him again that was not the agreement and that he was just being vengeful. He refused to take the money we were passing to him and leaned forward to grab Clement’s bag! This cracked me and i started shouting at him to leave our belongings alone and just take the money as previously agreed. He told us to get back in he car so he would take us back to the airport and leave us there so we wouldn’t have to pay him at all, to which I asked him what was the point in that?
He realised he had no point aside from failing at being devious and wanted revenge. He grabbed the money from my hand and with malice, told us to start walking. He started yelling out of his car calling us liars, which angered me to tears (good thing it was dark). I yelled back that we had been honest with our price from the first second he harassed us. I was tired, my foot was aching and we had a dark walk ahead of us. But most of all, I was hurt by the lack of compassion and honesty displayed from the first person we spoke to when we arrived. My only regret was not catching his name or number plate to report him.
The walk was not that bad, the moon was bright and nearly full. It lit our way pretty well, we were lucky then. The roads were definitel in dire need of maintenance. Massive puddles extended from one end of the road to another. The road was wide enough for one car at a time. As we walked and i was still shaking from anger, a motorbike was coming up behind us so we stopped to let it past first.
It was a couple on the motorbike. The woman was extremely empathetic. She kept trying to persuade her husband to take us up to our destination. She even got off her motorbike and asked me to sit instead. We politely declined as it would have been out of their way. Turns out we stoppd very closely to her house. We walked alongside their motorbike, chatting with them. Pak Adi was what the man was known by and his sweet wife is Suriani.
Pak Adi gave us directions to a shortcut to help us on our way. We were only 700m off at that stage. While he did so, his wife gave Clem a boiled egg and an Indonesian Orange. I will have to find the righ name for it in english later. The couple also invited us in for coffee and some rest. We said we had to carry on but thanked him and said we would come by the next day.
Finally we reached the house but there was no doorbell and the entrance had such a large courtyard that Kelly couldn’t hear us calling out to her. Our sounds alerted the grounds keeper of a nearby house who came out to speak to us. I explained in Malay that we were friends and couldn’t contact her. He replied in Indonesian and said he could call her for us. Thankfully she left us her number. He went back to get his mobile and we rang her.
I was beyond relieved when she came out as this meant we had a bed to sleep for tonight. Kelly was amazingly loving and nurturing. She tried to offer us food many times but I was so tired I just wanted a shower and to lie down. She brought us water, sheets and towels and continued to fuss over us.
I was feeling oddly cold in the shower. My body was shivering considering we were in a country just underneath the equator. I laid down with Clément. He tried to hold me but it was causing me discomfort. I felt nausea building up and couldn’t close my eyes for long. I felt sick.