Hendra from Internet Outpost kindly invited me to the launch of a new airline called Air Paradise at a restaurant / club called Gado Gado at the end of Jalan Dhyana Pura off of Jl. Legian. I rode home on the bike, took a shower and hit a local place for some Balinese fish cooked in a banana leaf and some steamed rice. I’m trying to keep away from the oily stuff.
I walked from our house in Seminyak down to Dhyana Pura and sat at the bar at Santa Fe, a bar that we visited several times before, for a cold Bintang. The name Gado Gado is a Indonesian dish (steamed vegetables with peanut sauce, topped with a fried egg). Located on the beach at the end of the road it took me a furthur 8 minutes or so to reach it. I wasn’t exactly sure what kind of scene I would find there but was given a clue by the amount of traffic (SUV’s) that were blocking the street and the number of well dressed expats heading in the same direction.
Arriving, I could not see Hendra and had to wait for him to get in. I watched an assortment of Bali’s ‘who’s who’ walk past…felt like the academy awards.
Hendra finally showed up and we entered past a dozen smiling staff.
Gado Gado is a very elegant place with tall ceilings and a large outside area backing onto the beach. Hendra and I got a beer at the bar (free flow drinks) and he introduced me to several people in the tourism industry here in Bali. I joked with one guy that Hendra was a great networker, to which he replied ‘you can make a living just from networking’. Sean would of loved this gig. BNI squared, with connected people all in similar industries.
There was a podium inside and an American lady announcer was welcoming people and giving the various prizes away in the lucky draw. It was a steamy night and she looked like she was melting on the large screen, occasionally toweling off for a second (hard to look elegant when you’re dripping wet).
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Hendra pointed out an important man at the podium who he refered to as the ‘Big Fish in Bali’ . His name was Kadek Wiranatha, the owner of Air Paradise and a big player in the resort hotel scene here.
After passing out about 10 business cards in 20 minutes I was wondering whether the 30 I brought would be enough. At the bar refilling my drink I noticed Mr Wiranatha a few feet away socializing with Indonesians and expats. I wanted to introduce myself and get a card in his hand but I thought the best plan was to be natural and not seem desperate, so I checked out who was talking to who and positioned myself in the middle of the bar, slowly sipping a rum and Coke. It’s great to see investment in trying to get back the Aussie tourists here. I think Mr Wiranatha would like what we’re doing here too.
There was a small buffet with some veggie sushi and other snacky items, spring rolls, hummus etc.
The amosphere here was pretty fun. Some people came decked out, others looked like they had strolled out of the bar, that’s Bali , you can get away with wearing whatever almost because of the climate and international mixture.
On show here were some very attractive ladies and their foreign husbands. Not finding Hendra again I sat on a bench seat between an Indonesian man and a Chinese lady from Jakarta. We chatted for about an hour and she gave me her tips on the dating scene in Bali. She told me the frustrating thing for her is that even thought she is a qualified professional she is always referred to as ‘****’s wife. Attitudes in Asia are often more tolerant towards the male / female dynamic and she told me that it’s natural for men and women to look around even when married. I suggested the best situation would be to be with someone you didn’t want to cheat on in the first place, but I’m not married so who knows.
I left Gado Gado and walked home. That’s about it really. The power in the house worked, I changed and went to bed.