Having friends visit me in Bali is one of my most favourite things about being here.
It’s great to see them again and fun to experience new things with them.
My friends from Eugene Oregon the Skolnicks, Jeffrey, Barbara and Brianna ( brother Devin couldn’t make it) are out here for 18 days and I got to rendezvous with them in Ubud where they are staying. We arranged to meet at a restaurant called Tutmak located on Jl. Dewi Sita which runs perpendicular to Jl. Hanuman in downtown Ubud.
I arrived first and ordered a orange juice for 12,000rp and was thinking of a the most polite way to stop them trying to give me hugs since I have the flu. At 12 noon Barbara showed up and told me she never gets sick so don’t worry about it. Jeffery and Brianna arrived shortly afterwards and it was catch up time. Brianna is 21 and has been living in Chiang Mai Thailand for the past year. She went to the university there and then opened a caf� with a local person. Her plans for the future change by the month but there is a likelyhood she will return to Oregon to complete her degree at the U of O in Eugene, which is a very nice school. If you have seen the movie Animal House starring John Belushi that was filmed at U of O. When I was living in Eugene we were hoping to find Delta House, but that’s already been knocked down for something else.
The Skolnicks live 20 miles outside of Eugene and breed alpacas, a lama like creature from Peru which has the most amazing fur. It’s a natural hollow fill, is 5 times stronger than wool, has no ‘guard hairs’ to irritate the skin unlike wool. Jeffrey says when he wears his alpaca wool coat its great because people just want to touch him.
We ordered lunch, the first solid food for me in 3 days which was nice. My choice was a veggie sandwich for 25,000rp. It contained cheese, lettuce, onion, tomato, bell pepper and other items and came on brown bread. Tutmak has move from its old location about 50 yards. It serves good coffee by reputation and according to Barbara and Brianna, the best lasagna they’ve ever had�that’s high praise coming from them.
I recommended they try out Bali Buddha on Jl Jembawan, another cool vibes healthy place.
The Skolnicks have been to Bali 2 years ago and the aspects they enjoy are the tropical environment, the people, the culture and the food. Jeffrey told me once right after the bombing that he was flabbergasted how someone could do that kind of thing amongst such beautiful observant people. One thing I’ve learned from the Skolnicks is that you can always find quality if you look for it�they always do. They have a knack for finding great food, great locations, people etc. Bali is made for them as it offers a quiet side as well as the party scene. In fact none of them have ever been to Kuta.
While we were eating we heard a screech and I saw a large truck swerve past 2 Balinese school-girls on a motorbike. The truck keep going and both girls came off the bike. Neither was wearing a helmet and one took a tarmac kiss on her left cheek. Both seemed okay if a little shaken.
Shortly after that little drama Brianna and Barbara left so Jeffrey and I rode over to his hotel on my Supra, making sure to be alert. My energy level is getting better but I’m still not 100% and I do notice that I’m not as alert as I usually am.
The hotel was located on Jl. Bisma. I thought Jeffrey was joking when he said it called ‘ Nick’s Hidden Cottages’. To get there we had to navigate a very rocky lane for about 400 meters then turn to ride across the paddy wall, which is now concrete to the entrance. Very cool concept, I like it. As we stood to admire the location Jeffrey pointed out a man with a long pole and a 12ft length of chord attached. Every once in a while he would wind up this pole and with one quick jerk make the chord snap creating a loud ‘crack’ to scare away the birds. The guy stands there from sunrise to sunset making sure the birds don’t steal his crop.
Jeffrey told me the hotel was completely empty and its like having their own private villa. We swan in the pool and I must say the view of the trees with the clouds overhead was quite relaxing. That’s one part of the tropics I’ve come to appreciate. Bali is not a desert and its rains sometimes, but the rain can be a bonus if you learn to enjoy it.
We all sat on the balcony checking out the changing light and the nature going on around us. Here’s Jeffrey and Brianna pretending to be serious.
Nick’s seems a pretty nice place to stay and has a cute little pool, each room comes with bathtub, hot water, AC. I didn’t ask how much they are paying but I think its no more than 250,000rp for the 3 of them.
Nick’s Hidden Cottages
081 236 66954
We were all feeling a bit low energy and I bid everyone farewell just before sunset. We’ll get together again and I’ll show you what a great time they’re having in The Island Of The Gods.
I just got a call from Mick at the airport. The new visa on arrival (VOA) is in operation and its taking 2 hours for the last passenger from a plane to get the VOA. They then have to go through regular immigration and customs. Mick said the regular immigration part is moving quicker though.