I mentioned when I first arrived, at how dead the streets were and how not busy it appears in Bali. From what I have seen, and from who I have spoken with, it is still much the same.
It is slow season, which could be impacting the traffic. Nick and I spoke with Andrew this morning during the Super Bowl. His hotel has 100 rooms and 6 were occupied. When Nick and I cruise out at night to find a place to eat, 95% of the restaurants have no one or 1 table filled. We experienced a Party Packed Night on Saturday, but that was mostly expats and locals.
One thing I have noticed, is some restaurants do stay busy. Maybe it is a little bit of luck. Maybe not. 2 restaurants in particular are busy every night. Warung 96 and Captain Haddock’s.
Warung 96 is on Poppies II, plays pop music. The staff is reasonably friendly, the food is cheap and good enough. I am not really sure why they stay busy though. It could be that a crowd attracts more of a crowd and people definitely want to be around others. Warung 96 is about the only packed restaurant around our place, so that might be why?
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Captain Haddocks is about a 15 minutes walk from our guesthouse and is a little corner shack with similar cheap prices, food, and music. The one thing that they do different, is the staff is friendly. Armadi is one of the waitresses that remembers our names, welcomes us with a big smiles and talks with us and other guests at any moment that she has. I watched her greet a variety of folks with hugs and kisses. When we leave, she says “see you tomorrow” and winks. While she talks with us she sells the Saturday night dinner because she does traditional Balinese dancing on Saturday nights. She gives the customer a lot of reasons to come back. Now that I think about it, the number 1 thing she does that keeps people coming back…she gives people attention and make them feel loved and wanted in some small way.
Now, where would you rather go. An empty restaurant, or be greeted by the hugging, smiling Armadi?