The Balinese Mouse and Other Oddities

Today in Bali is quite a different contrast to that of yesterday. The dark clouds are rolling in from Java and no doubt we can look forward to and interesting and extremely wet afternoon and night. However, yesterday was absolutely delightful albeit the sun being very fierce. Not being one to venture down to Kuta Beach which at the moment is far from the days of sparkling white pristine sand instead opting for the warm water of the swimming pool at the Prawita Cottages. It always amazes me how quickly the sun burns the skin in the tropics. Even though I was careful not to spend too much time under the sun, it still fried me even though I am used to the searing hot weather and this morning I felt off-colour and definitely not of good health. My diagnosis was simple – a mild case of sunstroke which brings me to an important issue. If you are not used to the sun then wear appropriate headwear and, use a UV lotion. The thought occurred to me of those Red Lobster tourists frying on the spit at Kuta Beach must have suffered. It’s all a matter of sensibility.

This morning, with my skin feeling like it was one fire, I was in need of a quick cure. Enter my darling wife with just the remedy. Candika went straight down to the nearest apotik and bought a natural, Javanese herbal drink simply called Chrysanthemum (foto right). This drink does give relief for hot and sunburnt skin cooling the body down and all you need to do is mix one satchet in cold water and sip it slowly. Trust me it works! My skin cooled down within half an hour. Actually, it is also a refreshing drink to have as an alternative to tea. Containing five sachets, it only cost Rp11,000 and is well worth it. The drink has a sweet taste and is very delicious. Not to the point of being moorish, though. It’s important to note that this is NOT a medical remedy and any serious cases of sunburn should be treated by a physician. Candika and I have been using herbal remedies for years and they are not to every person’s liking.

Oh yes, the Balinese mouse. Actually I had to laugh at this one. Where we sit and have breakfast at the Prawita Cottages gives us an excellent view of Jalan Legian on both sides of the road as the restaurant is right there next to the footpath. This morning I watched a family of rats sneak out of the drain at the side of the road and raid the canang sari for whatever yummies they could obtain. Anyway, coming along the footpath on the same side of the road were three Japanese girls and judging by their mannerisms it was their first time to Bali. A young Balinese guy seemingly guiding them and showing them the various places and explaining each one in detail was in front of them. Suddenly this rather large rat ran directly in front of the three Japanese girls causing them to squeal in fright. Without prompt the Balinese guy quickly said “Don’t be afraid, it’s only a Balinese Mouse”. The three girls seemed satisfied with this zoological explanation and proceeded to continue walking down the path albeit gingerly and looking all around as they walked.