I read somewhere on tripadvisor that its a 10 minute walk to get to Kuta centre from the Santika. If you were to travel en route Kartika Plaza, I’d call 10 minutes a gold medal performance! First you need to dodge those huge holes in the pavement, and there were significantly more of those since my last trip 18 months ago. Then you need to dodge the traffic you run into while trying to dodge the holes!
This time I actually saw a man down one of those smelly holes, he appeared to be working (or looking for something he’d flushed down the toilet). At that point, God and I had a private moment and I was incredibly thankful that it wasn’t me.
And then there’s the massage girls, the guys who want to sell you a pair of sunnies for 200000Rp, the drivers and the timeshare guys all vying for your attention. I had to repeat my Kuta chant over and over, first politely, sharing a laugh or two, then a little more aggressively as I got closer to Mataharis. Laugh, laugh, have a chat, tidak terima kasi, laugh, tidak terima kasi, tidak, tikdak TIDAK, TIDAK!! Phew! Took me an hour and a half and was pleased I didn’t pay 200000Rp for the sunnies that broke in less than 24 hours. LOL...I put them on the next morning and the arm fell off!!
I got the funniest piece of Bali trivia from one of our drivers regarding those sunnies and watches on the street. Apparently they’re sold to the vendors by the kilo...LOL. I’d love to see that transaction!
Which brings me to the subject of shopping in Bali.
I usually enjoy the banter that comes from haggling, but this trip, perhaps because I’m a little more experienced and was equipped with the Bali market price list from tripadvisor, I couldn’t be bothered dealing with the BS. I was a really friendly customer at the beginning of the week, but by our last day (due to lack of time), I became a b*tch on legs! We had 4 kids to buy for, and if it wasn’t for Jennys and Diannes fixed price shops just down from the Dynasty, it would have taken us a month to purchase the same amount.
However, I did have some really enjoyable shopping experiences, besides Jennys and Dianes. One funny moment came from trying to purchase a pair of sneakers for my 17 yr old son with rather large feet by Balinese standards. The vendor kept showing me shoes that were too small. He’d gradually get larger then larger and I’d continue to say, no, bigger! He finally had his ‘lightbulb’ moment and responded with... “Ahhhh.....F**ken big!! The funny thing is, in Bali, you couldn't too surprised if he'd actually whipped out a pair labelled 'F**ken Big'....LOL. From that moment on and for the rest of the trip, everything and everyone large in size or stature became f**ken big. Even the beautiful rice terrace of Tegallalang – that was really f**ken big!
I highly recommend the fixed price market stalls for newbies , for ballpark figures. But I found it really exhausting trying to get the same prices elsewhere and usually paid around 10000Rp more than fixed price. In fact, I got to the point where I would spot something I wanted, tell the vendor how much I wanted to pay, and if he/she didn’t like it, I’d move on. Worked a treat. Not incredibly friendly, but definitely a time saver.
I highly recommend shopping in Tegallalang for home wares, as you’re buying direct from the manufacturers. Loved it. This could be done with a day trip to Ubud. Also had a day bed cover made through Vania fabrics in Kuta. I’m very pleased with the result and can’t recommend them highly enough. Their fabrics are gorgeous and service impeccable. Thank you snookystraveltips!
I must admit, DVD shopping is my fave, especially in the air conditioned shops. It’s cheap, fun and without harassment. I guess they just sell themselves.
To be continued.......