My Hands Feel Like Smeesh!

Trip Start Feb 12, 2011
Trip End Nov 19, 2011

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Flag of Indonesia  , Bali,
Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Have I mentioned how much I have savored a good breakfast on this trip? I'm still confused at how much I am able to skip this most important meal at home when I convince myself that there is always something so pressing for me to get to in the morning.  However, I must admit I don’t have the luxury of perusing a few hundred lineal feet of delectable breakfast choices each morning like I do here at the Conrad.  If the girls hadn’t had such a devout faith in their worship of the sun god, I would likely linger at breakfast all day, until of course, it was time for: Tea.

I was a bit anxious at tea, as we had booked an afternoon tour of Uluwatu and Jimbaran so we would be skipping the cocktail hour (I thought this foolish, but I was outnumbered).  Nonetheless, we made short work of tea and piled into a mini-bus to go see some monkeys and the Pura Luhur Temple in UluWatu.  We were given a bit of an explanation by our guide as we donned sarongs to enter the temple area which was overrun by little monkeys.  They were the worst kind of monkey, cute and furry from a distance, but cunning and cut-throat given the chance to steal your sunglasses, kit-kat bar, or everything of value you may own.  These little bastards spend all day lounging around in a beautiful coastal setting and have fat tourists bring them food and water all day.  What a life.

They were fun to watch and a good introduction for the Kecak Dance performance we were about to see.  After touring the temple grounds, we were lead to a small amphitheater and I had a good view of 'back stage’ and watched the performers smoke cigarettes before they started the Kecack ritual.  The performance was much like a play with about 30-40 men chanting and clicking at different intervals the entire time.

Erica’s version of the play: The story was essentially about a woman lured away from her husband and held captive by an evil demon who is in love with her.  She is eventually rescued by a white monkey sent by her husband with her wedding ring as proof he has sent for her.  The demon’s servants capture the white monkey and attempt to kill him with a ring of fire.  In the end, he escapes and turns the fire on their palace, burning it all down, in turn saving the woman.

My Version of the play:  This is essentially a sequel to the famed Every Which Way But Loose Movies starring Clint Eastwood.  Basically, Philo Beddoe and Orville go deer hunting and tell Lynn Halsey-Taylor (now Philo’s wife) to stay inside the house and don’t let strangers in.  While they are away, one of the Black Widow motorcycle gang dresses up like an old man needing help and tricks Lynn out of the house so they can kidnap her.  Clyde (Philo’s orangutan) get’s wind of this and tries to save Lynn but gets caught.  They tie him up, but he breaks free and throws a motorcycle on them, catches their compound on fire and saves Lynn Halsey-Taylor by escaping. 

It was a good show and a nice reprieve from the insulated Conrad as we patted ourselves on the back for accomplishing something "cultural".  Good job!

Next, we were taking to Jimbaran Beach where there were a series of dumpy restaurants all advertising the catch of the day out front.  We were led to the backside of one associated with our tour for our inclusive dinner and this revealed a sea of tables and chairs on the beach for 100 yards in either direction, leading all the way to the water’s edge.  It was quite a pleasant meal, eating a few feet from the surf with the cool breeze from the ocean and nothing but dim candlelight.

We enjoyed Bintang and whatever it is that showed up on our plates.  I got halfway through a fried fish head before I realized what it was; luckily I liked it and came to the conclusion that an eyeball wasn’t so bad after all.  I’m not one for shelfish, but the shrimp were good and Erica loved her clams.  Kristen couldn’t get past the bones so I ate her fish too as I was reminded that our new friend Chris, who recommended the tour said it was best you couldn’t really see your meal.

I think we made cocktails when we got back home as Erica insisted that her “…fingers felt like smeesh”, but I don’t remember and I don’t know what “smeesh” are.

(If you haven’t seen them, I strongly suggest you see Every Which Way But Loose and Any Which Way You Can)
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Stephanie Knobbe on

I think this is so amazing! Nice work John! Looks like you guys are having so much fun. Definitely got my travel bug goin crazy. Great pics also! I'm excited to see more.

Angela Mascenik on

Love reading about your adventures!! Nothing has suprised me so far!!
Tell Erica I said hello, I'm just cooking a big baby over here!!

Erica Gascon on

Thanks to all who have commented so far on our blog! We love hearing from you and for those that haven't...we'd love to hear from you soon. Miss you all!

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