Would you like an egg in your coke?

Trip Start Sep 17, 2007
Trip End Oct 08, 2008

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Flag of Indonesia  , Bali,
Thursday, May 29, 2008

Denpasar is supposedly the Bali transport hub, but it seems that the only reason to go there is if you can't get a ticket for where you want to go from somewhere else.  Transport on the island is a big easy network.  But we were about to go to Java, and our only option was leaving from Denpasar, so we went. 

We arrived in one bus station and had to make our way to another across town.  The driver told us we had to pay 8000 rupiah for the ride.  I was absolutely certain that he was ripping us off.  Compared to what we'd been paying for transport 8000 was a hike.  I went to the bus office to ask for confirmation, but the driver got to the officers on duty before me and told them what to say.  I decided to be horribly stubborn and we sat at a bus spot that said the name of the station we wanted on it.  Then we decided to give up and go with another driver, but only after I walked back with the intent of asking the Indonesians on the bus what they were paying and found that they were gone.  The other bus driver said the fare was seven.  I shook my head and he waved disgustedly at me and said I could walk then.  We decided we might as well go. 

There was no one else on the bus, and it won't go till it's full, so we waited for an hour and a half before the bus even moved.  The bus filled with the usual characters.  There was a little girl who liked to touch Travis (we think because he's really hairy).  There was also a woman with a piglet.  Cause that's normal.  Then we finally got to the other station, only to be harried by bus touts. 

Once upon a time we would have felt horribly pressured to buy tickets, but we've got it down now and generally ignore people until we walk up to their desk.  We start at one end and shop our way down, and when they know we'll talk to everyone regardless of what they say we get excellent deals.  Ticket purchased, we went on to have our real experience of the day. 

It was lunch time, and we were not exactly in the center of town.  Options were limited, but I spotted a little warung across the street that looked tidy and advertised nasi goreng.  Nasi goreng is Indonesian fried rice, and Travis has been eating it like it's going out of style because it's cheap and filling.  That was exactly what we wanted.  The young woman serving and cooking for us took our order.  It was very simple: I said, "nasi goreng ayam" and held up two fingers.  Then I said, "coke and sprite."  Order done.  She got down to business and then held up two eggs to us in a question.  We both assumed she was asking if we wanted eggs in our nasi, which was odd, since it always comes with egg.  We nodded in a little confusion and then forgot about it. 

A minute later there were two glasses on the counter, two soda bottles, and two glasses with eggs in the bottom of them.  I really didn't know what to do.  Egg?  In my soda?  That doesn't sound good at all.  But we went with it.  I thought when we poured our drinks into the cups the egg would get all mixed in, but I think something didn't go quite right and the egg froze to the bottom of the glass, making our drinks quite normal and egg-free.  Nevertheless Travis was delighted and decided that he'd always like an egg in his drink from then on.  He hasn't actually taken it up, though. 

Then we got fed and the rice was yummy and without side effects.  After a bit of a wait for our bus (during which time I ran food errands and attempted to discover an atm, which was impossible).  At 7 our bus began its long haul over to Java.  It was a relatively normal night bus except they made us get off it for the ferry crossing, so we had a midnight wake-up.  Then the bus decided to stop for "dinner" at 3 a.m.  I kid you not.  It was rice and veggies and noodles and chicken.  When we bought the tickets the guy definitely said "dinner."  Odd.  Travis made a friend at dinner, and he told us what things should cost for the rest of our trip and talked about the US election and how he didn't like the Bali bombers.  It was a little challenging for me to pay attention at 3 a.m., but Travis was the center of attention, so I didn't worry about it too much. 

And that, my friends, is Denpasar.

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