A Mini Vacation (delayed post 1)

When did going on a holiday become so stressful?

So I wrapped work early on Thursday and fought my way through the excited extended weekend traffic to the airport. There was some confusion between the husband and me regarding the departure terminal, mostly thanks to me. I assumed that Air Asia was an extremely expensive budget airline because they asked me to pay for food and checkin baggage separately. Budget airlines do that, right? Apparently not! I had also heard horror stories about how Air Asia overbooks and if you get a wee bit delayed in reaching the boarding counter, they just refuse to let you onboard and forfeit your money. Therefore much confusion ensued between five to six thirty pm.

Thankfully I discovered that most of this incertitude was thanks to my own paranoia and self-created panic. It was only after we had the boarding passes in our hand that I stopped for a drink of water. Next step was currency conversion; the otherwise mundane chore gave me a huge kick this time as I handed over a measly SGD 700 to the lady at the counter and she gave me Rupiah 4, 746, 105. And just like that I was a millionaire. (Must add here that this elated feeling lasted only for three hours after which we touched down in Indonesia and people starting demanding that I part with IDR 15000 for a bottle of water!)

Next, I busied myself with the borrowed copy of Lonely Planet – Bali and Lombok only to realize that it is impossible to do Bali in two days, which is exactly what we had excluding the travel time. Deciding that this trip shall be treated as a sampler, I tried to figure out which all places can be conveniently covered in the next two days and the stress level increased again.

I read the book and dabbled with the various possible itineraries all through the two and a half hour flight to Bali. Besides the incident of the cup-of-water-for-rice-eaters-only, nothing exciting happened during the flight. I must add here that Air Asia is a fairly okay non-budget airline.

By the time we landed and I stepped out of the plane, it was 12 am Singapore time by my watch. Since my tickets said the plane will land at 11 pm, I was expecting a one hour time difference. (This is the point you realize that I had done absolutely no research for our impromptu trip to Bali until this evening.) The overpowering whiff of the ocean greeted us at the airport and my mood began to lift a little, only to be dampened immediately my the excruciatingly long queue at the immigration. Next, was getting a taxi to the hotel that I had booked and which had promised to be only 25 minutes away from Denpasar airport.

The outside of the Denpasar airport bore an uncanny resemblance to the old Hyderabad airport (Punjagutta for the uninitiated) and the queue for the teksi (taxi) took me back home too. Matters for sorted soon and the husband had retreated into his shell (or cave if you will) by now. I mentally blamed it on the four back-to-back football matches that he decided to play just before our trip but it could very well have been my unceasing chatter. So, we sat in the cab, quiet and brooding, I looking out and the shut shops and unlit tiny houses and he playing Critter Crunch on his iPhone.

But all changed when we finally reached our destination in 25 minutes (as promised, yippee!). His mood lifted immediately and my stress disappeared quickly. I had done something right, I had booked a fantastic hotel.

 

Room 331 at Aston Bali

The Balcony

Hotel Pool Overlooking the Tanjung Benoa Beach

 

PS: I will try to talk more about Bali and less about my day in the following posts.

PPS: And hey, there is NO time difference between Bali and Singapore. Jakarta and Bali are the ones with different time zones! Such a shameful traveler I have become.

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