In my last few days I’ve faced my greatest Bali-related fear – the Gauntlet – with a little help from my new friend Phil. This particular ordeal brought out the anticipatory wimp in me to the max!
The picture I’ve included will give you a tiny idea of the string of vendors that line the beach side road and form what I’ve come to call the Gauntlet. Ah, you say, that’s not such a big deal – walking by a bunch of pushy vendors. Ha!
In the life of a people pleaser, saying no is absolutely painful. To have to say it firmly and repeatedly – 25 or more times in a 10-minute period – is truly torture. So, having taken one very short foray into the territory when I first arrived here, and turning away as quickly as I could, I’ve avoided leaving my safe little area where I never have to say no more than 5 times in 10-minute period.
|Phil at the Greek restaurant|
It was an invitation from Philip to try out a Greek restaurant on the other side of the Gauntlet that moved me to tackle it. Not only did I have a set destination to head towards, but I would also be accompanied. So we went.
It wasn’t nearly so bad with Phil to take some of the heat, and I realized if we just kept talking to each other then we were less likely to be bugged anyway. It was wonderful to have someone to giggle with over the silly approaches of the sellers. Phil also had a nickname for one particularly persistent woman – Madame DeFarge – the hard-hearted peasant woman from A Tale of Two Cities and the French Revolution. Does that make me and Phil the hard-hearted aristocracy, I wonder?
|Doug & Chris|
The Greek restaurant was a real treat – air-conditioned with great food and wonderful service.
|Lovina Beach Dolphin at sunset|
Here in Lovina, I’ve gained a few new friends: Phil from Melbourne, Australia and Chris & Doug from Calgary, Canada. My wonderful driver, Made Merta, is from Lovina and our very engaging second-in-command here at Puri Bali Hotel is also a Made (a very common name here meaning “the second child”).
|Made Merta - terrific driver!|
I’m off to America the day after tomorrow – an epic journey with an 8-hour layover in Kuala Lumpur, but I’ve discovered that humongous airport has a movie lounge and even a place to take a shower. So my return may be as much of an adventure as the anything else this journey has offered.
See you soon from Phoenix, Arizona!
|Sunset at Lovina Beach|