We'd already booked a hotel where we could crash for our first day undisturbed. After the sojourn in China it was hardly necessary. Had we been exhausted perhaps we could have excused the difference between the photos of our rooms on Airbnb and the reality. The nicest thing to say about Hawaii Bali Hotel is the pool's great. I enjoyed the air con and the telly - saw a couple of excellent movies but, believe it or not, I actually skipped all news channels. So I knew less than the Balinese about what "your handsome president Justin" was up to than did they. Mind you, I put them right on Canada not being a state of America. Oh yes, and on the prez misnomer.
We stayed two nights before moving to what I found more sympatico digs although deeper into the heart of Kuta. The age difference between me and my travelling companion never occurred to me before. Now I felt like a bag of old bones, albeit decorated with beaded braids and toe- and finger-nails painted scarlet with patterns of flowers, dots and squiggles. I enjoyed watching the surfers ride huge waves, the likes of which I'd seen before only on TV. The famous sunset was pretty good, too, although I've seen just as good if not better at home in the southern Gulf islands of British Columbia, Canada. (Which, so you know for future reference - and there'll be a test! - is an independent country with a prime minister lying north of the U.S. Not that Mr. Trudeau has much time to lie down anywhere but you know what I mean. This is a blog after all, not a bestseller.)
It was the Memorial to the 200 victims of a bombing attack in 2002 that really jolted me. Mostly foreign tourists from all over the world - including 2 Canadians, Richard Gleason and Mervin Popadynec - killed by political extremists in an area of Kuta called Legian. It's where all those young people hung out in the trendy bars and nightclubs just having a good time on vacation. In 2005 two more bombs exploded, killing 20 more unsuspecting overseas visitors. Sons, daughters, nephews, nieces, brothers and sisters. A small note placed at the foot of the monument said it all: Happy Birthday Joey.
We may not know who Joey was, but he's far from forgotten.