The typical day I am about to describe is a routine that I repeated many many times during the months I lived In Kuta, Bali, Indonesia in 2014. If you don’t know this already, Kuta in the most famous part of Bali and with good reason. Not only is it the home of the iconic Kuta Beach but it also has a swinging nightlife scene that keeps going into the wee small hours. To explain the details about my 48 hour day gets a bit lengthy, so I will divide into 2 parts. Here is Part 1!:
My day starts at about 8:30pm in the evening. I hear a knock on my door and the Willy’s voice. “Eight Thirty!” That is my requested wake up call. I am living in a room in a small two story hotel located next to Matahari Department Store in the center of Kuta, Bali, Indonesia. Willy is the staff there. I have been asleep that day since about 2am in the morning or so, when I had returned to my room from the Kuta Beach Walk area. I had already slept soundly for about 18 + hours, but as always I want want to rest longer. As with many of my activities, and resting is definitely one such activity, I always want to continue what I am doing and not stop and change to a different activity.
I do end up getting up after 10 minutes or so of extra rest, and I put on my string bikini swimsuit and go down to the small swimming pool located in the ground floor. I do some yoga exercises beside the pool for only 5 or 10 minutes and then swim in the pool, but not for long. I just do one lap in the pool and two or three underwater backwards somersaults and get out.
I walk back up the stairs to my room (room is on the second floor of the two story building). I then take a thorough shower in the big bathtub that’s in the room’s bathroom. Shower time includes shampooing my hair, brushing my teeth and using listerine, etc. The water pressure of the shower is not fabulous, as the building is old, so it takes me a while. When I finish the shower I start to air dry off (I never dry off with a towel because I don’t like that feeling. I feel much cleaner and fresher not using one. I tie my hair in a knot on top of my head (no clip necessary). Then I get a slip dress out of the closet and put it on. I don’t have much choice of dresses since I only keep one or two dresses and a couple bikinis there. I also put on my flip flops (washed the day before and also in the closet). I put on a little lipstick and grab my clean, washed debit card and I exit the room in a bit of a hurry, because I want to make it to Kartika Plaza Discovery Shopping Mall before it closes at 10pm.
To get from my hotel to Kartika Plaza, I walk. The walking time is about ten minutes if normal walking speed. That sounds all sound simple, but it isn’t really that simple for me. I am generally adverse to walking on the sidewalk. I have been like that for many years. The reason that I am adverse is that I am afraid to see and/or get close to other people who are walking or standing, as well as possible trash lying around. When I get close to all this I feel often really “dirty” (that’s my OCD) and have feeling of panic. Walking on small or normal size sidewalks also make me feel claustrophobic.
So, as always, I walk in the middle of the street. (Actually sometimes if traffic moves really fast I don’t actually walk in the middle of the street because of the big danger involved but instead walk just off sidewalk.) Th street I am walking on to get from that my hotel to the Kuta Kartika Plaza Discovery Mall a busy main tourist drag in Kuta. At this time that I am walking, about 9:40pm at night, it’s not really dangerous (at least I don’t think so) to walk in the center of the road because the traffic moves very super slowly at the time because it’s a traffic jam. This is the time of day when many many tourists are still out shopping, dining, etc, or on their way home, or in their way to a night club. It’s a relaxing, exciting, fun atmosphere there in Kuta at this time. Of course walking in the middle of the road with all the traffic on both sides makes it a little more exciting! But really, that isn’t my motivation for walking in this bizarre way.
While walking, I as usual I hear comments from people shouting “get off the road” and “stay on sidewalk” or “are you ok?” I completely ignore them all and never look at them since I am very focused on walking as quickly as I can to my destination. By the way, I am not wearing contact lenses at this time. I deliberately don’t have those in my eyes yet because not seeing so well helps me avoid seeing things I don’t like. I will put some contact lenses in later after I am in my “safety zone” (for lack of a better term).
I finally arrive at Kartika Plaza Discovery Mall. It’s almost 10pm, which is when the mall closes. During the final part of my walk I ended up getting back on the sidewalk since the sidewalk is wider and cleaner in that area. I see that the door to Sogo Department Store, which is in the lower level is open still an the security guard is still letting people, and I this feel great relief that can easily get into the mall. I run into Sogo and find my way to the escalator . The closing music is on and staff are preparing to go home. I don’t need to buy anything in Sogo. Actually I rarely buy anything in Sogo other than occasionally when I arrive there at Sogo with no shoes on my feet due to having thrown my old ones away in disgust the night before, and in that case I buy Ipanema flip flops, which they sell there. Since I don’t need that today I run up the escalator to the main level of the mall.
It’s still busy with tourist shoppers but they are all mostly leaving since everything is going to close. I run to the optical store where I keep my contact lenses. I bought a box of 30 lenses last week, and every time I go back to the mall I get 6 pieces, until the box is empty and I buy a new one. I am pretty near sighted in both eyes (-7.0) so wearing contact lenses really changes my experience and makes my day a lot better. Why don’t I just take the whole box of lenses back home when I buy them. Why do I want to keep them at the store and get them little by little? Well, that’s the way I was living at the time if my life, and for many years in fact. Even now at time I am writing this I also live that way somewhat. I don’t like to keep many things. Doing this way is more understandable if I am living in a health club with only a locker or sometimes no locker (which I explain in other blog posts), but even when I have a room I don’t want keep much there. Rather I like to always feel like every thing about me is perfectly new, clean and beautiful. Every day is special and amazing. Getting new things all the time just helps support that feeling.
The optical store staff sees me come in and asks how many contacts I want. I say six please and also a medium size paper shopping bag (which they always give me). I also wash my hand in the sink in the store and put my contact lenses in. Everything about my experience changes, now that I can see clearly. I say thank you and leave holding only my shopping bag (4 contact lenses inside) and my debit card.
I run down the hall to the end where Guardian Pharmacy on the left side is still barely open. I have many things to buy at Guardian. But I don’t plan to pay for all of them. Getting new things all the time (like every day!) gets expensive and I usually just take as much as I can for free. When staff are not looking I put the more expensive items in my new paper shopping bag from the optical store, including new lipstick, moisturizer, shampoo and body scrub. Nothing has plastic security tags on them in this store so I don’t worry about any alarm going off, and the staff never seems suspicious of me. I have been here at Guardian shopping any times before, every other day in fact, and always at this same closing time. I don’t just take free stuff, rather I also choose items (usually cheaper items) to pay for including toothpaste, toothbrush, and small listerine mouthwash and a bottle of room temperature water. After I pay for that with my debit card, I leave, and as always the staff is in a rush to go home and locks the door immediately after I leave.
The mall is already closed now that it is after 10pm. The mall security is walking around asking ever to get out. I exit there on the main level in though the larger central front door. To the left is Starbucks Coffee, which is open until 11:30 pm. Starbucks has two entrances, one to the inside of the mall and a separate entrance on the outside. I go into Starbucks to pay for my order and tell them that as usual I won’t want to get my order now, but later at about 11:30pm. “Please come quickly! “. They always say something like this “because I want to go home on time”. I say ok that I will try!
So what do I order? 1 Venti size Ice Blended Raspberry Frappachino, 2 Venti Soy Latte with extra shots, 1 Blueberry Muffin, separate Whipping Cream, 3 pieces of Butter, 1 Blueberry Cheesecake, and several free filtered Water in venti size plastic cups. The cost is approximately $25 and I pay by debit card. The staff already knows not to make my order in advance, that instead I want them to wait for me and make everything fresh and new at that time.
It’s already after 10pm and I want to get back by 11:30pm so I should really hurry up. I have a lot to do in between.
First I go back in the direction of my hotel, but I am not going that far. I stop at a large tourist shop that’s along the way and sells Balinese souvenirs and beach wear. It is open until midnight. I buy there a new slip dress, a bikini, and flip flops (all not so expensive). I don’t take stuff for free here because it’s too difficult to do that with out staff seeing me do it.
Then I walk to the Ramayana Hotel that’s not far from my own hotel. I have been enjoying using the facilities at the Ramayana Hotel for years, since the beginning of my time living in Kuta. I even stayed at the a Ramayana Hotel as a guest a few times. That was when I lived in Ubud and would go to Kuta in the middle of the night and hang out in Kuta here and there until being very exhausted. Sometimes I wanted some major rest before going back to Ubud and the Ramayana was the place I would stay for a night or even a couple nights. I was pretty expensive for me, about $200 a day for the special room type I wanted.
Even though I am no longer an in-house guest, I still love to use the facilities. Mostly I like to use the swimming pool and shower . Non in-house guests are not allowed to use the these facilities but I don’t care. I always enter the swimming pool area by going through the Flap Jacks Restaurant and Sports Bar, so that hotel staff will not see me. Since it’s night time, there are no people, not even staff around the pool area. I walk by the Koi Pond and around the corner to the swimming pool’s 2 open air shower rooms. These shower rooms are not within a locker room or bathroom and there is no door, only 3 walls for each, but it’s sort of private. Anyways I always take off all my cloths to take a shower there. I love these showers, because they are located in this beautiful outdoor luxury swimming pool garden area, and it’s always quiet and peaceful since I am always there at night. I always feel good when I go here because it’s at the beginning of my day and I feel fresh, not exhausted. I also love these showers because they have booth hot and cold water, whereas many outdoor swimming pool showers have only cold water. The water pressure of the shower here is very good as well. And it’s 24 hours open, no door so no lock. And the pool area can technically be accessed 24 hours by walking through the hotel’s open air restaurant that, while closed after midnight, doesn’t have a physical door only a sleeping security guard. It’s much more fun to take a shower here at the Ramayana swimming pool than in my room. Actually I only use my room to sleep and take a “preliminary” shower, that’s it, I never go back to spend time in my room during the my awake time even though it’s very nearby.
I put my optical store paper bag outside of the shower room near a big plant that’s on a ledge, so it won’t get wet. I throughly wash my old dress in the shower with my new shampoo and squeeze it out. I hide it behind the big plant, where there is still some old shampoo I left last time that the staff fortunately didn’t remove yet. I take a shower myself quickly and put on my new dress and flip flops, leaving my old ones in the shower. I am in I hurry to get out of here because I have an appointment at Starbucks. I’ll be back for another shower here later, and yoga and more fun too!
Read Part 2 to find out what happens next.