Urgh. “I’m too old for this shit” was a fellow guest’s excuse to avoid the beer bong the other day, but it’s no excuse for me today, just an accurate description. Last night I ran 11 miles (Indonesian runners smiling brightly, western ones with heads down) comfortable only for the last few after loading myself with water when I realised I’d got sunburnt on the beach, then missed out on dinner, had a couple of big beers during the music quiz, then joined the drinking game. I’d essentially told myself I would after missing the others, as I’d thereby missed out on the bonding.
Bonding done, though by now I’ve got to know everyone in any case, and it feels like a lovely group of friends. My evening ended when I realised I was in trouble, and went off to be ill somewhere else, before slumping on a beanbag and later having Scottish Mark put me to bed to avoid me being a mosquito fun park for the night.
Today has been a struggle. I’ve not been elsewhere.
Kuta isn’t particularly lovely, but the beach is beautiful, and the hostel has its own spot, with staff to sort out surfing and the like, so you’re provided with a chair as soon as you arrive and have some protection from the hawkers. The ladies who sell fresh fruit are popular, though, and I couldn’t resist a pineapple yesterday. The hostel has a huge garden, and it is quite natural to head for breakfast and then find hours have passed in chatting in one of the shaded huts that run down both sides of the garden. Evenings have at least beer and food, and usually someone playing the guitar, with several nights having an event; a music quiz last night, barbecue two nights ago.
So while I arrived thinking I might travel round Bali I have settled in to a holiday vibe. I think it has done me a favour; I’m used to talking to people again and have made a pile of friends. I also met a Swedish girl who is the spitting image of Scarlett Johansson. I really should have got a picture with her. Next stop, Brisbane – luckily I have worked out that a 00:10 departure on Thursday means I have to head for the airport on Wednesday night, and now I actually read the emails they sent me, I find I was granted a visa to enter Australia within seconds of submitting my application, which takes the final worry off my mind.