Things I learned on vacation

  • When eating chicken satay and telling a story at the same time, it is possible to hit the end of a satay skewer extending past the edge of the tabletop in such a way that the skewer, full of chicken, flips into the air, does a 360, and lands back on the plate without getting peanut sauce on anyone.
  • The Balinese are way into kites.
  • The sidewalks in Ubud are hallucinogenic – meter-deep holes, offerings everywhere that you have to keep stepping over, 1-food height differences for driveways. Don’t ask me what Ubud looked like, I was looking at the sidewalk the whole time.
  • The Balinese are terribly kind. A shopwoman felt so sorry for me she gave me haggling lessons.
  • Men often wear flowers behind their ear on Bali. It looks awesome.
  • On Lombok, do not tell the waiter to bring you the spiciest thing on the menu. No amount of Long Island Iced Teas excuses this.
  • The monkeys in the Monkey Forest are nasty.
  • At the Lombok airport, do not let anyone carry your luggage for you. It is a rip off. You will have to be more assertive than I was.
  • Careful what you eat and where you eat it, i.e. avoid ice cubes, which are sometimes made using unsterilized water etc. and so on.
  • The Balinese are terribly kind. A waitress at our hotel brought medicine for our daughter when she heard she had consumed something with ice cubes, and organized a doctor etc. When we gave her a tip at the end of our stay (some tourist guides recommend against tipping on Bali, but that made me feel bad), she shared it with the other waitresses.
  • Luwak coffee tastes the same as regular coffee.
  • Up close, like walking across your hotel window, a firefly looks like a flying ant with a green LED up its ass.
  • Fried rice is a great breakfast.

Finnegan’s Bali, as performed by the Osbournes

Driver: The main streets of Ubud are in the shape of a ‘U’. riverrun, not the Ayung, that’s by the hotel, but something smaller and full of garbage, past Eve and Adam’s, from swerve of shore to bendof bay, brings us by a commodius vicus of recirculation past the Monkey Forest and back up to the temple. I’ll meet you at the temple at what time?

Ozzy: Sir Tristram, violer d’amores, fr’over the short sea, had passen-core rearrived from Europe Minor on this side the scraggy isthmus of Asia to wielderfight his penisolate war.

Sharon: Three should be good.

Driver: Okay.

Kelly: God I’m so fat.

Ozzy + Sharon (in unison): You’re not fat!


Sharon: You guys never disappear like that again!

Kelly: We bought pants.

Sharon: How much did you pay?

Ozzy: Did you see those monkeys fucking on the sidewalk?

Sharon: How much? You got ripped off didn’t you?

Ozzy: Less than she originally asked, okay? Watch out for that hole in the sidewalk. What’d you get?

Sharon: This silver thing.

Kelly: Vanessy, were sosie sesthers wroth with twone nathandjoe. Rot a peck of pa’s malt had Jhem or Shen brewed by arclight and rory end to the regginbrow was to be seen ringsome on the aquaface. Have you noticed how all tourists walk with their heads down?

Sharon: With these sidewalks, you have to.


Sharon: We can cut through here to get to the other street.

Man: Hello? Where are you going? This is a dead end.

Ozzy: Sorry.

Monkey: bababadalgharaghtakamminarronnkonnbronntonnerronntuonnthunntrovarrhounawnskawntoohoohoordenenthurnuk!

Kelly: Stop taking shortcuts, mom.

Ozzy: (To Kelly) Tell your mother she has an offering stuck to her shoe.

Kelly: You have an offering stuck to your shoe, mom.

Sharon: Oh, my. How embarrassing. (Wipes offering from shoe sole).

Ozzy: They’re hard to avoid. They’re all over.  The monkey back there was eating the crackers out of one. There’s the palace. Is that the same as the temple? The driver say temple or palace? Temple, right?

Ozzy: (To police officer) Where is the palace?

Police officer: (Points across street)

Ozzy: That’s what I thought. So where is the temple?

Police officer: (To another man walking past) The great fall of the offwall entailed at such short notice the pftjschute of Finnegan, erse solid man, that the humptyhillhead of humself prumptly sends an unquiring one well to the west in quest of his tumptytumtoes.

Other man: (Shrugs)

Ozzy: Thanks.

Sharon: Look, there’s our car.

(later, driving to airport)

Sharon: We only have ten hours to kill. Where shall we go?

Driver: I suggest a volcano, a coffee plantation and several other things.

Ozzy: Can we stop at an ATM machine to get some cash? We’re out.


Sharon: Sorry, that ATM machine rejected our cards as well, like the last 10. We’ll need to find another.

Driver: Okay.

Ozzy: Yippee! Jackpot. Finally.


Man at coffee plantation: And these are luwaks.

Ozzy: Look, there are some coffee-bean laden turds at the bottom of the cage, even. Take a picture, kid.

Kelly: (takes picture)


Driver: And this village we are passing through is a silver making village.

Ozzy: Want to buy anything, dear?(To driver) We could buy something, but we’d need to stop at another ATM machine first. Heh.

Driver: (laughs hysterically)

Kelly: I’m so fat.

Ozzy and Sharon (In unison): You’re not fat.

Ozzy: You just have big bones. Not really. That’s just what my father said to me when I was your age. I really was fat, though. I know all about fat. You’re not fat, nor do you have big bones. The waiters in Lombok were all over you. Everyone here says how pretty you are. You’re awesome.

Sharon: Do you think you’re helping?

Ozzy: Hrm.

Ozzy: Remember, when we get to the airport, DON’T LET ANYONE CARRY OUR BAGS. Those guys on Lombok, Jesus Christ.

Sharon: Live and learn.

Kelly: How much would it cost if I were to, like, just turn on my phone for just a second and peek at just one text message?

Ozzy and Sharon (in unison): No.

Ozzy: We’ll be back in Austrian airspace in just 18 hours and then you can turn it back on as far as I’m concerned.

Ozzy: (to Kelly) Did you see that little kid who just walked by? He was totally checking you out.


We are leaving for Bali in about an hour. My wife’s parents are housesitting. Also our cats.

I hear there are a lot of monkeys on Bali, so I figure if I start missing the cats I’ll make friends with a monkey and teach it to scratch all my things and scratch the door and beg and leave hair on everything.

Actually, I hear the monkeys on Bali steal your glasses right off your face, and you can’t do anything to them because they’re sacred.

Gamma has already asked what the drinking age is in Bali (18, not strictly enforced, don’t leave your drink unattended in a club, thanks Internet).

Gamma has also informed us she will not be snorkeling, which is something I on the other hand am looking forward to.