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.

Dirty Dancing III

Starring The Osbournes

Scene 1

Happy Hour. Mom, Dad and Baby are seated at table at boutique hotel on beach in Lombok, watching tropical sunset.

Guy on Beach: Would you like bracelet for your daughter? I make it myself!

Mom, Dad & Baby (In unison): Maybe later.

Waiter (brings drinks).

Dad: (sips Long Island Iced Tea)

Mom: (To Baby) What did you get? That looks good. Can I taste it?

Baby: Mojito. (Slides it over).

Mom: I’m not getting anything.

Dad: Damn, what was the name of that band two songs ago?

Baby: You have a mint leaf stuck in your straw.

Mom: Am I wearing this inside-out?

Guy on Beach: I can make it with your name.

Mom, Baby & Dad: (In unison) Maybe later.

Dad: Two words. Damn. Adjective, one was an adjective. One had a vowel.

Baby: Only one? Is it a Czech band or something?

Mom: Can I eat your fruit ornament?

Baby: Led Zeppelin? Pink Floyd?

Dad: More modern. Something in the PJ Harvey category. Sort of.

Baby: I’m not into jazz.

Dad: It’s not jazz! They have a theremin. That is, they don’t have a theremin, I just thought they did. They have a thereminy sounding synth.

Mom: Your dad says I can’t buy any pearls.

Dad: That’s not precisely what I said. What I said was, It’s your vacation, do whatever you want.

Baby: The Who? Pearl Jam? Mod Honey?

Baby: I’m so fat.

Mom & Dad: You’re not fat.

Mom: You’re totally hot.

Baby: I know I’m hot. But I’m flabby, too.

Mom & Dad: You need to sleep right, get more exercise and eat 3 meals a day. And you’re not flabby. We’d pay good money to be as not flabby as you.

Baby: (Rolls eyes.) You’re in your fifties.

Dad: What?

Baby & Mom: (Roll eyes)

Dad: What? The surf is loud. I’m a rock star. 120 decibles on stage every night. What?

Mom: Black Sabbath?

Scene 2

(Breakfast. Hotel restaurant)

Dad: I’ll have the fried rice. With sambal please.

Waiter: Sambal ketchup or sambal oelek?

Dad: What?

Waiter: Lombok sambal?

Dad: Yeah, the spicy kind.

Waiter: Okay, you asked for it.

Dad: PORTISHEAD! Portishead.

Baby & Mom: (Raise eyebrows, exchange look)

Mom: Two words?

Baby: Adjective?

Dad: What? There’s a vowel.

Baby: Who wants my papaya?

Mom: I’ll trade you a pineapple.

Dad: Portishead, Portishead, Portishead. That was driving me CRAZY!

Dad: Portishead.

Mom: I bet the pearls cost more in town and aren’t as nice.

Dad and Baby: (In unison) It’s your vacation, do whatever you want.

Dad: William Gibson retweeted my tweet.

Mom & Baby: (Roll eyes)

Dad: That Lulur massage sure was nice yesterday. Anything that lasts 2 hours and leaves you naked and covered in yogurt…

Mom & Baby: Portishead

Scene 3

(In gift shop complex)

Mom: Do you have enough cash for a box?

Dad: It’s your vacation… do they take credit cards? I have plenty, if they do.

Man selling illegal DVDs: Four for 200,000.

Dad: (to man) Just a sec. (to Baby) See if they have The American. (to Mom) Hang on, if they only take cash, I’ll have to see how much this guy ends up… (to man) four for 200,000? What about five for 200,000.

Young man with ultra dark tan, big white smile and black dreadlocks: (To Baby) Nice sunglasses. I like the color. You wanna swap?

Dad: (Rolls eyes)

Young man: What’s your name?

Baby: Baby…

Dad: (Buys some DVDs, then buys box, then some more stuff)

(To be continued)