Monday, November 24, 2014

Bali vacation - day 3

21 November 2014

Okay, so this time my lovely rooster was up at midnight! Oh dear lord. Luckily, I managed to go back to sleep. Until about 6, when it started all over again. So I decided to get out of bed and start my day. Strangely enough, I didn't feel sleepy or tired. Our room was on the upper floor and sunlight hit it sharply so it was impossible to sleep till late. At least for me.

Not for them, as you can see!

Mom and Dad were obviously up, and Dad had gone for a walk around the villa grounds. He came back with a story. Apparently, he had run into the owner of our villa who had engaged him in a long and serious (well, funny to me) conversation. It went something like this: 

Owner: Are you from India? 
Dad: Yes. 
Owner: Do you know Bollywood?
Dad: Yes.
Owner: Are you a Hindu?
Dad: Yes.
Owner: Do you know the three gods Bramha, Vishnu and Maheshwar?
Dad: Yes. 
(At this point, I interrupted Dad to ask him if he told the guy that we also have two other gods worshipped in our household -- SRK and SRT!)
Owner: Do you pray?
Dad: Yes.
Owner: How many times in a day do you pray?
Dad (hesitatingly, as he's not that religious): Twice.
Owner (chest out): I pray three times.
Dad: Good.
Owner: Do you know the mantras?
Dad: Err... I know some.
Owner: I know them. (And then he proceeded to recite some!)
Dad: Good.
Owner: Are the stories of Ramayana and Mahabharata really true? Did they happen?

I don't know how Dad got out of that one. 

Meanwhile, Xena was up and chilling by the pool with Grandma...

...while Grandpa went for a refreshing swim!

I got her ready for the day. It was pink frangipani day!

Xena and our lovely villa

Xena joins my dad at the pool chairs

Xena and I chilling with our feet in the pool. Mama baby bonding time! Also, she splashed so much, her jeans got fully soaked and I had to change her to her Bali pants. 

Three generations having a heart to heart

Xena giving 'gyaan' to her Poppy. 

Awwww... :)

In case you're wondering why we're still chilling in the villa and not getting out and going somewhere, that's how we'd planned the vacation. We'd booked the car and driver on alternate days so we could just relax on the other days and not make things too hectic or tiring. But it's not like we had no plans at all for the day. Of course we had plans. Muahahaha. 

It was massage day! We'd booked a two-hour traditional Balinese massage for each of us and my parents didn't know about it. My dad would have straightaway said no. He'd never set foot in a spa, and the only massages he'd ever gotten was from the house help or when we were kids and he asked us to walk all over his back. Mom had had a massage in Batam, and had loved it. But that had been for an hour, and this was for two hours.

We told Mom and Dad that we were going to a mall but took them to the spa instead. As expected, Dad was reluctant but Mom was happy. Anyway, we were all ushered into our respective rooms, and Viv took Xena back to the villa. He was going to come back for his massage and we'd take over Xena then.

It was the ultimate massage. I'd been wondering if two hours would be too much and if both the masseuse and the one getting the massage would get bored, but it wasn't the case. At one point, I swear I fell asleep! I even had a mini dream. I wondered how my parents were faring in their respective rooms. Though I'd armed them with tips for the masseuses and advice (e.g. "Don't go by their petite size. Some of them are very strong. You need to tell them to be gentle. Remember to tip them."), I was worried that my parents might not understand their accent. But all went well. I was done first, and was waiting for them at the reception area when Mom emerged, glowing and beaming. Her first words were, and I kid you not, "Jeevan saarthak massage". In other words, a massage that makes one's life meaningful. LOL! 

Then Dad came out, and he too had this amazingly blissful look on his face. I asked him how it was and he grinned. "I thought you didn't want to go?" I teased. "It was very relaxing." He said. 

Family outside the spa

Though it was the masseuses who had been working hard for two hours, we were the ones getting ravenous. We found a nice restaurant next to the spa. I ordered some traditional Indonesian lunch for my parents and myself - ayam bakar, ayam kari and nasi goreng. Viv ordered some vegetarian pasta and Xena shared it with him (in the sense that she ate 0.01% of it). Their fruit smoothies came without any sugar (they provided syrup on the side), which was great for my parents. I ordered a mango smoothie and Mom ordered a strawberry smoothie. And oh, Viv ordered a Bintang beer, which Xena absolutely insisted on sharing! He let her taste it and thank goodness she found it bleah. 

Our yummy lunch

After lunch, we brought Xena back to the villa for her nap, while Viv went for his massage. Xena played for a while and then insisted that she wanted to nap in the baby cot. 

The villa had provided this cute little cot, complete with mosquito net, for Xena. 

Xena had stopped sleeping in her own cot at the age of 1. She had migrated into our bed and never moved out since. So I was surprised that she wanted to sleep in the cot. Fine, I said. So I sat on the big bed and wrote Hopscotch notes on my iPad, while she fidgeted and fidgeted in the baby cot. Once in a while, I'd see one leg go up and then hear some random singing. And then suddenly there was no sound. 

I leaned over stealthily and peeped and there she was, sound asleep! Wow. 

I went downstairs to my parents' room to chat with Mom. I came back an hour later to check on her, and she was still fast asleep!

A couple of hours later, Viv returned. Xena was also up and wanted to swim "just like Grandpa". Luckily, I'd remembered to pack her swimsuit. 

My little mermaid gets ready for a dip in the pool. 

I hadn't packed my swimsuit though, so I told Viv he had to help her. He rolled up his shorts and helped her swim. She was beyond delighted!

Later in the evening, we headed off to the Sanur beach, which was just a 15-minute walk away. One of the crossings on the way was quite odd. It had the zebra stripes on both sides of the divider, but one of the sides didn't have any traffic light on it. Bali roads are very crowded and people drive and ride like they do in India, so we had to be very very careful how we crossed. Viv had pointed out that crossing to our driver and asked him how one was supposed to cross that stretch. He just shrugged his shoulders and said, "Look. Cross."

On our way to the beach, we saw dancers in traditional attire being ferried somewhere. 

Further along the way, there was a big procession walking from the beach. Men and women, and even children and babies, were dressed in beautiful traditional outfits. We found out later that it was the melasti ceremony. It is done as a form of purification of the mind and to bring people closer to God by cleansing items with seawater, which is believed to contain amrit. The procession starts from the central village temple from where all religious symbols such as deities and their tools are taken to the sea to be purified and then taken back to the village. 

The pecalang are traditional security men who patrol the streets and are responsible for orderliness during the ceremony.

Xena was perplexed to see these women balancing the boxes of offerings on their heads and after pondering over it, tried to 'explain' it to me. "Mama, I think the aunties first put scotch tape on their heads and then stuck the gifts on top."

Melasti ceremony at the beach

Here's a video of the ceremony.

Sanur beach was clean, quiet and beatiful, a far cry from Kuta beach which most of our friends had asked us to stay away from!

We walked around for a while, and then went looking for a restaurant to have dinner at. 

We saw this sign outside one of the restaurants! LOL!

We finally picked seaside dining at Matahari restaurant. The food was yummy and the breeze was heavenly. They had something called 'independence cocktail', which really did make my mind independent from the body.

Xena relaxes by the seaside as we wait for our food. 

And oh, we were both wearing our Bali pants so we had to take a picture together to end the evening!

Click here for Bali - day 4. 



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