While we were modeling different dresses for each other and pretending they weren’t horribly wrinkled and sandy from being in our backpacks for 3 weeks, the phone in our room rang. It was Made! He had tracked us down since it was his buddy who had driven us to Jimbaron and knew the name of the hotel where he dropped us off. Hey, who needs Facebook stalking when you have friends who work for taxi services? Answer: no one.
Made explained that he wanted to hang out with us again and that he’d be willing to drive an hour and half each way—just for dinner. (Melt.) Michelle and I agreed to meet up with him later on. In the meantime, we made our way to the Four Seasons hotel in our wrinkled formalwear.
Within minutes of arriving, we were sniffed by intimidating bomb dogs, greeted by a small Balinese girl who gave us each a flower for our hair (featured in above pic), and served some of the most impressive cocktails we had ever tasted. It was like a Kubrik film, but tropical!
As the sun set, we imagined lives for ourselves where this would be a typical start to an evening. Perhaps Michelle’s future Saudi Arabian husband actually owned this hotel? Yeah! And then Michelle could entertain all her friends who would visit her here for weeks on end, taking daily Balinese flower baths in our private suites and drinking Kopi Luwak coffee with breakfast everyday! But just for now, we’d have to settle for free bar snacks and our view of the guests-only fancy swimming pool. Plus, working our way up would make us truly appreciate life at the top, right? Assuming her offering of 5 coconuts had worked their magic, Michelle was officially on track to be the Eva Peron of
Back at the hotel, the case of the faulty pool chemicals seemed to have been resolved…or at least put on hold for the time being. As planned, Made rolled up in his jeep and drove us all to the Jimbaron beach known for its line-up of make-shift oceanfront restaurants that serve some of the freshest fish on the island (caught just hours before its hits your plate).
The three of us laughed our way through a huge order of crabs and some delicious Snapper--although only Michelle found it amusing when Made straight-up ate the eyes off the former ocean dwellers on our table. Nasty! Over Arak Attack cocktails, Michelle and I begged our Balinese friend to tell stories about growing up on the island, which he did. “What was your first girlfriend like?” “How do the Hindus and Muslims here get along?” “Have you ever considered that your Balinese ceremony makeup looks like gayboy drag?” In exchange, we taught him more American slang*.
At the end of the night, Made dropped us back at our hotel and took off for Ubud—not before giving us each a small keychain charm with none other than a Balinese flower inside. He wanted us to remember him, and I loved that this was the item that he thought would best keep him--and his island--on our minds. I’m not sure what this says about Michelle and me or our homeland for that matter, but she then gave him a ½ empty bottle of vodka that she had been carrying around in her purse. He seemed happy with it.
* My NJ crew (e.g. Doug) will be happy to know that somewhere out there is a Balinese man casually dropping the term “raw doggin.” I take no responsibility.