Shopping and Laundry Day

I came back to the south of Bali yesterday by a long car ride from Amed arriving tired and dirty in Seminyak. This part of the island is quiet and upscale, with rental villas and security guards not far from my little budget oasis, the Seminyak Suites. But a few miles from here is the loud, party-hard, 20-something surfing-beach town of Kuta. I would not be down this far south at all except that there are full services here, regular internet and it’s close to the airport. And, as you know dear reader, every so often, one must attend to the more mundane tasks. In a country this humid, laundry day has been more anticipated than usual. Clean clothes just arrived back and I feel rich.

I have barely done any shopping here in Bali, except for some silver for my mother and some dried foodstuffs at the farm last week. Today I made up for lost time. There was some bargaining involved (here they call it “discount”), but I only got them down by about 30%. I am soft. I’ve gotta work on it. I could have done better, but the quality of the goods was high compared to others I had seen in Ubud and around, and the people are so sweet it’s hard to get tough.

At the recommendation of the cook here at the Seminyak Suites, today I visited the Krishna shopping mart, sort of like a Cost Plus at home, and the “Kar fu” supermarket. Turned out to be spelled “Carrefour”. The Carrefour is a grocery store at the top of a shopping complex where I went for nutmeg and vanilla. There are other shops in the complex that sell traditional painted baskets and Balinese lace cloth for sewing later. This lace is hand-embroidered on cotton fabric and is always a unique and pretty design. Sometimes the lace is all white work, and other times they add color, as you can see in the photos. At the suggestion of my taxi driver, I went to Gallery Seminyak, an excellent place for quality. I bought some batik, some handmade and some machine made, and some pretty baskets (yes Mom – you heard me right, baskets!). The folks at the Gallery gave me a well-taped box and I have packed everything into it.

Tomorrow I am going to the post office and mailing everything to the USA, including a piece of luggage I have decided I can do without. Gotta travel lighter than I am now. I think my new suitcase, “big red” is probably 29 kilos at this point which is above the weight limit. I hope Korean Air will look the other way when I leave Bali tomorrow night. I am not sure I can get it down further without mailing stuff I actually need. The guide books are the big weight culprit, maybe 15 pounds, but without them, I am lost.

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3 Responses to Shopping and Laundry Day

  1. Joe H. says:

    15lb of books? If you know you’re going to be somewhere on a given day, can you ship them ahead? (yes, I know the prices will suck, but it’s better than paying overweight fees every leg of the trip)

    Also, don’t forget you can abandon the books once you’re done with an area. Or, if you don’t mind desecrating books, there’s always the option to remove the pages you don’t need.

    And, when you get back, make sure to bug the publishers about how convenient e-books might’ve been in this particular case.

    • Hi Joe, well, I would ship them ahead except that I still have pre-planning to do, such as getting hotels and learning more about the regions, plus trying to learn a little language. It’s weird reading about East Africa while in India, but I didn’t have enough time for proper research before I left. Given the unreliable electricity situation, and the fact that my drivers sometimes need the maps in the books, e-books would have been actually less convenient. Weird, but true. I have been able to give directions to other travelers, lost on the road, and read at dinner time. If you have an e-reader, you might as well put a sign on your back saying “rob me”. At the end of each leg, I mail them home. I really tried to steel myself up for ripping out pages, but I just couldn’t do it!

  2. dinky says:


    So much fun to read about your trip. As you know, India is near and dear to my heart since I adopted my son from Calcutta.
    I must laugh about the 15 lbs of books! That’s a whole nother suitcase!
    Do enjoy yourself. Travel safe and see everything!


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