Denpasar, Part 2. Museums, Dinner and Strays

Saturday, 14th January, 2017

Le Mayeur Museum

We stumbled across a museum while strolling the beach walk. It’s a 2AUD entry fee and lets you wander throughout what was once the home of the artist Le Mayeur. He was a Belgian painter who moved to Bali in 1933. Here is a short biography which is worth the read and also gives some information on his wife, Ni Pollok.

It was fascinating to see not just his paintings, which are beautiful and mostly feature half naked Balinese women, but the house itself. On Bali the people live in small complexes, keeping the entire family together. Three generations would live in one house, each with their own section. It is like their own tiny village, the buildings separated by pathways and surrounding a temple. This is the most ornately carved, but none of the buildings bring the word ‘plain’ to mind.

Lonely Restaurants

After a rest back in the air conditioning we set out to find dinner at one of the dozens of restaurants on the beach. This seems like a good time to warn the traveller about the many food stalls. Don’t eat there. If there are health regulations they are few. The food is prepared without gloves and sits there until someone buys it. Try one of the sit-down places where it is made to order. Even then, I’ve had some warning passed down to me from Courtney. I’m inclined to trust it as she’s training to become a nurse and had it from the local doctor. There is a parasitic worm that all the children have. It’s gotten through touching each other, the strays and eating food that was prepared, like mood food is here, without the proper care. Luckily, there is a widely available medicine that I suggest you pick up from your local store if you’re here for more than a week.

Dinner had no lack of options but all of them seemed strange. We headed out about five-thirty in order to get back before it was too dark. To our bafflement the restaurants lining the beach remained empty. It isn’t tourist season, but surely there would be somewhere that had some life to it. After walking another ten minutes we give up and approach the nearest restaurant. Two staff jump to their feet the moment we’re within five feet and usher us to a table int he middle of the floor, pulling out our seats.

Now, Denpasar and Bali in general is home to a LOT of stray cats and dogs.

The floor is white tile, like a lot of buildings. A row of pillars is the only thing between us and the beach walkway. We’re given menus and I go for something that I’ve never heard of and probably said incorrectly. I believe it was called Gado-Gado. It was basically a salad and peanut sauce delievered to me unmixed. Overall, the vegetables, sauce and tempeh was quite satisfying and the meal, including a banana daquiri, cost me less than 10AUD.

As it turns out, drinking away from a venue is a lot more expensive in Bali. The residents drink far from as often as we do in Western culture. They have a beer called ‘Bintang’ which is quite popular and a blue drink made from strong liquor and cleaning detergent which kills many of its drinkers. I’m avoiding it. When Courtney and I ventured to grab some malibu from the liquor store near our hotel we found what is usually a twelve dollar bottle to be fifty dollars. We went with the orange juice and hurried home.

Lessons and Suggestions

Green does not mean go. Keep a wall of traffic between you and the traffic.

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