Paying a visit to Billy (Berry’s brother, we met in the winter of 1993 in Ames, Iowa, USA) had always been part of the plan for this trip. And I didn't want to interrupt nor trouble him at all. The address I got from Berry, which I thought was Billy's office, turned out to be his house address. So the surprise visit to his office during office hours didn't work out well. We ended up at the front gate of his residential area and he wasn't in! This was what happened in the morning on the third day. Who to blame? I'll say Berry and I had miscommunication, which is hard to believe as we both speak and write good English! (Are you sure about that?) Anyway, Billy on the phone sounded surprise (That was my intention, this went alright) but could vaguely remember who he was talking to. Well, 13 or 14 years is a long time. I don't blame him for not remembering me. The cold snow blizzard in Chicago and a near mugging experience at a restaurant hopefully bring back some not-so-sweet memory. By the way, it was Berry's fault of not organizing a better trip to Chicago or Minneapolis, not mine. Billy must remember this and not pin the blame on me. :@)
So there we were, two honorable guests from Malaysia, who flew to Bali to give a pleasant surprise to a long lost friend, were turned cold down by a young business-minded hotshot friend (Enjoying too much being sarcastic!).
Fine. I told myself. Kerobokan is well known for handicraft works. We can live with that. But Kuta seems more attractive with her happening setup and surfing beaches. So we told our nice cab driver Gede to head to Kuta and leave this sad sad sad place of Kerobokan. (Ha!) And it turned out to be not-too-bad a choice. Kuta has many streets where if you venture in you'll find lots of artistic pieces for decoration and drawings. Shopping was fun but exhausting. Before long, Louise and I felt the humid heat and we had to fall back to a shaded shopping complex called Matahari. It turned out this Matahari (the Sun) shopping mall is first class in Kuta. We were delighted to see plenty of souvenirs suitable for friends and family and got what we wanted. We also went to the beaches and had to say it's full of people, in big contrast to area like Nusa Dua and Benoa. Again, the people and the heat proved too much for us. Soon we found ourselves heading back home (Home was where hotel room was then).
The spa appointment was at 7pm. It was a retreat Louise wanted us to try. I've never done a spa before and thought it shouldn't be bad at all. Indeed the experience was comfortable and relaxing. First we had our feet soaked and cleaned with foot bath. My spa lady was Eka, a young lady with warm smile and beautiful eyes (This would make Louise very watchful). The scrub was gentle and it took some tension off the feet. Then we lay on the massage bed and had tingling aloe vera gel rubbed on us. I was told it helped to ease the sun burn. But the cold gel was quite sensational coupled with the cold air-conditioning. She put the gel all over my body, hands and legs and wrapped me up with thick blanket. It felt better, less cold. But I felt like a mummy in making. I turned over to Louise and she was shivering in cold, so was I. Next, Eka told me to relax my facial muscle and put some other creams on my face. Okay, I thought. And two pieces of cold pads covered my eyes too. If the idea is to be pampered, it sure felt like it.
30 minutes passed and Eka and her other colleague unwrapped us. It's time to wash the gels off. The next procedure was to enjoy relaxing bath tub together. We even took a picture together in the bath tub! Ha! And too bad the bath tub was not equipped with Jacuzzi function, according to Louise. 15 minutes or so we were ready to move on to massage.
The massage, as I recalled, was good and relaxing. It was all 'passive' one if we are to compare it with the traditional Thai massage. Thai massage is 'active' in the sense the body would move and joints bent for flexing purpose. But this Balinese massage wasn't anything like that. It was different and I must say I prefer the latter.
With a nice spa, sleep turned out to be really easy.