Produce is coming off pick up trucks. Money is changing hands briskly at the local market.
While the rest of Bali is asleep Gianyer is wide awake, enjoying the cool night temperatures and exchanging fresh produce from the mountainous area of Kintamani.
It’s 3 in the morning and I go out to pick up some snacks.
In the market, I find a warung, a local eataing place, and order a Balinese dish. The lady sitting at the bench says the food is 10 000. She’s right on this account. I know my prices.
Then I ask how much is the iced tea. She answers for the shop keepers. I get the feeling she’s showing off her English. She says the tea is 5000. I say it’s 2000. Bapack, or uncle, gives it to me for that price. Maybe it is 5000. But I feel there’s a double pricing issue going on with the lady sitting next to me.
I can’t finish the food. It’s too spicy and I know the toilet will be my best friend tomorrow if I continue eating it. Ibu, or auntie, seems disgusted as she throws the food in the gutter. I assure her it was enak, or delicious.
Someone is buying banana fritters. They look tasty. How much I ask. The lady sitting next to me says they are 5000 each. Nonsense again. Bapack says they are 1000 each and I order two. I’m really getting irritated with the lady next to me who is tailor making foreigner prices. She’s reminding me of the Mad Hindu and the contempt he has for cashed up foreigners.
Then ibu wishes me a good night, in perfect English. The lady sitting next to me has been put in her place.
Bapack invites me back tomorrow. He seems quite proud that a foreigner visited his little but busy warung. There are people waiting to eat, so I leave quickly.
At the Alpha Mart, I meet the guy I was calling sayang the night before. The Bali lady on her way work at Nusa Duwa said it was best I didn’t call him darling. Yes I was drunk and very happy with my Houdini act. Sayang is one of those slippery Indonesian words and works wonders if you want to turn heads. He gives me that look. I play it cool and polite and send out the I-was-drunk vibe last night.
A man buys up half the shop. He’s taking his time about it. He flashes the 300 000 before he pays up. Yes, says the cashier, you must 300 000. He looks shit faced. Then another man takes his time. He borrows a lighter and lights up a cigarette inside. Oh, now he wants pulsa, or credit on his phone. He is shit faced too. Then I’m eventually served.
Having money and flashing it is a favorite pastime with the local drunks of Gianyer at the Alpha Mart.
I walk around the town just happy to be traveling and having my camera out. My photos are half hearted attempts but at least I’m showing interest again. This feels like traveling.