Lembongan Diary: Monday 4 September 2023

The traffic on Bali is terrible. The 4km from nightmare dream villas to the haven of peace that is Bokashi Canggu for breakfast took around 50 minutes this morning. Most of the delay caused by one 3 way junction managed by some very bored trafic police.

Bokashi has employed an Indonesian  chef who trained in France worked in Japan and she now cooks sublime breakfasts in Canggu. I have eaten there three times over the past few months and remember each breakfast vividly. The first being a Spicy Tuna scrambled aggs with seaweed and a side of sour toast, the 2nd a Japanese Rice Egg Benedict with the eggs cooked at 62 degrees and a bacon and chive crumple sprinked on top, today’s delicious delight was the Breakfast Bento Box, a tropical juice and two precise flat whites. If you have spent time in certain parts of asia you’ll know why i say precise, as quality can and does vary from minute to minute in a world of star second division baristas.

The traffic from Canggu to Sanur, a mere 20km, took over two hours with the added excitement of an overturned truck where Denpassar melds into the airport .  Flipping a truck with traffic running at an average speed of 5km is an impressive feat and I found myself with plenty of time to contemplate the physics before running into the Grand Lucky at high speed to pick up some lemons, oranges, beef cut for a rendang, a couple of fillets of catfish, sultanas and various other sundries before heading down the road for the next set of chaos at Sanur port.

Only a few months back when i first visited the port in the semi-low tourist period of May the new post covid marina – like spot was relatively peaceful . Only 3 months later and the taxi mafias have taken over threatening to beat to a pulp any app based drivers who dare venture onto their territory to pick up stray tourists looking for a reasonably priced rides. My driver from Flores who picked me up on Friday couldn’t stop apologising for asking me to walk 10 minutes down the road to the Dunkin’ Donuts carpark which, for the moment is where the app iron cutain falls and both passenger and driver stop being accosted by aggressive locals with assasin smiles that could kill and probably do every now and then. I have noticed on my recent short forays into Bali that the Javanese, Timorese and others who make up the general economy workforce seem not too enamoured by their fellow citizens from the Island of the Gods. It doesn’t bode well if the elections next year bring in a more right wing and conservative government, the rifts will grow wider.

After the usual  haphazard search for the D-Star ferry booking (never book online weeks in advance) I had been warned about this before and always forget that too much advance planning between Bali & Lembongan will end in a semi disaster and a bit of standing one’s ground to ensure a seat back home.

45 minutes later and we are back in jungbatu with our ferry disgorging the Australians, French & Dutch onto the beach whilst some locals are about to appease the spirits of the sea. The D-Star driver, as usual, has no memory of the countless times he has dropped me home so the usual “which” joglo conversation ensues with phone photographs and coaxing to get up the hill take a left and a left again.

Home is wonderfully peaceful, the barely heard scooters, the cow, the chickens and Gerald II the gecko.

I could live in this house forever if  my landlady weren’t looking to sell. She could live in it forever if she weren’t forced to sell.