Travel

Bali bath success

So, the bath we imported from Bali arrived with a banged up base. It looked a bit like a write off to me, but we have a very competent builder who fortunately decided to take it on as a project. We started by filling the base with expanding foam. This stuff is crazy. If there is anyone you don’t like, just squeeze a can of this stuff into one of the orifices of their motor vehicle. Guaranteed chaos.
He then rebuilt part of the base with tile cement. We then superglued some of the larger broken bits on. The bath was installed, but of course the base looked crappy. So I came up with the idea of duplicating the tiled skirting boards around it and you can see for yourself the result. The Responsible Adult has now had several goes at it so it is watertight and works.
It is all good at the Paddock.
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Bringing back from Bali – Ganesha

Our first piece of the Balinese goods has now been installed. I didn’t buy a stand for Ganesha and of course now wish I did. So instead, I made a 600mm square platform out of some old decking boards taken from good mates building site 10 years ago. I then thought Ganesha would like a sunken garden to look on so built a 600mm frame to put in the ground. I’m quite happy with the result and am looking forward to wet season so a bit of moss will grow on him.
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Importing from Bali

Well that was not as much fun as I thought it would be. There was an old rule of thumb when I was a boy that you would double the price of your overseas goods to work out what it would cost to get them to your house. Forget that. We paid around $1500 in Bali and the total cost was a tad over $5000. That was all good as it was still less than just the cost of the bath in Oz. So long as it all got here safely.
We had a fair bit of problems with the customs agent hassling over original receipts. It seemed they didn’t believe that we owned the goods, but finally they explained that Bali shipping companies usually falsely report the cost of goods to help importers reduce duty. Sure enough when we found the original receipts, they were about double the reported price. Anyway, by the time all this got sorted out, it was time for it to leave storage or start paying extra for storage. So I asked for a quote to deliver it to our house, which was $420. Seemed pretty expensive, but I didn’t have too many options.
They sent a rather large truck with a driver who had difficulty negotiating our driveway and I heard at least one large crash as he hit his brakes. He refused to come all the way to the house. I then noticed that he was it – no offsider for 10 packages weighing 600kg. Then I noticed he had no trolley. Then I noticed that only the bath had been tied down. Then I noticed the this way up signs were upside down. None of this bode well. Let’s just say he was pretty rough.
The first package I opened was one of the big vases which was totally smashed. Goodbye $135. The other big vase has small cracks which may be filled and fixed. One statue had small damage – not a big deal. It would all be OK if the bath was OK. The bath wasn’t OK. The base was smashed on one corner and it had severe cracks.
The good news for us is that our builder is a real fixit type and he has done a fair whack of reinforcing the base so that it should be usable. As for the facade, we are thinking of a timber surround filled with river rocks to make it look pretty. More on the bath in a couple of weeks when we have a go at installation.
Overall, I would only import again if we bought enough stuff to fill a container or half container. At least that way we wouldn’t have dickhead Aussies bashing our stuff around.
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Day thirty four Bali – home

It’s taken a while to get to this one. We decided to take the Havens’ late check out option – the Haveners Club. It cost US$27 each, but we got full use of the pool and an air-conditioned lounge with TV’s, afternoon tea, drinks, showers etc. So we hung around the pool a fair bit, then the Responsible Adult went off to have her hair and nails done while I watched some stupid movie. The afternoon tea buffet was big enough for about 20 people and the Responsible Adult had a couple of vodkas. Nyoman picked us up at 6.30pm and dropped us at the airport. We found out that there is an additional departure tax $30 each, but we got through the process OK. The flight was late, and they went through everybodys hand luggage thoroughly, but eventually we boarded our Virgin flight.
First time we have flown with Richard Branson, but it was very good. Free feed and free red wine……….how to make a paddock worker happy. Ended up in Bris about 6am and the smart passports worked nicely.
As it turns out, this may have been our last trip. More on that later. But we had a rip roaring good time. My preference is Vietnam, but there is sun, sun, sun in Bali so the Responsible Adult would always pick it for a trip.
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Day thirty three Bali

DSC02114_20140304230143110Our plan this morning was to check out the Haven beach club. We caught the hotel transport which took us at the way round the corner. It turned out to be a few daybeds on the beach in the shade. Fine for me but the Responsible Adult wants sun, sun, and sun. So after about half hour we headed back.A street tout hit us with the open the card for a free gift trick. We know better than to accept these but for some reason, the Responsible Adult took one. Two T-Shirts. Then, surprise surprise I got first prize, but it would only be revealed after the presentation. For some inexplicable reason we went to the 30 minute presentation. 5 hours later, we got to the contract. Let me cut to the chase. The contract is for 25 years. They can increase the price by whatever they like. You and your heirs can’t get out. They can cancel your benefits and sue you for whatever. No bloody way.
Finally got back to the hotel at 2pm. Message from Nyoman about problems with the bath. He came at 3pm to tell us they wanted a bigger deposit. Got him to phone them to see if they take credit card – no. Researched Bali ATM and found a good one. Got $1200 enough to fully pay for the stuff. Wahoo.
Our last night in Bali so we decided to treat ourselves to Potato Head. Many good cocktails, great music and decent feed. If you ever get a chance, go.

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Day thirty two Bali

Today was a work day. A hearty breakfast and a nice long rest around the pool got us started, then off to the bath shop. Unfortunately the English speaking guy wasn’t there. We had a Balinese lady with no English, not much idea of maths and not much idea on completing an invoice. She was fortunately happy for me to do the paperwork. Our builder advised us to get the resin which was double the price but the bath, 3 hand basins and two big planters was a touch over$1000, compared to$6,000 for just the bath in Australia. Then off to buy a stone carved basin for outside and I got baby boy a small stone Ganesh.
Then onto the place to buy the Buddha I saw the other day and I also bought a Ganesh for us.
After all that hard work, it was time for a late lunch at Sanaya beach. After that well earned rest, we went to meet our shipping agent. Cost will be$275 per cubic meter. So it looks good for us.
Home via Bali deli to stock up on essentials like Bintang and vodka.
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Day thirty one Bali

A nice rest day. Had a look at the local shops. The traders are asking ridiculous prices and a lot stick to it. The ones that do come down to about a quarter of their first price after dealing with the Responsible Adult. Swimming in the pool then a cab to Kuta to go to Hard Rock Cafe. It is a beach pool away from Hard Rock hotel. My first Bintang was a mug, so I asked for a bigger one and got a jug! Your paddock worker would have been very happy as a youth, but in my twilight years, it was a bit much.
Went for a wander down the street and found a shop selling fabulous Buddhist paintings.The mandala paintings were sensational. All done in monasteries according to the photos. Had to buy a small one for $200
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Day thirty Bali

After breakfast and the pool, we headed off to buy stuff for the new groovy pad that is being built down the paddock. I want a Ganeshe statue and we wanted to look at baths. Nyoman drove us a long way to where he thinks the expats shop. Oddly enough the first statute I liked was a Buddha. Had trouble finding a Ganeshe but saw one that was OK. The bathtub was easy. We should get one landed for under $1000, a bit better than $6000 in Oz.
If this works, the savings will pay for a big part of our holiday.
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Day twenty nine Bali

The Balinese really know how to do breakfast. After breakfast the Responsible Adult had a nice time in the sun before our driver, Nyoman arrived with his wife and daughter. He kindly bought me a coconut. The girls went to the pool while we set up a website for him. Then off to lunch at a Balinese eatery where the food was good and you eat with your hands. Then a bit of shopping before heading off to Tannah Lot to watch the sunset over the ocean. It is one of the world’s romantic spots.
Small dinner at the hotel and an early night.
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Day twenty seven Saigon to Bali

Up early for a horrid travel day. Breakfast at 6am with me cooking for the others and Bino buying a Vietnamese breakfast for me. I found out that Vietnamese consider breakfast to be the main meal of the day and it was too big for me.
Easy trip to the airport and the queues were not bad. Arrived in Changi airport and went through all the exit and ‘re-entry palaver and I’m not sure we had to. Expensive lunch at Hard Rock. But nice memorabilia – Noel Reddings trousers and an autographed Who’s Next album that I really wanted. By chance, we also found the butterfly house (Changi is really big) but only had a couple of minutes to spare. It is easy to walk off lunch getting to the departure gate. The flight was half hour late and the plane was cramped.
Denpasar airport has been renovated and the visa on arrival very fast, but the queue for immigration was huge. It took us about an hour to get through. Our driver, Nyoman was waiting for us. I would have given up a long time ago.
Into the Haven in Seminyak for cocktails and a feed. Nyomans first go at hotel food. Then bed because we were buggered.
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