Just a few things Peter didn't mention, Our first impression was mixed, squalor amid beauty. Then our cottage was the last one on the property and was at the perimeter wall with a barbed wire fence. Why? I wondered and feared, what had we gotten ourselves into. It was also so hot and humid. Fear and panic were in the back of my mind slowly clawing their way through. Just give it a try, to heck with the garbage piled up in places, try to turn a blind eye to the mangey dogs, just get past this. By dawns early light...(song) things looked so differently. The staff at the resort were so kind, the food amazing, the pool!!!!!!! That was the first time in my life I thought I could be one of those resort people that lounge about all day. Never, never before this. After all how hard is it to wave at Maria and order two large or small Balinese beers and satay sticks while sitting in the shade between swims in the pool. Also the fellow guests were ever so nice, not being a super fancy 5 star you get a good cross section of people. One friendship is now in its 15th year. Quick things to mention; I almost had a really nasty fall, the hookers saved me. Just nice people. Look down while crossing the street, the road may have pieces missing. Check your merchant's calculator because it is rigged, 1+1= 649,000 rupiah. Also enjoy those beautiful smiles from the locals that are everywhere. When they call out Mister Peter or Shelagh will you shop with us today, seriously set a date to do this. We did this on our last day. James Bond, his tourist name, was really my watch agent. Chairs appeared out of nowhere, all other vendors came close to see what we would buy. I selected six, knock off, good quality watches including a couple of Rolexes. We negotiated our price to both our satisfaction. A collective sigh was heard by all. James Bond didn't come to work again for two days. The last pictures in my head are of loads of the locals wearing shower caps on their heads with bags of hotel shampoo and soaps and good used clothes from my new friend's husband. The girls with used makeup and nail polish so they can keep on doing manicures on the beach etc. The thing I learned, is kindness is a two way street, and traveling is a good reason to clean out your closet.
PS by Peter:
When visiting places like Indonesia, where women do hair braiding and manicures on the beach, consider going to your local dollar store and buying some nail polish and such to give away to these ladies. They will be overjoyed.