February 2nd: Road trip – searching for somewhere to live

Namaste,

I hope your day is truly wonderful.

Today is another raining, wet day in Bali.  We got up early armed with a list of five houses we wanted to check out.  One was in Canggu, then one in Kerobokan, then Legian, then onto Jimbaran and finally up to Saba Beach/Blahbatuh area.  This is quite an area to cover with Bali traffic taken into account. 

The first property we had arranged to see was a set of 4 villas that are allegedly for sale.  Each of the villas are being sold on a 12 year lease so we were looking at them with a view to living in one and then renting it out and hopefully making our money back.

We had already contacted all 5 property owners/renters to ask if it would be convenient for us to take a look at them today.  The fellow who owns the villas seemed a bit casual so I told him we would be getting a driver to bring us down from Ubud, was he definitely going to be available?  He said, ‘oh yes, if not me then my wife will be’.  So we got to the villas, after messaging him on the way to let him know we were pretty close, could he meet us there?  When we got to the villas, nobody was there waiting so we gave him a ring.  He was too busy working so he would send us his wife’s number for us to ring.  After speaking to the wife, she turns up and says she didn’t know we were coming, all 4 units have people in them and she hasn’t arranged with any of them for us to take a look.  Could we come back another time?  HELL NO!

On to the next property.  Apparently the owner can’t speak English so we have been communicating with an Australian woman by message.  I didn’t know she was Australian until I rang her today using FaceTime (she wouldn’t give me her phone number).  She sent us a map of the ‘joglo style house with private yard and pool’.  After walking down several gangs (very small streets), we finally found the place, virtually by looking up and searching for the roof style.  Yes, it is a joglo (timber house of Javanese style), yes it has a ‘yard’ and a pool and yes, it is filled with timber and many mattresses.  So much so that we couldn’t really get an idea of what we would be getting.  The ‘yard’ was a mud and grass patch with a frangipani that was falling over because it had been planted without any roots and into a tiny hole.  The pool was there but was half full of muddy rain water.  By this time, this trip was getting very depressing.  

When we said, through our driver, that it wasn’t what we were looking for, the owner volunteered that he had another one we could look at.  To be honest, I wasn’t that keen, but then he asked had we seen the house on Facebook?  Well yes.  Oh, that’s a different property.  So, we followed him for a couple of kilometers into a totally different area and are shown the joglos that were photographed and posted on Facebook.  It was cute and had a nice landscaped yard and clean pool but sadly, it was virtually one room, not unlike what I lived in as a single person before I met Steve.  Not really going to work for an insomniac… absolutely, nowhere to go in the middle of the night!  It would drive us both nuts.

On to number 3.  So, we are on our way to see the bungalow in Legion, I ring Jo to let her know we are nearly there.  Jo has to go to immigration today and is driving through Kuta.  Can we come back at 2pm?  By this time, it is getting more than depressing… frustrating, annoying, just to name a few.  No Jo, we can’t come back at 2pm, we have an appointment in Jimbaran at 2pm.  So, she sends me a phone number of her friend who can show us through the bungalow.  It is quite cute, still only one bedroom which is upstairs, I can go downstairs if I can’t sleep.  Yoo-hoo, looking better!  the added bonus is that it is just off Raya Legion so really close to the beach.  On the way out, we thought we would check out reception and see if they had anything else available.  

Yes, they had a one bed and a 2 bed available and they are all for long term leasing.  They showed us two more bungalows.   When we asked some more questions, Wayan, the man at reception, said he had another one we might be interested in but it was slightly more expensive.  So off we trot to see the third one.  By this time, it is bucketing down and the bottom of our trouser legs are saturated.  Fortunately, Gede our driver had brought our umbrellas in to us when it started pelting down.  Otherwise, we would have been dripping from head to toe.

So, third time lucky!  It is not luxurious but it is a 2 bedroom private fenced bungalow in a nice complex with a shared pool and it is about a 5 minute walk to the beach.  Plus, it’s affordable.  How does it get any better than that?!  The funny thing is, we said we would never live in the Legian/Seminyak area.  Never say never!

We still had two more to go, so off we went to Jimbaran.  I have been using the maps on my phone to navigate all morning so by this time my phone battery was dead.  The drivers in Bali really need to invest in a GPS, this is not the first time my phone has run out because it is the only navigation system in the vehicle.  Without maps telling us not only where we are going but where we are at the moment was a little bit of a problem because the house in Jimbaran was difficult to find.  I could pick up a map on my iPad, but it didn’t show our current location.  We got to the area ok but streets and numbers are a mystery here.  You can virtually put any number you like on your house.  If someone moves, they just take their number with them.  After walking around and down a few streets we found the house… which was disappointing.  

Before heading off to Blahbatuh, we really needed to eat lunch so we stopped at a little warung on the side of the road.  I spotted a coffee shop two doors up so we had a cappuccino first.  The coffee shop only served sandwiches and cake and the only vegetarian option was a cheese sandwich or an omelette.  Not really my idea of lunch.  So, we had a coffee and went back to the warung for lunch.  The cappuccino was 30,000 ($3) each and the Nasi Goreng, with or without chicken, was 15,000 ($1.50) each.  Not only was it great value, it was spicy and delicious and the people were gorgeous!

On to Blahbatuh.  Apparently, the fellow that was going to show us yet another villa in the Blahbatuh area is too busy today so we won’t be looking at the 5th property.  We still had to pick up some product for Steve’s farmers so we had to go there anyway.  It was getting to be a long day.

We could keep looking for houses but I think we both like the idea of a quiet complex in amongst the thick of it all, so Legian it is.  As Wayan said, it is like Ubud in the middle of Legian.  Because the bungalow we liked is close to the pool, we also asked if there were any kids in the complex and it appears that there aren’t.  So, hopefully it will be fairly quiet.  It also appears that there is only one other dog and no random burning of rubbish! Yahoo!

We are now on our way home.  It is 5:30pm and we started at 8:30am.  The traffic has given me the time to write my musings along the way.  It will be so good to get home.

Grateful for another day.

Karen  

Show me the way to go home, I’m tired and I want to go to bed. 

My Nana, although I’m sure she didn’t make it up.  She used to play this song on the piano towards the end of the night, when she was ready to go home.  I sure do miss her.

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