Blogual Responsibilities Ignored or I Paid My First Bribe Today

Well, I only have a few more days here in Bali, so I have decided to post some blog entries that should have been up long before, as well as write some new ones. Sincerest apologies for ignoring my blogual responsibilities.

Indonesian ginger coffee, fought off any lingering congestion from my cold as well as any jet lag that remained.

Right now it seems low tide is simulcast with the amount of sunlight. So at noon, we have twice as much beach and no good surf, at least within Seminyak and Kuta. High to mid-tide is best, which means surf, siesta, then surf again. All this with a plenty of 2$ meals of nasi in between.

This morning we surfed this head-high right a few breaks down from our friend, Dedik’s surf school. Jeremy and I snagged a few waves amongst the local kids and aggro aussies. These were the first real waves I have felt confident riding. Until now, I was mostly greeted with low-tide closeouts.

We had a fifty cent post surf meal from a bicycle vendor then hung with the boys (and two girls) from the surf school. Jeremy offered a ride back to Uma Drupadi (our apartment) on his motorbike. We made it within 100 yards of our place and were stopped at a police checkpoint. “Oh shit,” I heard Jeremy utter. They pulled us aside. I was not wearing the helmet that I did not own (a requirement for any westerner.) They took a look at Jeremy’s illegitimate motorbike license.

“Very good,” the officer approved. “What you do Jeremy?”, he enquired as he escorted Jeremy to the side of the road.

“Where are you from?” one of the other officers asked me. “Ah, Chicago. What you do?... Ah, student. Very young.”
“Very young,” the main officer replied, returning from the side of the road.
“Chicago Bulls! Good basket!” the other officer said, faking a signature fade-away shot.

Jeremy talked with another officer while this went on. They wanted a bribe, but would not come out and say it. So they made small talk until we got the point.

“Hey, how much do you have on you?” asked Jeremy.

As soon as we slipped them some money, equivalent to a few US dollars, they let us ride off with an illegitimate license and no helmet. It is just how the system, or lack there of, here works.

I slept quite a bit today. Jeremy and our friends here have started to realize how I sleep. Hard.

My siesta turned into a six hour dream marathon. I just woke up at 10 to an empty stomach. The 24/7 cafe two doors down, Warung Drupadi, tempts me with fried rice and a bottle of Bintang.

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