Friday, February 15, 2013

Bali scams

A bit more about our hotel at Sanur.    In my room with the aircon working well and a couple of bottles of Bir Bintang on board everything seems good, but everywhere one looks one can see shoddy workmanship and potentially dangerous electrical wiring.  A few examples...
                               Rusty metal cased hair drier
                                Power into my unit
                              Wall outlet hanging from wires only

In a pond near the hotel restaurant there is a fountain made from an aluminium kettle and in the pond are seven very hungry turtles.

When we ventured down to the beachfront at Sanur we visited the last hotel that my wife Joan and I  stayed in some 5 years ago.  The Segara Village Hotel is truly luxurious and if I return I will be booking myself in there for an upmarket holiday. The many beach restaurants in the gentle sea breeze were very attractive and we figured we would eat there one evening.

Today Val and I returned to Hardy’s, our favourite Department store.   It just so happens it is the only Dept. Store in Sanur.  There are dozens of staff wandering around and gathering in small social groups behind merchandise shelves.  They are young people, probably chosen for their looks rather than their ability.  One has to find a staffer who can speak English and keep them with you as you try and find things. Being pleasant goes a long way.  I now know a couple of young ladies who are pleasant and know where things are to be found.  The alternative is to resort to charades or draw a picture of what you are looking for.  I imagine Russian tourists have little chance of finding anyone who speaks Russian.

After making our purchases we adjourned to the tavern next door for a couple of beers  and then waited on a bench at the front of Hardy’s for a taxi to come by.   A young Balinese guy started a conversation and I didn’t realise it was leading up to a scam.  Eventually he claimed that Hardy’s was offering a promotion to advertise a new store opening.  He gave us each a sealed card and invited us to open them.  I had seen similar scams in past visits in which you won a dinner at a large hotel.  What was not mentioned was that you endured a spiel about Time Share.  Cousin Val’s card caused our man to almost scream with delight when she won a chance at ‘the top prize'.   On Val’s card there were three prizes...and when you scratched the magic square she was a cert to win either A$1,000; a week’s accommodation at a top class hotel or at the very least an Apple iPad.  Our man said all we had to do was come with him to his boss’s office close by and the taxi would take us back to our hotel. So we reluctantly got in the cab as we had nothing else to do for the afternoon and it soon became obvious that the ‘Office’ wasn’t close by and he admitted it was in Kuta which at that time of day could be a two-hour trip each way.  We started moaning and he assured us that all we had to do was verify our ID (without any documentation) and tell a white lie that we were not over 70 years of age.  At that we both told him to turn around and take us back to Hardy’s.  He kept telling us that he would miss out on his commission.  No luck mate!  And we were returned to our hotel and he was stuck with a 50,000 Rupia taxi fare.  That is only A$5 but these guys work on commission and he was five bucks down.  Tough!

Later when we were on the beachfront at Sanur I had a haircut and a short, but great head and neck massage for A$5. all up.  Best haircut I have ever experienced.


Bernie said...

So glad you and Val are having such a lovely vacation. The weather alone makes it sound wonderful to me. We had a blizzard yesterday but the sun was shining today. So happy for you Kev, you deserve this vacation for sure....hugs

Anonymous said...

Kev, Val andyou seem to be having a great time while we i˜the West swelter in 40 degree heat that has gone on for 4 days and the nights are just as bad,You talk about the wiring in your room, I remember the first trip to Bali in 1978 when Marc plugged his radio in, a blue flame shot up. We told one of the cleaners and he demonstrated to us that it was all harmless by pulling the plug in and out a few times,. As for you hair dryer.. we never stayed in a hotel that supplied such a luxury,,,,If you have time visit the Butterfly park it is beautiful,Theyhave other insects as well , although you could probably see more in my garden and mine would be more venemous,..Enjoy don't forget the Besakih throw a flower in the ocean there for Had and Joan and John and mind the overhanging branch that you always walk into, Marg

Anonymous said...

Kev, Glad that you are enjoying your holiday,The photo on the beach brings back lovely memories, Joy