After spending an amazing week in what felt like a second home in Ubud, we travelled south to Bali’s southern peninsula. The day before we left, we bargained for the cheapest ride possible, getting $10 less than what most people were quoting us. We were picked up in the morning by an incredibly grumpy and hostile man who clearly was pissed at whoever was making him drive us. He did not want to talk to us or look at us. He tried to get us to pay more for taking us on a “short cut” which we responded by saying, “you can go whatever way you’d like, but we are going to pay the amount we had agreed upon.” We arrived in the Padang Padang beach area where we had scouted a nice and affordable home stay prior to leaving Ubud. Our driver could not find the location after looking for approximately 30 seconds and began cursing us for not knowing where to go. We reminded him calmly that we were tourists and it was in his job title to get us to where we needed to be. After him huffing and puffing and freaking out at us, we got out of the car to find a place ourselves rather than risk ruining this guys day more than we already had for just breathing the same air.
We gave up on trying to find our original place quickly and instead walked up and down the road looking for our best deal. After scoping a few prices out we found two places that were our top picks based on price. The first one was $15 a night and the second was $25 a night but this one had a pool! With a difference of $10 a night, our choice is usually pretty easy, go with the cheapest place! This mentality comes from wanting to travel for as long as we can and if we can save a few bucks here and there it will add up to weeks and even months in the long run. Today however, feeling a little exhausted from our drivers negativity, we were seriously considering the place with the pool for $25 a night.
Whenever there is a situation where neither Kevin nor I can make up our mind because both options has an equal amount of pros and cons, we flip a coin. However once we flip this coin, we have to go with the option it chooses for us. Therefore when we use the coin, we have to be %100 okay with either outcome. We flipped the coin, it landed on the side for the $15 a night place, so we went for it!
We probably should have taken a look at the place before we flipped the coin… The room was just big enough to fit two twin beds and a table with a fan. The room smelled musty and moldy and the fan was covered in a thick layer of black gunk/mold. The bathroom had clearly not been cleaned…ever… There were old band aids, a dirty old loofa, a half used bar of soap someone left behind and the toilet seat was a mosaic of brown.
I whispered to Kevin that the bathroom was filthy and asked the lady showing us the room if we could possibly have some cleaning supplies. She came in, took a bucket of water and splashed it on the toilet, walls and floor. “Clean” she said then walked out. Kevin and I both didn’t want to seem high maintenance so we uncomfortably and hesitantly told each other, “it’s not that bad” both of us also knowing that we couldn’t go against what the coin had decided. I went to turn on the fan and quickly decided against it as whatever was on it was surely to kill us if it became airborne. I kept repeating to myself, “I have stayed in worse, it’s not that bad,” reminding myself that I once spent several days in a cockroach infested, blood stained sheet bed with a shared bathroom with several unhygienic stranger males in Nepal, so I could manage this…
Kevin said, “we could just stay one night.” I faked a smile and nodded my head… As we slowly started to unpack our bags, it became very evident that neither of us wanted to stay in this dump. We discussed with regret that if we left, we would be going against the rules of the coin toss! We took one last quick look at our surroundings and said, “fuck it!” Kevin told the woman we were leaving and when she asked why, he blatantly said, “there are used band aids in the shower, the room has clearly not been cleaned and there is mold everywhere, it’s just too dirty!” Kevin has become this extremely assertive guy lately and I’m digging it!
We left the room hysterically laughing at just how bad the room was and how we we’re both trying to downplay how truly disgusted we were. We almost ran to the other hotel, pleading with the hotel staff, “we’ll take it!” We were more than happy to spend the original price of $25 a night after seeing the last place however the staff said, if you stay more than one night I will give it to you for $20 a night. That was already our plan so we were more than delighted with the new price and made our recent experience just that much more funny… we were about to stay in that last room, and risk dieing of some foreign fungus, all for just $5 difference. After a bit of a rough morning and walking around with our packs in the scorching sun, we must have seemed delusional, unable to stop laughing as we were shown our new room. It was clean!! So freaking clean!!
As we sat next to our luxurious pool, drinking our ice cold Bintang, we did feel a little saddened for betraying the coin toss. However, we agreed that without that coin toss we would not be exactly where we are now, realizing just how bad it could have been. The coin also saved us $5 on the second hotel and that $5 will allow us to keep enjoying our travels a little bit longer… Not to mention, we will live a little bit longer for not having to stay in that disgusting room.
It’s been a relaxing and fun couple of days here. We rented a scooter and checked out all the amazing and world famous beaches. We hiked up and down cliff edges for the perfect sunset and enjoy fruit and toast for every sunrise. We start every morning with yoga and end everyday jumping into our beautiful pool. In two days we leave Bali and fly to Yogyakarta to explore Java. I can’t wait to keep laughing about all the silly situations we get ourselves in.
Over and out my friends…