Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Bali Hotel Room - $30 Toilet (non) Humor

I thought I'd share just what $30/night will get you in Bali in the off season. Actually I was between seasons with the winter season ending and schoolies just around the corner. 'Schoolies' is when Australian kids graduate from high school and go off on some exotic, semi-adult adventure similar to our own Spring Break, but only they only usually go once. If they return the next year or so, they are known as 'twolies.' Of course, some never learn or want to relive their glorious past high school (being unable to achieve greatness in adult life) and return much later. They're referred to a 'droolies.' Guess what class I'm mistaken(?) for.

Anyway, as mentioned in the previous post, not all is as it seems in Bali. The outside of the hotel in indistinguishable from the shops on either side. Only a small sign above the entrance indicates a "garden" hotel. But once you pass reception, you're greeted with the lush gardens shown earlier with a Asian style bright red bridge over the koi pond and a view of the swimming pool that is the only thing that saved me from the savage heat and humidity (along with cold Bin Tangs). You think you've reached an oasis, that is, until you enter the room.

It wasn't too bad really. As you see from the last picture, it has a refrigerator, air conditioning (just above the door way, not pictured), a nice big wardrobe, desk, mirror and a TV that got one channel although I know there must be more stations. But is was the toilet that impressed me. It was outside!

You had to go through the back door to enter an enclosed area with a high rock wall where the opening above was covered in the best, prison-issue chain link fencing that had been bent back earlier by someone who most likely wasn't supposed to be in the room. The back door/bathroom door could be locked from the room side to delay unauthorized entry.

Half the bathroom floor was covered in tiles surrounding the tub however when I took a shower, water spilled out over the tub, under the shower curtain and pooled up in the middle of the tiled area where the drying rack is located. The rest of the floor was dirt up against the wall and it wasn't until I'd been there a few days that I realized the dirt was there for a cover the septic tank! I started looking at the piping coming out of the dirt and sure enough, that's a modern septic tank set up.

Also, the air conditioning unit is located there allowing the water that condenses off the unit to conveniently drain into the dirt, forming a deep hole near the bathroom sink. I just had to take a picture of that as well. Not only do you get the pleasure of listening to the A/C unit working at full capacity anytime you visit the facility, you get to experience the heat it throws off which is kept in the small, enclosed space known as the outdoor toilet.

I shouldn't complain about the toilet as it was modern and worked, unlike quite a few I came across during my trip. One toilet at a shopping center didn't even have the fixture, just a hole in the tiled floor where something used to be. No running water either, just a bucket with a scoop which previous users doused the entire floor after they had finished. Yep, that's living in the third world.

I really liked Bali and hope I can return. It's just that I find it funny how most of the rest of the world doesn't take as much care as we do when it comes to a basic necessity. I don't mind really, it just gives me a good laugh and hope it does you, too. That's the reason I took a picture of myself in the mirror. Naturally Balinese are much shorter than we are and that was simply a reflection of how quite a few things are built. I really nailed the top of my head exiting another toilet at a restaurant because of the incredibly low doorway. Ouch!

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