In a sudden turn of events I found myself waiting again. In the same ridiculous waiting room from hell, with no phone, no book and only official notifications around to read. I have read them all, yesterday. So I stared at the soulless walls and the soulless service representatives. Waiting … hoping. Tell you what, it worked! At least we hope it did – the application is launched, payed for and officially received, including our passports. As far as we can tell, everything was filled out correctly and we meet the criteria of permanent residency for New Zealand. Now all we need is confirmation from the embassy and our passports back in Java with the right sticker in it.
Earlier this day we caught up with Santosh when he was having breakfast thinking this would be our time to say goodbye for good. It was again great to meet up with him – only improved by the kick ass morning smoothies we got shouted. We collected more tips for our continued journey , including on for potentially after visa hell.
So released from the clutches of bureaucracy, we set out to have a look at Pandawa Beach. And what a bizarre experience it was. The beach at the southern end of the southern peninsula has only very recently been developed. Or say, they have started development. The infrastructure is ready, but the massive resorts are currently only outlines of leveled dirt behind the beach. A road has been cut into the cliff down to the beach, and while they were at it, enormous niches with statues depicting characters from the Mahabharata were set up along it. Down at the beach is an enormous car park and a row of maybe 50 warungs along the promenade. That is it.
That is probably also the reason, why the beach is currently mostly visited by Indonesian domestic tourists (One family we talked to was on a grueling 4 day trip from Jakarta). They were carted here by the busload. The handful of bule (foreigners) looked appropriately out of place.
Everything is sorted out at the beach, for a small fee. Deckchair and umbrella? 30k rupiah! Drink? Whatever you want! Boat hire, sure! Need to pee? No problem, 2000 rupiah! We ended up staying for an hours or so. Enough to have a swim. The mood was spoiled a bit when a bunch of university students from Java started filming us – for bragging rights I assume.
After the beach, we headed west along the coast to find a place, but nothing really got us hooked. Plus Nina was craving some city life. So at 5 pm, we found ourselves back in Sanur. One thing has changed: Since it was so touristy here, we were able to book a room online for a very good price, $23 NZ. The Abian Boga Guest House even had a pool! The water was cool, to boot!
We were even happier when we found a laundry nearby that would do our washing over night. It was sourly needed. With all things set, we texted Santosh one more time. He had to work next morning, but in the end we arranged for one more dinner. He brought his lovely friend Lisa. We discussed where to go and it turned out that our hotel had a good restaurant as well.
We sat down to great food and had more great conversation. The biggest surprise came when Lisa asked if there would be Balinese dancing that night, and the answer was yes! So completely unexpectedly, we got to see our first two dances before dinner. Balinese dancing really is something special – hard to describe but fascinating to watch.
Thank you to Santosh and Lisa for the lovely evening!