The two things I’ll remember the most from last weekend’s trip to Kuta Beach in Bali are the sunshower-like spray from the breaking waves, and Jimmy’s Bar.
Years ago, when I used to surf regularly, I’d find myself in the ocean not long after daybreak. This is generally when the wind is gentler, blowing offshore (off the shore, towards the sea), and the water is as smooth as glass. As you float over less-perfect waves they break with a crackle sound behind you. Seconds later, you’re showered with a brief salty rain.
This is what I experienced, again, in Bali. It reminded me of when my brother and I (and my dog) would drive for an hour and a half to reach the west coast, before the sun came up, in the hope of finding some surf. Interestingly, I can’t remember any of the waves we rode; only the time waiting in between waves. The cool morning air. The calm. It’s unforgettable.
On Kuta Beach, right in front of the giant turtle, is Jimmy’s Bar. Run by a few enterprising locals, Jimmy’s Bar is made up of a small section of beach, two large Eskis, some shade, chairs, and happiness.
Bintang beer costs 15000 Rupiah (~AU$1.75), and comes with a custom Jimmy’s Bar (“the Aussie Watering Hole”) stubby holder and a wide-arse smile. The plastic crate you’re given serves primarily as a foot rest as well as a clever way to store you empties for tallying up at the end of your drinking session. It’s really a clever system. For me, it was the straw that broke the camel’s back; the camel’s back being my reluctance to let go, to relax, and to enjoy the moment. It forced a smile on my face, which evidently is an essential part of relaxation.
Those are my fondest memories of my first trip to Bali. Both were experiences, lessons even, in enjoying the moment and forgetting all else for a little while — something I now realise I don’t do all that often.