After all the scrambling to the Kota Kinabalu airport to catch my early evening flight to Bali, I arrived in time. Since it took over two hours, by the time I landed in Indonesia, it was already late evening. By the time I reached my hostel, it was almost midnight. I was only lucky that somebody else was still awake and got to open the door for me.
In the wee hours before dawn, that same person who was kind enough to open the door was visited by a rat while she was sleeping. The rat’s weight on top of her chest woke her up and, as a result, woke all the rest of us. After this incident, I could not go back to sleep so I decided to get up and see the first (and so far only) sunrise for my trip.
I already had a problem with money. Considering how I overshot my budget in Malaysia, I was not keen on exploring Bali except on a tight budget. Moreover, I had to keep in mind that I would be going to Yogyakarta. I had to really strangle every single bit of money that I’ve got in my pocket – USD, MYR, PHP – in order to make it there. In the spirit of minimizing my expenses, I decided to trek over 10km from my hostel to the terminal where buses go from Denpasar (Bali) to Yogyakarta.
The first five kilometers was easy. I walked an easy pace, taking photos of things I found interesting, but generally constantly in motion. The area around my hostel was a residential area with loads of rice paddies, but as I continued walking, the placid scenery was replaced by crowded concrete blocks. Passing the six kilometers, I decided to take a lunch break. Incidentally, it would be my first meal since the snack I took at the beach in Kota Kinabalu yesterday.
I spoke with some of the locals who were very helpful. They told me about the GoJek app that would save my budget from becoming completely depleted. It was a great way to save money as instead of the IDR 150k++ that the ojek drivers were charging me, I could move within the island at IDR 20k+ and that was a GREAT relief! Unfortunately, the previous damage was done, and I had to make the best of everything.
I was still hoping that the initial payment of a project contract back home would push through within the week. As Friday evening came crawling into Bali, there was still no new infusion of cash into my bank account.
Thinking very carefully about my budget, if I exchanged all my last remaining money, I would have enough for my motorbike trip to the terminal, long distance bus fare, and the bus fare going to the university. I arranged a driver to pick me up to take me to the terminal the next morning. The guy did not show up so I used the GoJek app to schedule another trip for myself. He was kind enough to take me to a money changer with an EVEN BETTER rate than what I got last night! HALLELUJAH! Extra money! Yes, yes, YES!
I caught the train, got enough money for another meal. Fortunately, the bus fare also included a dinner (the food was not inspirational, but beggars can’t be choosy) and I was finally able to get two meals in one day. By the time I wake up in the morning, I should be in Yogyakarta.
Also, I had about IDR 40,000 left to spare 🙂