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  • Tara B. Vasi

Day 9/48: Gili T to Canggu. Bali Belly continues, Taxi Driver Mafia, pretty much the Worst day ever.

Updated: Nov 23, 2019


I wake up feeling ill, dehydrated, you know the drill. I don’t exactly know what I should do. Part of me wants to never leave the bed, the other part of me wants to run as far away from this island as I can. (Not that I blame the island, but, I blame the island)

I decide I should get on the ferry and go back to Bali as scheduled. I pack up my stuff and then leave to return my bike. I get back to the hotel and meet with the group and talk with Fahar who tells me the ferry is full and I cannot go with the group. Damn, I jusT returned my bike. Whatever. The next ferry is at 3pm, so I buy a ticket to that one. The ticket includes a shuttle to your hotel in Bali. I tell them when I book that I am going to Canggu.

I can’t get enough of the Kayu Cafe and I go there to kill time. Its so topical and warm outside, after all I am on a beautiful island, but I can’t muster the will to fully take advantage.

I sit inside in the AC and still sweat. I write and people watch and make multiple trips to the bathroom. I order a fresh coconut water to replenish my electrolights. I scrape out the meat of the coconut with the metal straw and a spoon.



There are two girls sitting across from me at another table and one girl is crying and the other girl is filming her with an Iphone. I hear the girl crying say, “But I didnt even get a chance to say goodbye.” At first, I am thinking, how sad, poor sweet child, but why the fuck is your friend filming you and not comforting you. The tears are real, but with her friend recording her it seems more like she’s putting on a show to share on social media. After a few minutes of talking about some boy, the girl hands her back her phone. She wipes away her tears and smiles, and watches the video and lights up. WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON IN THIS WORLD!

I search for a place to stay in Canggu. I have 4 days until I head to Sri Lanka, I message my friend and ask for recommendations. We chat back and forth and overshare about my food poisoning. She says food poisoning is pretty much the right of passage in Bali.

I book a place on Airbnb by Echo Beach just north of Canggu. Its $15 a night and right by the water.

2pm rolls around and I have to check in to the ferry dock. He says the boat will be there at 2:30pm. The boat is not there at 2:30pm. The boat barrels in around 3:20pm. At least it shows up.

Lets add sea sick on top of Bali Belly. I close my eyes and fall asleep some of the ride.

We get to Padang and get off the boat and its utter chaos. Three ferries unloaded at the same time. There are vans for each of the multiple destinations. I am holding my card that says Canggu waiting for guidance. I have to go to the bathroom so bad, but there is no toilet to use, and they are literally pushing us to get into the vans. There are other drivers around trying to get us to go with them even though our ride is included. I see the driver of our van ask some of the passengers for more money. I don’t understand but I don’t think anything of it.

We are all sitting in the hot van now and all the drivers are outside smoking cigarettes and laughing. A guy in the van behind me bangs on the window to get the drivers attention and yells, Let’s go. The driver doesn’t like that and points to the guy and tells him to GET OUT over and over and over again. The other drivers go to his aid and yell for the guy to get out. Its a big scene. The passenger just says, “ Come on, man, we are ready to go.” The driver eventually gets in and starts driving. It is awkward as fuck for about an hour and even more awkward when someone asks him to stop for the bathroom and the driver says no. My stomach, like an active volcano ready to erupt at any moment.

A few of the passengers are German and are having a screaming conversation sitting right next to each other. The AC doesn’t work. Im feeling sick to my stomach. Its at this point that I consider this to be the worst day that I have had on my trip so far.

I follow the driver using my maps app. We are still 10 or so miles from Canggu center and about 15 miles from my hotel when the driver pulls over and makes us get out. We are all like WTF, not only are we not even in Canggu but you are supposed to drop us off at our hotels.

The passenger that already had beef with the driver turned LIVID and started SCREAMING at the driver in the street, telling him to take us to Canggu. He tried to get us all to stay in the van. All I’m thinking is, I’m not getting back in that van, bro. I’m getting the hell out of here.

I was 100% certain they were going to get physical, but they didnt. I was pissed too, but homeboy took it too far. You got screwed. Get over it. His girlfriend was just shaking her head at the situation. Run for the hills, girl, run for the hills…

One of the non aggressive passengers told me that there is a taxi guy mafia in Bali, so if the driver called his boys for help they would come down to this random ass wine shop we were dropped off at and beat the shit out of us all. That didnt sound like fun. Plus, my shit didnt need any more encouragement.

I share a GRAB with one of the non aggressive passengers to the area around my hostel. It takes about 20 minutes and costs around 100,000 rupiah. I finally find my hostel and check in. The “host” a 15 year old boy that doesn’t speak English, shows me to my room. It is absolutely the most disgusting thing I have ever seen.

The smell alone is just rancid. Thick, yet, stale air that smelled like a nursing home. There are stains on the bed and bugs taking control of the shower. Towels are extra. I am pretty sure there are better living conditions in jail.

I ask the guy to please change the sheets. He goes to get new sheets and comes back, hands them to me and leaves. Wow.

What is going on today!?! Is Canggu cursed? haha

I go to three stores looking for tampons and all they have are pads. That just tipped me over the edge and tears start to form in the corner of my eyes.

I haven’t eaten all day and need to do something about that even if it destroys my insides even more. Nothing could be more painful than the day thus far.

There’s a greek restaurant right next door to the hostel and I sit and miserably dip pita into delicious hummus.

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