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It had become shockingly apparent how much of my life I have wasted caring about whether my poop plops. I created quite the scene posting about this on instagram and facebook and it would appear my friends feel very passionate about the subject.
“That is NOT what toilet paper is used for!”
“Wait you put toilet paper in ...first!?!”
Like, if you know, you know. And if you don’t know, then you really don’t know and it’s safe to say you quite simply... Do. Not. Get. It.
Alright I’ll explain for those confused faces in the back (no one’s even asking but whatever here I go) and for those who want to skip right ahead to the non poop related stuff you can click here. (That’s a lie. That link doesn’t work. I don’t stop talking about poop so you’ve got nowhere to run!)
I digress. Toilets in New Zealand and Australia aren’t like those in America or Canada. For starters our public toilets don’t have an enormous gap between the wall and the stall door (see below) and secondly the water is quite a way down the bottom of the bowl compared to the Americas, where their water is so high it would make a New Zealander break out in a cold sweat giving them anxiety traumatically remembering a time when they blocked a toilet and had to wait 4 very long seconds before it finally flushed on through.
No? Just me then?
Now, this extremely low water level can only mean one thing. Your poop must cover a lot of distance before finally reaching water. Now you can only imagine that this sort of gravity succumbing free fall would result in a heart attack inducing sound of…. “Plop!” If you’re still visualising this (oh my god please don’t tell me you’re visualising this) this is soul destroying sound is swiftly followed by a horrified facial expression, a cough and splutter, a frantic knocking of the toilet roll to make as much sound as possible and even more coughs and splutters that someone offers you a lemsip when you gracefully exit.
We literally ALL know this sound and I don’t believe anyone that says they don’t. (On further thought that could be people with really bad bowel movements and I am sorry for being so insensitive!)
With all of that being said, I do admire everyone out there who has lived their life blissfully unaware of their “plops” and I am pleased to inform you that after two nights in Bali I finally jumped on the bandwagon of the who-gives-a-shit (lol pun) train and let go of my fear of the “plop.”
Because quite frankly … Who the eff cares.
I had this spiritual awakening about my poops on my first night in Canggu.
You see, I, like many others, instantly fell in love with the island of Bali the moment I stepped off the plane and was looking forward to 4 nights in Canggu at the Calmtree Bungalows. I was greeted to a large lizard in the wardrobe within the first five minutes and 4 welcoming mosquito bites with the complimentary watermelon juice. Friendly hospitality from the locals we shall call it.
Now at the beautiful Calmtree Bungalows each guest has their own bungalow with a private balcony framing the public pool or, if you’re feeling extra bougie, you can even get your own private pool out the back. Each bungalow has an outdoor bathroom and I quickly became obsessed with peeing when it was raining. (It’s the small things in life, right!)
But the toilet was right there.
Like, right there.
One small wooden door away from the (gorgeous) king bed (with a memory foam mattress which meant if one person moved you lay blissfully unaware on your side of the bed!)
Jonas and I had been dating for a little while and as we don’t really have a conventional relationship (we travel full time and had been forced to live together almost immediately in tiny hotel rooms in Poland and Kuwait or spare rooms in New Zealand as soon as he arrived for summer) that doesn’t mean we’ve pooped in front of each other before. Or even let each other HEAR the PLOPS.
(Jonas would kill me for writing this haha. Luckily he doesn’t read my blog!)
So. Here I was. Pooping for the first time since arriving in Bali and forced to keep the toilet paper out of the bottom of the bowl to silence the plop. Because in Bali you don't just put your toilet paper in the toilet and flush it away to... well... wherever toilet stuff goes. As a first time Bali traveler this was news to me. You simply wipe and you simply put in the bin. Suddenly all of the signs in New Zealand showing visuals of toilet paper going in the toilet makes total sense now...
I was sitting on the toilet thinking, 'does one hope for Bali Belly to stop the plopping? Or just get on with their life and embrace the plops?'
I decided on the latter (because after getting Bali Belly, “BB” as we affectionately call it, a few weeks later I’ve decided that no one in their right mind would ever wish that wish upon themselves.)
My life feels better because of this decision.
So as I was saying (“yes Jess please stop talking about poop!”) … Rain!
We are here in the rainy season (end of January) and if you look at the weather forecast it would seem incredibly unappealing to be here. Buuut the temperature is nice and it only pours for a few hours every day and is half cloudy/half sunny for the rest. The perks of this is, of course, that there aren’t many tourists around. And I’d take a few hours of rain over tourists any day of the week. As much as I get annoyed at the super obvious tourists, I have had to admit that I am one, so as tourists, we are trying to minimise our waste here as best as we can. It only takes a quick stroll along the coast in Canggu to make you immediately realise just how bad the waste issue is. Jandals, food wrap and straws decorate the beach and while looking down at the sand from the balcony of a local eatery I realised that it wasn’t tiny beautiful shells scattered across the sand: it were thousands of microplastics. It’s heartbreaking, so we are trying our best. And I mean there’s nothing quite like the smug feeling when you whip out your stainless steel straw to sip your watermelon juice (or in Jonas’ case the fresh coconut water) and we noticed one other family at our accommodation doing the same too. We would say "no sedotan" when ordering and give each other the nod. It was like a non verbal agreeance over our mutual awesomeness of helping protect the turtles. We were in the same club.
Don’t worry, I hate us too.
The plastic and waste thing brought up a few feelings and ramblings while I was in Bali… but I’m going to save that for another post.
Unfortunately, Jonas had been super sick for most of our time in Canggu and could only muster up enough strength to do activities on day 3 and 4 so I spent most of my time in Canggu going to yoga, getting massages and manicures, getting work done on my laptop while sipping fresh juices poolside and musing over the plops of my poops.
We did manage to escape one day when the sun was shining to check out Batu Balong & Echo Beach though, but as my mosquito bite counter had gone from 5 to FORTY-FOUR (!!!!!!) over night I was feeling a tad cranky and feeling very sorry for myself.
A sick Jonas and an itchy Jess.
What a pair!
We also hired a scooter from the reception at our accom and visited the Tanah Lot Temple on our final morning. Wowee it was beautiful. Jonas was the real VIP of the day though, scootering us early in the morning in the Canggu rush hour to get to Tanah Lot as soon as it opened.
FYI… In 1489 Dang Hyang Nirartha traveled to Bali to spread Hinduism, only to be challenged by the chief of the village as soon as he got there. So he, Dang Hyana Nirartha, carried this giant rock he meditated on out to the sea and transformed his sashes into sea snakes to guard the base.
Voila! Tanah Lot Temple!
We worked out going so early in the morning would be when the tide was out, when less tour groups would be there and hopefully when we could observe people bringing their offerings to the temple. Our research paid off and we were in luck! So even though there was a lot of traffic on the road I definitely recommend going early because even by the time we left the amount of tourists there was gross. You almost miss the heat, too which is a super double plus in my opinion.
Here we are.
After 4 nights sleeping in the best bed in the history of beds, in a bungalow without any air conditioning, poops plopping on the daily in the outdoor bathroom, getting to know the other reusable straw family and eating my weight in nasi goreng, it’s time to end the Canggu chapter on my Bali experience.
Next up… Seminyak.
CANGGU DETAILS FOR MY LIST LOVING PALS
Jl. Pantai Batu Bolong 60
We stayed for 4 nights here and paid 1,500,000 each. That included food & drink for every meal (we had smoothie bowls and pancakes for breakfast, nasi goreng for lunch and dinner, and I became obsessed (read: extremely obsessed) with these little tempeh crackers with avocado and tomato on top that they had as snacks throughout the day)
Rented a scooter from The Calmtree Bungalows for a couple of days for 60,000
Taxi from Canggu to Seminyak: 75,000
Just for an example of pricings… Watermelon juices are around 30,000 here and I wrote in my notes that a bowl of fries on the first night at The Calmtree Bungalows was only $3.20NZ! (Must have really made an impression on me so I just had to write it down!)
Magnums at the local dairy were only 1,500 (~16 CENTS NEW ZEALAND!)
And because breakfast, lunch & dinner was included we only ate out once at Debbie Does Salad at Echo Beach. And it was yummy!
Restorative 60 minute class at The Practice Yoga Bali: 140,000
You must go to this open air yoga shala if you find yourself in Bali. It’s pure magic when the wind sweeps through the space and they have restorative every single day at 4pm. What a DREAM. I did have this weird moment in savasana thinking, “if I lived here and I only did restorative every day, what would I be restoring? I’d be constantly in a state of restoration? What am I? And old villa renovation project? Okay I get it now. This is why you need to do the classes you really don’t want to do in order to create some fire and finally restore yourself at 4pm at The Practice. I get it. Okay.” See. This is the sort of shit Bali brings out in you...
SPA The Gold Dust Spa 60 minute full body massage & manicure: 480,000
TANAH LOT TEMPLE
Entry free 60,000 (scooter parking an extra 3,000)
Telkonsel 135,000 for the month’s plan. I can’t remember exactly how much data we had, but it was a lot! And we bought it at a local convenience store.