The other evening, a great fat rat scurried across the floor of the bar. As it casually circumnavigated it’s way around beneath the chairs and tables, nobody batted an eyelid or seemed in the least bit bothered. The trouble was, I was. Rats are the only animals that really petrify me. Mice, Tarantulas, Man eating Tigers, Lions and poisonous snakes don’t scare me in the least, but rats! …..Rats give me the absolute heebie jeebies. The Irishman sensing my anxiety and keen to avoid a fit of histrionics from his wife, swiftly ordered another drink so as to anesthetize my shock and to be fair it worked because after 20 minutes or so I’d totally forgotten about Rattus norvegicus brushing past our table with his sharp, yellow teeth and hideous scaly tail, and had instead, turned my thoughts to what we might have for dinner.
We left the bar and walked out into the night along the bustling main street of Sanur. There were so many choices of places to eat, that it was impossible to make a snap decision so we decided to keep walking as there no rush, and it was a beautiful sultry Balinese evening. After meandering long enough, we eventually stopped outside a restaurant and had just started to look at the menu out on the roadside, when there was a power cut. Suddenly, every electric light in Sanur went out and the entire village was plunged into darkness and silence. Only the candles left twinkling on the tables in the restaurants and bars gave any hint of life, and a peaceful hush descended everywhere as the music stopped playing, and the only sound that could be heard was a lone chanteuse somewhere in the far distance.
Being as it was now pitch dark, and impossible to see anything, fate seemed to have had played its hand in deciding the restaurant for us that evening so we gingerly made our way up into ‘Caesar’s’ tripping up the steps and bashing into chairs and tables blindly as we tried to follow the waitress through the darkness to a table.
A little bruised and battered, but now comfortably seated, our eyes began to adjust to night vision mode. Rather worryingly, having now got to the safety of a table, I immediately picked up a terribly acrid and strong smell of pee. The eye- watering sort that one encounters when visiting the squat and drop toilets at busy French motorway service stations in the height of summer. Where this vile smell was emanating from was hard to tell but it was seriously disgusting and unfortunately we were directly down wind from it. In the gloaming, I could just make out the silhouettes of a few fellow diners but as they didn’t seem to be in the least bit fussed I willed the putrid smell to go away and ordered some beer.
Caesar’s is certainly not the place to go to if you hate being rushed. Within 5 minutes of our arrival, 3 different waitresses came to our table and asked us if we were ready to order food. The Irishman hates being hassled and was about to have a major paddy and was threatening to leave, but as it was still very dark and my nose was slowly beginning to get acclimatized to the strong smell of urine, I begged him to stay as this time I was the one who didn’t want my spouse creating a scene. We quickly ordered what turned out to be not very good food and just as we were finishing our meal the lights came on. It then became apparent where the mal odour was coming from. Not far from where we were sitting, there was a large table covered in fish, neatly arranged on a bed of packed ice. Because it was quite late, the kitchen staff where starting to pack it away into boxes presumably to use the following day. As they lifted the fish up off the ice, the stench was unbelievable. Gagging behind our napkins, we quickly paid the bill and left. The only redeeming feature of Caesar’s was the fact that they gave us a free lift home.
The following morning whilst out shopping, a young woman handed me a leaflet in the street. Normally I would have tossed it into the nearest bin or put it into my handbag to use later as a wrap to stick some ancient, well masticated Nicorette into, but I happened to notice that it was advertising treatments at a local beauty salon.
My two major concerns on the vanity front after moving to Jakarta were A) finding somewhere to get my highlights done and B) finding somewhere to get my eyebrows waxed. I’ve succeeded on finding a hair salon that doesn’t make my hair go bright yellow, or worse still green, but I’ve yet to find anywhere in the whole of Jakarta that does eyebrow waxing. It seems you can get just about everything else waxed but eyebrows alas, seemed to have been overlooked.
Reading down the list of Angels Spa and Beauty Salon I was very intrigued and a little excited to see something called Ratus Vagina. Clearly this particular treatment at Rp 80,000 (£6.00 or $12) has nothing to do with eyebrows but I made a mental note to Google it as soon as we got back to Jakarta.
And here it is. I don’t suggest you read this whilst you are eating your cornflakes, and I will leave you to make up your own minds up about it though of course I would be delighted for any comments and also to hear from anyone who’s been brave enough to try out Ratus Vagina first hand. For myself, I think I’m just going to stick with getting my hair bleached and my eyebrows waxed if you don’t mind awfully.
31 Mar 2010 – The vagina is then subjected to ratus or fogging, which is said to have a number of benefits, such as reducing itchiness caused by a yeast …