So I got out of Saigon on the 29th, 4 connections later and I'm in Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia. I had planned on staying in Saigon for a surgery to repair my ruptured eardrum and a layup of 3 weeks. After taking a tour of the local hospitals, I decided that I would rather do the procedure myself with some bactine and some sharp q-tips than lay in one of those dirty places for any length of time. There is really not much to do in Saigon so I figured, where else would I like to spend the next month? It was another grand to change my flight in any way so I dropped the 400 bucks and now here I am. There I was, I mean. On the 29th I was in the Denpasar airport, standing on the tarmack outside of the plane 'cause in these countries you are actually standing on the runway outside of a 747 while another takes off 500 feet from you. My flight landed at 1:30 am so I ran with the crowd up to the ticketing platform and just as I spotted the money changing office, they turned out the light and walked out the door. Shit! The town of Kuta Beach is about 20 minutes on the back of a motorbike and without the local currency, the Rupiah, you will get ripped using dollars and the walk into town is sketchy, dark, and looong. I only had two one-hundred dollar bills in my back pocket that I was meaning to change over to Rupiah so I found a dark corner and tore my backpack apart for some smaller bills. Stuffed into some shorts at the bottom of my bag were three one dollar bills! Stoked. I got all my crap stuffed back into backpack and then out to the throng of taxi and motorbike drivers, calling out to everyone who looks foreign. I had to get there in three dollars and had no idea how much to get to Kuta from the airport. The prices change at 1:30 am since the only other option is walking an hour and a half into town so I was getting hit with 50k, 80k, and even 100k Rupiah (one u.s. dollar is equivalent to 9800 rupiah). I pulled one motorbike driver to the side and we did a bit of negotiation. I offered three u.s., he feigned indifference, we parted, he countered, I snubbed, he waved the helmet, I showed the money, he accepted, I hopped on and we were off. Holy crap. There was still lots of traffic on the road, even at that late hour and this guy was a madman. Pulling across the center line to pass, directly into the path of whatever was coming up. Even if we didn't need to pass, he passed. I almost wished I had passed. We finally made it into Kuta and geez, it's so completely built up, it's hard to take it all in. There's a Hard Rock Cafe on the main road along Kuta Beach and Poppies II and Legian, two of the main streets in Kuta are now built out to 110 percent. Shops, Starbucks, McDonalds and in between, the local Indonesians trying to make a buck off of noodles, hats, belts, surfboards, wooden dongs, bumper stickers and whatever else they think the tourist may buy on their walk to and from the beach. So I told the driver to take me to the cheapest hotel in town. He dropped my right at the entrance to town and pointed and drove off. He wasn't pointing at a hotel, he was pointing at nothing so he could leave me wherever and get back for another fare. Dick! I started walking. First hotel. Full. Second hotel. Full. 15th hotel. Full. Damn. I was totally lost, totally tired and sick of walking. All the while, guys are standing along the streets offering rides, weed, etc. I didn't know who knew what so I just kept walking. Another 10 full hotels and I think I hit every one. No dice. Walking back down Legian at 3 am, a guy hit me up and said he knew of a hotel cheap and with a vacancy. I was out of $ and told him but he said pay later so I hopped on the back and off we went. The first place he stopped was the first place I was told no vacancy. Then he went to another I had already gone to. And another. "Dude", I said, "I already went to all these places. " So we start riding and after a few more lefts and rights, he pulls into the darkest alley I have seen yet. He's doing 15 mph down this alley and I say shine and slip off the back and onto my ass. He stops, looks back, laughs at me and points to the end of the alley. He pulls to the end of the alley and out of sight and a light comes on. I see cars and a sign with rates on it so I get off of my ass and pull a carol-anne. I go towards the light. The driver is in negotiation with the hotel owner for a 10 dollar room. I tell him I'll take it and off the motorbike driver splits. I get my key and go into my room. No a.c., no sheets, no sink or hot water. Cool. No mosquito repellent either so not cool. They were unmerciful but I wrapped myself in my towel and didn't wake up till 10 the next day. Who is sitting outside my room? None other than my motorbike driver from the night before. Creepy but he has a motorbike and I need to change money and get my bearings. I get up, clean up the best I can and hitch a ride with him to change a hundred. I pay him a few bucks for the night before and a few for the day and we're off. We finish riding around midday and I tell him thanks and I'll see him another time. He wants to schedule another ride around Kuta but I'm thru with that. I want to go to the beach. I tell him no a few times and he splits. Off to the beach. There are waves and there is beer and there is sun. Ok. Things are getting better. My first wave bodysurfing and pop. My eardrum lets water into my ear canal, I get completely disoriented and have a hell of a time getting back to the beach. I almost have to ask for help to lead me back up to the sand. As for the photos, one is of what you need to get here, one is of a full sized panhead carved out of wood and hanging in a bar somewhere here and another is of the first hotel I stayed at. It was primitive as hell.