Yesterday, we arrived in Denpasar (Bali’s major city) just after lunch. Our hotel picked us up at the airport and within half an hour, we were checked in and in the pool. We chose to stay in Jimbaran because it was close to the beach. Although Jimbaran was once a small fishing village, today it is a beach resort town with grand hotels and boutique villas.

Surprisingly, some of that old fishing village charm still exists.

The old fish market at the north end of the beach is still there and as bustling as ever. Since we were jet lagged and couldn’t sleep anyway, we decided to go out and take a walk at 5:30 a.m. Walking through the center of town, we came across a bustling local market in full swing even before 6 a.m.

We headed for the beach and reached the fish market in about 30 minutes. What we found was an interesting mix of local fishermen with their daily catch next to merchants with lobsters, marlin and exotic seafood of all kinds flown in for all the fancy hotel restaurants on Bali. In the middle of all this craziness was an old woman with a cart selling something that looked greasy and tasty.

 

Street food. Despite all the usual reservations Americans have against eating street food in foreign places, I’ve personally never had any problems. Maybe it’s just my iron stomach, but street food has never made me sick (on the other hand, I’ve survived plenty of restaurant food poisoning in my life). So we pointed; she smiled and promptly bagged us a big bag of fried fritters.

How much? Fifty cents. That’s Indonesian prices for you.

We immediately snarfed down two of these moist tasty-things-without-a-name, always making sure to also take a nibble of the supplied fiery peppers with each bite. Inside one of these little critters, we found some bananas. Inside another one was bean sprouts and other veggies. Later on, we asked our waiter back at the hotel what these fritters were called. He told us that the banana one was called godoh and the veggie fritter was called bakwan.

To be continued…