Years ago I was living in Bali in a house I had built down near Kuta beach. Even with running a pub I seemed to have lots of time on my hands. Sitting on the beach watching the sellers and massage ladies, I realised that there was a market to sell some sort of tourist item. The waves were forming offshore and coming in unbroken.
It reminded me of earlier days handboarding at Queenscliff Beach on Sydney’s North Shore.
I thought I could make some hand-boards and get some of the staff to sell them on the beach. My son Ben and I could be out in the surf while the staff walked along the beach selling them. So I went back to the house and drew a design then it was up to Ubud to the carvers to cut out the shape. The shape was easy but then I hit a snag; the artists up in the hills wanted too much to paint the design. So I went to the house staff and asked them to help paint a design on the boards.
“Mr Chaos, we are only housekeepers and gardeners not artists, we can’t paint.”
Little Person came up with a solution. “Why don’t you draw the outline and give them all a different colour so they feel they are only filling in.”
So LP got them to sit at a table and showed them what to do. Soon there were shrills of laughter and glee. “Look I’m an artist I should go up to Ubud and paint!”
We printed on Souvenir of Bali, Hand Carved and Hand Painted.
The only webbing I could find that would take the salt water was army webbing; and did that take some explaining when I went to buy it. They thought I was starting a militia.
The big day arrived and with half a dozen staff we hit the beach. Ben and I headed out into a huge break so the staff could point us out to potential buyers. We could see whenever we came near the beach that handboard sales were doing well.
“Look out Dad, here’s the mother of all waves! Must be the seventh.”
A giant wall of water was bearing down on us.
“You catch it Ben. I think I’ll pass.”
“Scaredy cat! Come on it’s the wave of the day.”
Looking into shore I could see lots of people standing and pointing. Should be good for sales, I thought, if I catch this with everyone watching.
“OK, let’s go for it.”
I kicked out with my flippers and suddenly found my self airborne. I was rocketing across the water ahead of the mountain when suddenly I was up on the top heading down. I could see the sandy bottom coming up fast. I went sideways along the wave and then into a barrel. Crash! The wave fell on me pinning me to the bottom. When I struggled to the surface I came face to face with Ben.
“Gee Dad! What a buzz. Are you OK?”
“No probs! Let’s go and see how sales went.” We were met by a very unhappy staff.
“What’s the matter?”
“We got into trouble as we didn’t have a permit from the village to sell on the beach.”
“No worries. I’ll sort it. Come up to the house and get something to eat. It looks like you have sold most of the first batch.” While we were eating our fish the village head came to visit me and I arranged to be able to sell on the beach … for a small fee!
Ikan Bumbu Bali
4 White fish fillets coated with flour
2 Cloves of garlic
3 tbs Tomato puree
2 Red peppers sliced thinly
1 tbs Kecap Manis
3 tbs Oil
Flour to coat fish
Oil for fryer
2 Lime leaves
2 Bay leaves
1 cm Galangal grated
1 cm Ginger root grated
½ tsp Trassi
2 tsp Sugar
1 stalk Lemongrass
Deep fry fish until golden brown. Set aside. Chop onions and garlic. Heat oil in wok then add peppers, onions and garlic and stirfry for 4 mins. Add all the bumbus spices to wok and fry for a further 2 mins. Add remaining ingredients and the fish and simmer for 10 mins. Serve on a bed of white rice.