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April 8, 2004

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Surfing continues to dominate our beach time, although the waves toss us more than we ride them. We haven't made it out of Kuta. We wake up, surf the day away, eat coconut curry, then shop for pirated DVDs, CDs, and knick-knacks along the innumerable stalls that crowd the alleyways. Garlands adorn every doorstep, in the Hindu fashion, and a few hotels showcase Indian architecture, which adds small charm to a hectic sprawl of low rent nightclubs, honking mopeds, sputtering traffic, noisy construction, relentless hawkers. Unfortunately, an even seedier side exists to Kuta. Streets named Poppys 1 and Poppys 2 are a metaphor for a strong drug scene. Dealers hang out by money machines. One of them showed us a few bags of reefer and packets of cocaine. No thanks, we said, our surfing is bad enough already.
With low tourism numbers, it seems the Balinese take this opportunity to rebuild Kuta. Ditch digger gangs shovel through the middle of town, making it harder to avoid the touts.