Monday, July 26, 2010

The Hopeless Bastards

A couple weeks ago I stopped into a bar here in Sanur called The Arena. It's one of these nice looking places smack-dab on the Bypass and generally avoided by people who know how the price ranges work in our little tourist village. In short, bars like this one cater to the bule--the white man--summoning him in with bright lights, striped awnings, soft, dark wood within, of floor and bar, tables and chairs. And, oh yeah, air conditioning day and night.

Nonetheless, I went in, just wondering. I did not have money for food--not at their price anyway--but I did salivate for a time over the menu, with its offerings of bacon and cheese sandwiches, chicken cordon bleu, weinerschnitzel with mashed potatoes, beef steak (of all things), and a plethora of other culinary delights not tasted nor even ogled in six long months.

Having salivated by and by to exhaustion of the source, which naturally left me with a dry mouth, I ordered a beer.

Then it was that I met Adam, an Australian, and Ari, his beautiful Balinese wife. They were eating actual food, from the actual menu. I was envious, and I suppose I wanted to move my nose just a bit closer to their plates. So I struck up a conversation.

Adam, as I soon discovered, is the editor in chief of a slick Western quality magazine called Bali Style. I made haste to tell him that I am a writer and editor myself (yeah right), and straightaway offered by services. And it just so happened that he needed some help.

I knew there had been a good reason for coming here. I guess I just felt it in my bones. Plus I was thirsty.

Well, I learned thereafter that Wednesday night at The Arena is trivia night. You make a team, you get two pages of obscure questions, and then study these for the next hour or so, in between beers, until the master of ceremonies calls in the answers.

We decided to enter the competition. Why not? At the top of our questionnaire Adam wrote in a name for our team. The Hopeless Bastards.

Now the obscurity of these questions was quite uncommon, even for obscurity. We had not a clue. And so we guessed.

And we won. We won first place. The prize was a large pitcher of Margaritas.

The following Wednesday found us unable to repeat our inexplicable victory, however we did win third prize, which was two pitchers of beer, and so we were happy enough.

Now Wednesday approaches once again, and once again I will give my opponent (general knowledge, that is) my best shot. Sadly Adam will not be present, having had to return to Australia for a time, and so I am left simply to hope that at least one additional hopeless bastard will show up.

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