Ok! Ok! Duly admitted that we were not in the country when GE 11 was held. Come on! Not entirely our fault. We booked our stay for a week via some time-sharing thingy. There was this MATTA fair. We braved ourselves through hours traffic jam and finally got ourselves into the MidValley mall.. (of course after headache looking for a slot to park the car).
We got the cheap air tickets BUT........... not the earlier date we desired on the return flight. Not available they said. Considering the trouble we went through, oblivious (at that instant) of the Hari Mengundi, we went ahead to buy the tickets.
When we were to extend the stay of the already booked apartment, only did we realise that we would be missing the Pilihan Raya Umum ke-11 !!!
The first thing we did the next day was to call up MAS. Gosh!!! The tickets as per our desired return date were available and they told us to go to MAS counter at KL SENTRAL to adjust the return flight. Now who was the bloke who said the return tickets weren't available on that date?!
Cutting the story short. MAS counter clarified that the tickets were "MATTA coded" (my word, hope you get what it means) therefore please pay RM.. (if not mistaken RM600?) for each ticket if we like to change the return date. Wow! Not very long after .... off we flew to Ngurah Rai Denpasar Airport, yet for another surprise.
We did not actually miss PRU campaign mood since, around that time, Indonesia was also having their PEMILU Presiden.
The next surprise was..
...our holiday was right smacked into the HARI NYEPI celebration. Click it and read for yourself what NYEPI is... We were told not to venture out from our apartment area on NYEPI day.. whole day.. or we could be arrested by the Cultural enforcement police. But as foreign visitors we could go to the swimming pool within the compound. You see, all are expected to remain in the house with no light at all .. through out the day and night.. ok.. small candle light was excusable we guess.. the day before, there were guys fixing/sticking all the windows of our rented apartment with papers so that no light could go through.. One is expected to observe silence in the house in total darkness, all through out the NYEPI day..
Enough with that, so what the heck is this "Supek Gege" thing??!!
ha! ha! the foreigners/tourists at the place we stayed gathered among ourselves at the cafe, sharing holiday tips while getting to know each other. One of the tip was, this "Supek Gege" tip, the tip when you shop around pekan KUTA. If you were a hard-bargainer, when finally you bought something at Pekan Kuta, they will give you plain black color plastic bags to put your things. If you are a moderate bargainer, then you will get plastic bags with some pattern, not plain. If you are "easy" meaning you hardly bargain, just pay the named price, you will get light coloured (pinky red? or yellow? or white/transparent?) plastic bag to carry your thing. That way, the traders would have some "enlightenment" when first opening their price to you i.e. by looking at the plastic bags you carry. Of course the first trader you visit will not like to be the first!
We can't remember exactly the colour code of the plastic bag and we are also not sure whether they are still practising this "trick" today. It was quite some years ago.
Oh yes.. the GE 11 was in the year 2003? And we came back a day after the election day... and we never went to any MATTA fair since then... till to-date!
One more thing....
"Supek Gege" is actually loghat Klate.. "supek" means plastic bag and "gege" means noisy. Hold and try to shake your pasar malam's plastic bag a bit. Sound a little bit "gege", isn't it?