** Update: now that I’ve traveled around Asia, looking back I can hardly believe I spent $29 on a hotel for a single night. Eventually I’d be finding places of similar caliber for $12 in Vietnam.
My first hotel was adequate and at ~$19 USD, cost less than any hotel I’ve ever stayed in. It was clean, safe, centrally located, had a pool, and came with free breakfast (choice of banana pancakes, eggs, or an Indonesian rice and noodle mix).
I headed to Semynak (the town on the island of Bali), where I had a reservation. Apparently that doesn’t mean much. Despite my reservation and confirmation, they said they were full (picture Seinfeld saying “anyone can TAKE a reservation. but the key is HOLDING it…”) but suggested I “come back in a few days to see if it opens up.” In a few days?? Yeah sure, look out for me. I had checked out of my other hotel already, and had plans to meet up with some new friends in a town called Kuta, where I found my new hotel.