February 16, 2011 Ubud Bali Indonesia

Written by GingerBlossom Published in

You know you've got a jones when you'll pay four times more for a drink than you've just paid for lunch.  The drink is an iced double espresso at Starbucks.  Lunch cost me 80 cents, my coffee is $3.  Worse, this is the second time in four days that I've been here. I've been known to roll up my eyes at the Brits who bring tea bags and creamer with them to India, and I give a small groan when I hear gringos in Mexico complaining about the instant coffee, and yet here I am sucking down liquid heaven at devilish prices. 

Lunch is maybe the best bargain in Bali.  There's a little padang, or Sumatran lunch stand close to where I stay.  You can stuff yourself silly for under a buck, and the food is fantastic.  Alit and Nopa , the cargo boys, prefer to go to Balinese lunch stands when we eat on the road, they say that padang food isn't fresh.  I want them to try this one to change their minds.

My lodging here is fantastic.  The one wall of my room shares a wall with the performance hall of the Legong orchestra, so I had the best earful last night for free.  The one downside is that I need to run the gauntlet to get back to my room.  One street has mean dogs, the other street has attack roosters.  I choose the rooster street because 1. after dark they're asleep 2. there is no rabies epidemic among the chickens of Bali.

Two nights ago, I was out walking, and ended up having to go past the Monkey Forest just before dark.  The night sounds were awesome - lizards that go uh oh, uh oh, squawking night birds, and screeching monkeys.  It was a little spooky, great big trees and hanging vines, and no lights, and then I watched while the two people in front of me started doing a weird two-step in the road.  When I got closer, I saw that the monkeys were blocking the road.  The tour busses were long gone for the day, and this was their last chance for goodies, excitement, or whatever the monkeys were looking for. When I got up to the people, we sort of huddled together, and marched past off to one side. 

No problem until I made the mistake of looking back.  The monkeys saw this and thought that maybe they still had a chance at something, so gave chase.  Fortunately, two motor scooters went by just then and they quit chasing.

If you've read the book, or seen the movie Eat Pray Love, you know that the Love part took place here in Ubud. The local animal shelter did a take on the title - Eat Spay Love.  The television in my room only gets 3 channels, one is a local Balinese channel, and the newscaster signs off with "Oh shanti shanti om".  Namaste to you, sister.

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