Fourteen years ago my husband Chris went to Ubud. It wasn’t so famous or trendy then, and Elizabeth Gilbert of eat pray love fame hadn’t met her medicine man yet. Chris volunteered on a papaya plantation, teaching people how to make humus out of decayed leaf matter instead of burning it all off.
So he was keen to take us all there and see what he saw and eat where he ate. We loved the friendliness of the Balinese people, the climate was a welcome 10 degrees cooler than Vietnam. Speaking of the medicine man, we stayed quite near his place. Let me tell you, that guy is now making a whole lot of money. He charges $25 for fortune telling, and the road outside is lined with cars and taxis everyday. In fact, in order to direct people to our place, we would just say ‘ketut liyer’s house’ and every driver would know it. The locals say he no longer has any ‘powers’.
We enrolled Meena, Tintin and Snowy at a local school and were able to do more concentrated work and ABR therapy with Sparky. After two weeks we pulled them out and reverted to homeschooling.
It was a good experience, if for no other reason than it confirmed homeschooling is right for us.
We lived in a traditional Balinese family compound alongside a large extended family. It was great to potter about in the gorgeous garden with them, and Baby Boy took his first steps surrounded by the full extended family who praised his every effort with gestures and cheers, and long exhortations in Bahasa and short ones in English. He was very pleased with himself!
We made a bunch of friends in Ubud, from all over the place. One big advantage of staying in one spot awhile is getting to know people, much more than our own neighbours at home!
It was great to have our own rudimentary kitchen. We even had two bedrooms!! Here’s Chris cooking ‘toast’
We went to a traditional Balinese dance with Balinese orchestra. The costumes were wonderful, but the music….. let’s just say two hours of discordance was quite enough for our ears.
I am not a bit artistic, I can’t even draw a tree. Being creative with food is a bit closer to what I’m interested in. So Tintin and I did a fruit carving class at the local library, here are our masterpieces!
Ubud is a “spiritual market place”. Everything from shamans to aura healing to new and improved types of massage…. Sadly we did not find a church the whole time we we there.
What’s our best memory of Ubud?
The skyline always has kites flying. Sometimes there are heaps of them over the rice fields. When we went our walking grown men would be chatting and flying kites together with obvious enjoyment. We bought one. It didn’t work.
This guy fixed our kite and taught us how to fly it.
Baby boy saying “its up there!!”
Surprisingly, despite being busier, Ubud was still tranquil. Thanks Ubud, it was lovely to live with you for a while. We’ll come again.
This is really a catch-up post. We stayed four weeks, but it was a few weeks ago. Actually, now we are in China and 37 people just died in the floods and we are watching a very Chinese version of the Olympics. I’ll get up to date just as soon as we get a handle on dodging the silent but deadly electric scooters, ‘saliva chicken’ and other delicacies, and 13 million noisy people out our window…..