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Ubud, Bali
Rating : ( 4.5 ) ( 21 votes )

Ubud, Bali, Indonesia
Mar 19, 2002 01:37

Pros: fun, interesting place, friendly people, not an expensive place
Cons: none

Well i have had a few relaxing days now and thought I would let you all in on the secrets of this beautiful place. I have made notes to make this entry faster so if it is a bit like a shopping list forgive me!

Money, the first thing i had to get used to was the currency and what a job it is, (I have already bought a pocket calculator), There is around rpe12,000 to the pound and rpe10,000 to the US Dollar, so that is what i use as my travellers cheques are in US Dollars, and it is easier to keep yopur dignity and not use a calculator in a shop, dividing by 10,000 i can do ok! They could do with cutting a few zeros of the currency though as even a can of coke costs 4,000 and the coins just don't exist, so you are left with a wad of notes for the rest of the day! at least i can say i am a millionaire for a week at least.
The people here as i may have said before are happy to take no for an answer especially if it is given with a smile, but they do call me 'Boss' all the time??? For a while I thought my name was 'Transport' "Mister Transport, Mister Transport," still i soon got the hang of no eye contact and a walkman comes in handy even if it is not playing, you get left alone a lot more. The heat has taken it's toll on my clothes attire so i have relented and become like everyother british male tourist and bought two sarongs! Dont laugh! (havn't worn them yet but i have bought them)

The other thing you notice here is the contstant smell of pot pourri and incense, they ut little dishes of the stuff outside every shop and house and on every temple or Buddah in the street. I had wondered the reason, untill i walked past an uninhabitted part of a street and the stench from the sewer reached my nose, i ran to the next shop and stood talking to the owner about his wares just to get a lungfull of his burning flowers in the doorway.

I continued to travel yesterday and made my way to Ubud after a tip from a mate in Sydney. There is a monkey forest here and it is so funny to see the monkeys stealing the cameras and sunglasses from the japenese tourists who have not read the warnings on the way in. I got the bus here and avoided the immediate pouncing hawkers and hoteliers and met two girls who where hiding also in a super market. They had arrived a few days earlier and had a great place close by, so they showed me and i got a MASSIVE double room with hot shower and breakfast plus all day Bali tea (gorgeous) for the price of 40,000 $4US I should have held out for 35,000 but the tea swung it, as i can't get enough. One of the girls, left that afternoon but Uta a Dutch/German (can't remember) and i went to a Balinese dance that every other person in Ubud seemed to be going to. It was very well done, but an hour and a half, it went on a bit. I went to the Monkey forest today and it was as expected very funny and i will apologise now for the endless photo's. The forest also had a few temples that although had a good story were not very well kept and i am guessing a better temple experience awaits in Cambodia etc.

I am walking the streets and browsing the shops here with a permanent smile on my face, as this place gets to you like that, the people smile at you all the time so, intstinct takes over and soon you are in a great mood enjoying all the sights (and smells).

I went to the lonely planet for help on a resturant and chose the Ayu Kitchen, on the monkey forest road. They had little tables that required you to sit crossed legged and with shoes removed it certainly warrented extra incense and pot pourri at my table. They played great Balinese music that reminded me of my Grannie Mary and her little tin whistle (although without the funny false face, Family joke , sorry) I ordered a balinese dish transleated as 'Yellow Rice', and as i waited i prayed it was not similar to 'yellow snow'!! It turned out to be Cumin rice, with chicken, tempe and tofu (in peanut butter) and balinese spices, It was the best meal i have had in a long time and at $3 US the best value also.