Selamat Malam -Good Evening (after 6:00)
Tonight I meander back streets, taking quick shots of what catches my eye while also keeping said eye open for a restaurant to settle into. I’m curious about The Black Beach although Italian food seems beyond strange in Indonesia. The owner is from Italy so it seemed worth exploring. In addition, my stomach was crying for something beyond rice…..a staple when in recovery from Bali Belly.
I climbed stairs to the third floor for a glorious view of Ubud; it’s compounds, banjars, palms and the dipping sun. Oh yes, I will stay. Ambiance is king! The bruschetta hinted at possibilities so I ordered a small pizza. It had the thinnest, crunchiest, airiest crust EVER. The caveat, however, is if it doesn’t SAY mozzarella, it means it is a cheeseless pizza. Whaaaat??? It was fresh and rich with sauce, baby grilled tomatoes, black olives and capers. Actually, once I quit searching under the plate for cheese, it was delicious. No photo as camera died. It won’t look as good tomorrow being half eaten and cold so no illustration. Bummer about the camera but I’ve so much electronic equipment to plug in for recharge with limited outlets that I’m just grateful to have what I do.
I grabbed a local (English) Bali paper to peruse while enjoying my Bintang and read all FOUR pages, cover to cover. One item of note was an article about (what we in Minnesota call) a food truck business. I told you the Balinese are an entrepreneurial lot. Two young men decided to bring food and fancy drinks to people in an old rehabbed VW bus….you know, the kind we used to camp in. Well, they’re doing extremely well to date so “welcome to food trucks and new entrepreneurs!” Again, no photo as they’re not in Ubud right now.
Here I’ll include a couple of photos taken during my walk showing the dichotomy of Bali, thus holding your interest, hopefully, through to the next and last item.
The last item with, unfortunately, no photo is a broader tidbit than usual: According to another driver, Made M, the Chinese are brought to Ubud in numerous large busses and dropped off at the busiest intersection, locking up local traffic on the two primary streets, for at least 4-6 hrs. Been there; seen that. This would be good for the Balinese economy EXCEPT the buses are owned by the Chinese, they eat only at Chinese-owned restaurants, use only Chinese guides who know little to nothing of the intimate culture of this island and are not allowed to shop in any local store for goods. When asked why the government allows this practice, Made M. indicated there is a tax levied on each visitor who arrives and that is what aids the economy. China has reached the top spot for number of visitors to this little island. I wonder how long the beautiful and generous Balinese will continue their sunny smiles. Will Bali’s much-loved rice fields and warm hospitality be the the victims of growth and progress? This concern stems from the overall impact of tourism not just from China but everywhere.
Ok, if you made it through those three poorly-illustrated items, you deserve some photos even though they’re not related. Doesn’t it make you wonder how much of the newspaper you would read if there were no photos?
Thanks again for being “here”