THESE LAST FEW DAYS

It’s been a busy few days, beginning with the Writers’ Group of twelve at Bayu’s Kitchen on Thursday. Some exceptional writing was shared. It was nice to meet more new people, listen to their abbreviated stories (all expats) and hear of new events happening here in Ubud. Bayu’s serves delicious food so everyone stays for lunch and conversation. Yum, I had a great BBQ chicken baguette with tomato, avocado, sauce and egg. The half I didn’t finish made for a great dinner that evening. I’m happy I have access to a frig!

Not food trucks but food bikes...moped or pedal serving a minced-meat soup.  They ring a bell on their arrival at a new location. I'm tempted but ....

Not food trucks but food bikes.

Here is a food cart seen everywhere….either on a moped, bike or, as this one, pushed by hand. It arrives at various destinations, rings it’s bell to notify the locals and begins to serve its meal of Bakso Babi. This is is a hot broth with balls of minced meat (usually fish, chicken or pork), vegetables and rice. It’s much appreciated by Balinese throughout the day and purchased at a very good price. I sat on the curb waiting for Ketut to eat his lunch and, although I was very tempted, I recalled my Bali Belly and resisted.

I watched the polisi enjoy two bowls and his friend invited me to join him in a bit of a josh about his bakso babi  tummy….sign language, grunts and arm waving accomplished this.

Even the Police enjoy....

Even the Police enjoy….

In the morning and throughout the day, one can see smoke rising across the landscape. This was my view this morning….I closed my doors and came inside.

Trash, cremation, palm leaves.......?

Trash, cremation, palm leaves…….?

In the afternoon I stopped by the Visa extension office to pick up my passport and paperwork ($75) and ran into Gail, a new member of the Writers’ Group, who was doing the same. We also extended our time over coffee on my balcony enjoying the slow cool rain falling around us. I am always amazed and impressed by how women can share their stories and build bonds of understanding so quickly. It’s nice to have new friends when so far from home. Gail is from Australia, here on sabbatical to work on her thesis and an interesting, lovely woman.

Yesterday Ketut picked me up on his moped at noon and we headed out for the day. Through twists and turns of the road and stops at the ocean and a few amazing temples, we finally made our way to the goal we had set for ourselves…the village of Klungkung.

Ocean at Klungkung

Ocean at Klungkung

A Hollywood set? No, a beautiful temple near KlungKung.

A Hollywood set? No, a beautiful temple near Klungkung.

Klungkung was the seat of art in the 17th century and is also famous and honored for the 200 Royal Family members who fought to their death on behalf of the Balinese against the Dutch invaders in 1908. The remnants and grounds of the ancient Royal Palace in Klungkung (Taman Gili) are breathtaking.

Remnants of royal Palace in Klungkung (Taman Gili)

Remnants of royal Palace in Klungkung (Taman Gili)

The ceilings of Kerta Gosa Pavilion are the only surviving example of classical wayang art in Bali.

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Here’s a young Down Syndrome boy entertaining visitors with gamelan music.

As we headed back to Ubud, hoping to avoid the approaching downpour, I saw again some beautiful and unique scenes. (BTW, we didn’t beat the downpour which was rather refreshing after being under a helmet for five hours.) We ended the ride with rain capes flying and camera “bagged”.

After a shower and (relatively) fresh clothes, it was off to Sherry’s for dinner where Ketut prepared awesome spiced fish from mountain-fed Lake Batur. We sat outside exploring deep topics such as construction, septic systems, prostitution and cigarettes with the aid of an Indonesian dictionary, Sherry’s increased Indo vocabulary and Ketut’s increased English knowledge.

Ok, so I was pretty exhausted at the end of this terrific day and happy for a moped ride home and to bed.

Tidbit: I have one flat surface in my room, approximately 2′ x 3.5′. It is my kitchen, dressing table, desk, medicine cabinet and collector of all things important. It is really amazing how one can “make do”. This morning I woke to a battalion of ants streaming in a very military fashion from under my entrance door and ten feet across the room, coming to a plastic-bag destination under which they formed a very creative mandala. I never had food in that bag….well, not mine anyhow. One just doesn’t know……

Sampai Jumpa (good bye) and many blessings

Sharon

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