Bali 2- Ubud, where you will run out of words for green

In an organic cafe where I was drinking a tea for my Kappa (or was it Vata?) a Balinese man started
playing the Australian instrument, didgeridoo, toward me, to rid me of bad energy.

Ah, so I’m finally in Bali! Ubud, its cultural center, is where all the posh hippies of the world come to gather.

I’m not going to lie, I’m one of these hippies, or at least used to be. I practice Yoga, play music, dream of writing a book and my dad follows Ayurveda treatments. It peaked in my early teens: my favorite author was Paulo Coehlo, I interpreted dreams and read the tarot.

But then I grew up. I’m not saying that a genuine interest in any of these topics cannot be pursued in Bali, I’m saying that if you are serious about Yoga, you’ll probably head to India. If you want to hang out with other westerners wearing flowy clothes, doing reiki and thinking of vegetarianism as a fad, then come live in Ubud.

Yet there is a reason that the expat community in this island, particularly this town, is so vast. It is filled with art galleries, wood- carving shops, restaurants and temples. Right outside the city center Ubud is lined by impossibly green rice fields, and each house is a temple and a home stay. In contrast to the southern part of the island, this place has charm, albeit much of it for tourists’ sake.

The place will eat up your days. The first day I arrived I made a German friend with whom I decided to room as I’ve done so often lately. As we looked from place to place, dragging our bags, we began to delve into smaller streets. I suddenly had the most adorable little boy, maybe of about five, pointing at a house. I was so captivated by his spirit that I followed him in, where I proceeded to encounter a temple, chickens, and eventually Putu, the owner of the home stay and the little rascal’s father. He offered the room for 180.000 rupiahs (about $19.00 USD) we said 100.000 and we settled for 110.000. His mother will put offers to the Gods in front of our room every day.

Five days went by riding a bicycle through town, riding out to the rice fields, going to the Monkey forest sanctuary… I ran into another Colombian (!!!) and after running into him twice again we decided to share a car and driver to take us around the nearby temples and the famous rice terraces. I also met a Chilean guy who had been working in Australia and had a PDF collection of all the Lonely Planets in existence. I now possess the omnipresent guide in all it’s possible forms.