Ubud: a taste of Indo culture

Ubud, a historic town on Bali, in just a day taught me vast amounts about Indo’s fantastically multidimensional culture. Regrettably, I’m lacking the time to share what I learned! (I’m in Vietnam now and awaiting the arrival of a very special guest :)). Also, you’ve heard enough from me these last few days. For now, some photos to hold Ubud’s significant place in my travels until I can fill in the blanks.

My beautiful homestay: Nirwa, which overlooks a rice paddy. I can’t recommend this family-run place enough!

image
image
image
image
image

Ok Mom, stop reading here…

Seriously, not any further.

My mom, a physical therapist who has treated many motorcycle head injuries, made me promise many years ago that I’d never ride a two-wheeled motorized vehicle. It’s the only way to get around the island unfortunately, if you want to cover a lot of ground. When I spoke with the moto vendor, she asked whether I had driven one before. Yes? She looked at me like the inexperienced white girl I am. $5 is $5, though, so she gave me the keys and told me to be careful.

So off I lurched, driving a moto for the first time in my life, on the left side of the road — also a first. I successfully made it down the side street and around my first two turns until I came to a massive, deity-clad roundabout and proceeded…right through a red light! People laid on their horns, managing to just barely skirt around me, and cussed me out in more than one Indonesian language. Off to a great start, I deeply breathed. Then I noticed three officers standing in the roundabout — staring at me. My next thought was of Indonesian jail, or if I was lucky, a hefty fine. I was clearly not their priority, however, as they lazily leaned against the statute of the deity beneath the mid-day sun.

My priority was getting out of the city center to more naked roads. No such luck. I passed masses and masses of motos, the concept of lanes lost on everyone. Noticeably, I was pretty much the only white person driving a moto…and definitely the only white female. Lots of strange stares. Although that could have been my driving.

Eventually I tracked down some of the more famous temples, pulling over every so often to explore and learn a few things.

image

image
image
image

image

image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image

And a few other roadside temples:

image
image
image
image
I found a hill and figured I’d keep driving up and up to see if I could catch a view for the sunset. I stumbled across an incredible, terraced rice paddy!

image
image
image

Lastly, I swung by a monkey forest:

image
image

And found some other little monkeys:

image

Sunset:

image

That evening, Ubud’s community hosted its annual ceremony in which they cleanse the temple to restore harmony within. Over the course of the year, people bring bad energy into the temple so this ritual, which lasts several weeks and involves a procession to sea, serves to purify the holy space.

image

The next morning, Nirwa’s owner — a patient, kind, and hilarious soul who loves to laugh at his own jokes and blast Adele — drove me to the airport. Within an hour I learned heaps about his community — their belief in and commitment to the collective whole, how each person in the community has a responsibility and role to play, and why their divorce rate is so low (2 couples out of 300).

And then before I knew it, I was off to Hanoi.

image

Advertisements

About Dee Walker

I am an international attorney who believes in the power of story to inspire a better world. Join my 100 day journey around the globe!
This entry was posted in Asia, Indonesia, Round the World, Travel and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Ubud: a taste of Indo culture

  1. Kathleen Vaught says:

    Ubud-one of my most favorite places on earth-I will not ever forget my Vespa trip out among the rice paddies with “Blue eyes”- and I picked up my most amazing full of energy red rock from Sedona today. A good energy day for sure. Thank you so much. Betsy says hi and she is so jealous of your trip. They are looking forward to you checking in with them later this year.

    Like

  2. SL says:

    Wow. I’m just in awe of the beauty of Ubud. So gorgeous.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s