its been almost two weeks since we began our stint in bali. so much has happened that i am no longer even kidding myself about writing it all. hana suggested i just do a photo dump, so here are some snaps. i’ll fill in the blanks as best as i can 🙂
this is the house that we stayed in for the first ten days. brenda found a post on facebook by a guy called shakar who was travelling over december. he was looking for someone to sublet his place and it looked nice so we jumped on it. the house is located on the north end of ubud, behind a family compound. yes, compound. bali is very much a collectivist (as opposed to individualist) culture, and the nuclear family unit is comprised of at least three generations. the compound will usually include the main house, a guest house and a temple. our house was located behind one of these compounds. living close to an indonesian family was a really good way to start our bali experience as we got a taste of real balinese life!
you are much much closer to nature here, especially the food you eat. there are the ubiquitous rice paddies, but also coconut trees, mango trees, rambutan trees (our new favourite), pineapples, chickens etc. there is also the usual assortment of lizards, moths, mosquitoes, frogs, spiders and other random creepy crawlies who probably don’t even have names.
oh yeah, that’s a snail.
nayou started hunting for eggs in the yard the moment we arrived. he’s been obsessed with chickens laying eggs. unfortunately the hens in ubud are skinny and scrawny and i don’t think they lay. so i started hiding store-bought eggs in the yard for him to find.
ibu kadek, the lady who lives in the compound in front of our house, has two sons – wayan and kadek. the balinese have this naming system where your name is automatically assigned based on your birth order. the first born is wayan, the second is kadek etc etc. there are some variations like kadek can also be made (mah-day), but it gets confusing quickly. everyone ends up getting nicknames, but they introduce themselves with their proper hindu names.
anyway, nayou, wayan and kadek all became fast friends very quickly. wayan is 12 and kadek is 6. perfect for nayou who loves older kids. they are both super sweet with him and its great to see him making good friends despite not speaking the same language. except for the language of play i suppose. i have some gorgeous video of them all running around together which i will upload soon. when we left the house for our new one, kadek was tearing up… so sad. luckily our new house is just a five minute scooter ride away and we are still seeing them regularly!
i’m not sure what is up, but they love to throw signs for photos. peesu!
here is ibu kadek (the mom), her sons wayan and kadek with brenda and nayou.
the porch was everyone’s favourite place to hang out.
ibu kadek lent us some traditional indonesian attire for a ceremony we were invited to. one thing about bali – there are a lot of ceremonies.
the ceremonies are just one manifestation of the very very strong hindu faith in bali. every morning you see people putting our offerings in their homes, storefronts etc. one of our taxi drivers was telling me that about 40% of their time and income is devoted to rituals involving hinduism!
it is the rainy season here, but it never rains for long. usually we get an hour or two of pouring rain a every other day. it can get pretty crazy though!
my friend joe from dr. d also made his way to bali and we got a chance to hang out.
ubud is a very cool town. its compact, but dense. lots of shops, warungs (cafes), and lots of raw/organic places. plus yoga as well. i’ve already found a teacher that is challenging and inspiring me, and the energy of this place is just conducive to contemplation, meditation and hippy things lie that.
this is our favourite raw cafe, soma.
by far the best way to get around town is on a scooter. there is a weird order to the chaos of the streets in ubud and now that i’m used to it, it just feels normal driving around on busy roads with no traffic lights or signs or anything. but don’t worry, we’re all wearing helmets!
oh yeah, they have a monkey forest in the middle of ubud. the monkeys are very cheeky. nayou got a fright when one of them squeezed his leg trying to steal some coconut husk out of his hand!
on the 20th we moved into our new house. its also on the north end of ubud, and its our little slice of heaven. we are subletting the place for three weeks from a girl called oksana, who we know from a mutual friend in new zealand (thanks jeanne!). oksana is a yoga teacher and also a conscious eater and a generally all round cool chick. we’ve only been speaking via email but we can’t wait to meet her in person!
the house is surrounded by three sides by huge rice paddies and comes with a pool, huge master bedroom, open plan living room etc etc. basically its awesome, and i’m still in shock that we are living here. i wake up in the morning and give thanks for being so unbelieveably lucky.
this is the second bedroom upstairs:
and the view from the upstairs porch:
we have just settled into a bit of a routine in our new place. it feels great and now that we have parked ourselves here until mid-january i am really starting to decompress. i will try to do a video update soon. stay tuned!