Saturday, 9 January 2010

Bali, Ubud - Day 4 - Tuesday

This morning I walked through the centre of Ubud and explored the back streets. I had been in Ubud in 1986 but there was very little familiar to me after this time. There was also very little to trigger any memories. Basically like visiting a new place. (Do we call that a Goldfish memory?) What I did remember as being different is the attitude of the local people. Back in 1986 a white person visiting was still fairly uncommon and people of all ages would stop you in the street and say hello and ask "from where are you going?" The grammar wasn't good but any answer "I am going to..." or "I come from" seemed to suffice as an answer. In fact I took up smoking (again) at this stage as I found it deterred attention. On a hot day if you wanted a rest and sat down or rested somewhere you were invariably approached to see if you were OK. This was lovely but became a pain when all you wanted was to catch your breath or appreciate a view or street scene. I soon discovered that resting was perfectly acceptable if you were smoking a cigarette, it was something that made sense in the local culture and people were not concerned that something was wrong. The Balinese still seem very polite and friendly, but tourists are much more common now, so you are not approaced as often.
Any way, in present day Ubud, I discovered a large central produce (farmers) market towards the centre. This sold an amazing array of meats, vegetables, fruit, herbs and spices. There was very little that you could not obtain in the way of fresh produce here. It was busy and crowded. Later in the day I discovered that the produce vendors left and it became more like a flea market with locally manufactured goods such as baskets, clothing, household items, kitchen utensils, tourist goods and too many others to name.
Later that day Phil and I became a bit adventurous and visited the local Monkey Forest, a large tourist attraction. During my first visit here it was simply a path through the forest which contained monkeys. Even so it was considered unique and a local attraction. Nowadays it features wide pathways, guards at the gate collecting entrance fees and vendors willing to sell you fruit for the monkeys. Peanuts not allowed, I am not sure why.
After that we needed a restorative beer, lunch and decided on a massage in a place over the road from where we had lunch.
With hindsight a poor choice. One of the massage beds collapsed under Phil as he sat on it to mount it. While we got our massages, the owner demanded compensation from Phil and I was concerned that things were going to get ugly. Phil shut him up with some Rupiah, but far less than he wanted. Neither Phil nor I believed that we needed to compensate the owner, quality of his beds is his problem. I had a quick look at the bed and to my mind the bed broke at a knot in the wood, which was a weak spot in the original construction. Still I don't blame the guy for trying to extract money, but at home that would not be considered reasonable.
Any way we decided a bit later to go to Krasa Kafe for the Sunset drinks. We caught a cab up there and asked the driver to wait for us. The sunset never transpired as it was overcast but we did share couple of plates of Spring Rolls. These were so good that we ordered a third plate. The spring rolls were made fresh on the spot. After ordering the waitress went back to the bar/kitchen area and you could hear her chopping vegetables and pounding the ingredients and then the rolls being cooked. They were served fresh with a lovely home made chilli sauce. Magificent. We sent some other people up the next day to experience them and they reported the same delight at their taste and quality.Possibly the most memorable part of the trip?
On the way back we decided to eat BBQ at Naughty Nuri's Warung. The full story of this meal and aftermath will never be told. Suffice to say that the BBQ ribs were excellent and the Martini's made from rocket fuel. This place does come with a warning to be ignored at your peril.

No comments:

Post a Comment