Friday, March 4, 2011


Staying in Ubud and stuff

There are a plethora of places to stay in Ubud, everything from swanky hotel spas of international renown, monthly rentals, lovely less expensive small hotels with pools and views of the rice paddies (at a minimum of $40 a room, Balam Bali Villa is a great choice), as well as home stays, many created out of the traditional unique walled private homes of many Balinese families.
As I always like meeting the local people, I chose a home stay and what a fortunate choice. Teba House run by a lovely family and Brownie the dog was a memorable stay.
I stayed in both the row of simple non air-conditioned rooms as well as the snazzy little bungalow. My tenure in the lovely air-conditioned bungalow ended when Donna Angelina S., a young Indonesian jewelry designer (you can find her designs on the web), who had pre-booked the room showed up. So I had to move to another room. Off to non air-conditioned room I go again. This time I had and end room with two windows and the owners kindly switched the two chairs on my new porch with the bungalow’s chaise lounge porch couch. I lovingly enjoyed the chaise, and was able to continue my Cleopatra fantasy while residing in my lowly fan room. I had considered moving to their elegant upstairs air-conditioned suite, but have changed my mind, because I like my cozy corner room, and I enjoy Brownie’s visits in the morning. Brownie has the important job of having breakfast in the morning with only those guests who are in need of his personal attention. I have discovered that he prefers butter to jam on his toast and likes a little honey on his pancake pieces. He will also play ball if you are so inclined and is not a barker, which puts the frosting on the cake during one’s Teba House experience.
I have an infection on my foot from wearing flip-flops. Other than having dinner with a woman I met from California, I am not wearing shoes today, and am staying close to home.
I'm in Ubud for another 10 days. I plan to see some Balinese dancing, and go on another tour to the Northern coast. I was thinking of going to Lombok, the next Island south. I am told it has white sand beaches and Kamo dragons. But actually, I'm too lazy. Who knows? Until my foot heals, I’m not going much of anywhere. Yesterday, I wasted $65 going to a local clinic. It seems the night before, I had, unbeknownst to me (as the sore was still puffy and swollen) squeezed the entire puss out of the infection and the sore was already on the mend. Kudos to Dr. Bob. I am extremely afraid of infections in the tropics. In my opinion, they can quickly take over one’s body--- and with the marginal medical care available, unless one goes to the very expensive International Hospital, it seemed better to be safe than sorry. I like having both my feet. .
The weather is really quite warm and humid but not as bad as south Florida in the summer. I walk many miles most days to museums, shopping, eating up the mood and essence of the community. Still I have mixed feelings about Ubud, being an over traveled tourist destination, over-ridden with shops, hotels, B&Bs and day spas. Yet the people are so lovely, and Ubud has an aura about it that is very seductive. But I cannot put out of my mind that the winter the beaches along the coast are polluted. Whereas my favorite place, the British Virgin Islands, looks staid next to Ubud’s inland fantasy of colors and high energy, Bali does not stir my soul like the view and scent of Tortola's soft white sands, azure waters, and crisp Caribbean tropical breeze.
Will I come to Bali (Ubud) again, absolutely, but next time it will be during the dry season with some side trips to other islands.

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