We loved, loved, loved Ubud. The wonderful, welcoming and genuine people, the delicious food everywhere, the artistic handicrafts, and the feeling of overall relaxation made us wish we had stayed here for two weeks instead of just five days. It’s funny – in the States, I really don’t enjoy meeting new people or being super friendly. I mean, I can do it but all things considered I prefer just hanging out with people I already know and like or even just being alone. While traveling, I’ve become more open overall – I look forward to talking to people and learning about their lives and culture when it’s so different from our own, especially when the people you meet are so genial and want to share their lives with you as well.
Random thoughts and little things from our stay here:
I couldn’t wait to introduce the kids to the bidet. I gave them fair warning of what it was, but the first time you feel cold water splooshed up your butt is not to be trifled with, and the girl sprang across the bathroom when she first felt it and we had to scramble to prevent the floor from flooding while I cried from laughing so hard.
Bugs! You stay in the tropics, you get tropical insects. Huge wasps, spiders, ants, *shudder*. There were of course mosquitos as well but not awful, though we’ve all gotten bit. We’ll have to be better in Cambodia, as it’s rainier season there, and I’ve decided that we need an aerosol can of Deet. It just covers better than the spray, despite being worse for the environment.
Bargaining. I actually LOVE bargaining with sellers. I think it’s fun – there is no way possible that I could negotiate anything that wouldn’t be a good deal to the seller and I know that my tourist dollars are what keep the place going, so my goal isn’t to really get the cheapest price possible, though I don’t like to be completely ripped off. But I love the interaction with the seller, the stock phrases of bargaining – “you give me your best price” “what is your discount?” “Oh no, that is too too much!” Said with a little tongue clicking for best effect of course! I especially like when you’re buying things from the people who have had some hand in making them, as it’s so different from the sterile purchasing of the States, where you can go through an entire transaction and not say a word to another person.
And, of course, we end with the street signs: