Ubud: Early Morning Walk

March 4, 2014

At 8 in the morning, it was bustling with people selling flowers and spices and fish and sarongs.

Like most mornings, I woke up dazed and confused about where I was. The bed I slept in did not feel familiar. The sun had seeped inside the window and I could hear the birds and roosters speak in languages outside my room. 7:30 am, the clock said. I stumbled out of my room and was promptly greeted by the caretakers with huge smiles. It looked like my kind of day.

"You like Vanilla pancake?" the lady asked as I approached her. I nodded my head and wondered if she meant pancakes with vanilla ice cream. I shrugged it off and went outside.

As I was about to sit, a tiny bark filled the air and I saw a little puppy rushing towards me, tail wagging around like crazy.

That small creature made my morning a happy one. I miss playing with dogs.

Breakfast came and I saw that my pancake was green. Interesting. It tasted good--chewy like glutinous rice and not-too-sweet but flavourful.

Wrapped inside was a banana that gave the vanilla pancake extra flavour. Mmm...

After my meal, I decided to take a walk. The inn I was staying had a miniature temple inside. I remember Boy, the taxi driver telling me that they prayed 3 times a day at home and did not need to go to the temple to pray. They only visited the temples during big festivals or events.

The street I lived in had shops that sell strange-looking figurines and masks. There were also a lot of shops that sold stone sculptures and paintings from local artists.

All around, while walking, I saw these square-shaped offerings placed on the floor. Boy had one in his Taxi. He says it's for good luck and for prayers.

Taking a right turn, I found myself walking towards Ubud Market. At 8 in the morning, it was bustling with people selling flowers and spices and fish and sarongs. I decided to follow a bunch of tourists who were being guided by a local around the market. What a way to get a free tour. It also proved to be a good way to avoid being noticed while I was sneaking around for photographs.

I bought a sarong from this lady. Women are required to wear proper attire including a sarong before entering a temple. I got a tip from Boy that the good quality sarongs cost about 240,000 IDR ($20.60) but some sellers charge the same even with lesser quality sarongs. As I could not tell the difference, I decided to just pick the cheapest one I could find. The kind lady demonstrated to me how to wear the sarong in different ways constantly giving compliments to seal the deal. The battle began. We decided to negotiate on the price. I got it for 40,000 IDR ($3.50) instead of 50,000 IDR. Not much difference. But I'm still learning to haggle and since it's far from the suggested price, I guess it was still worth it.

It was really hot and humid and I was sweating like crazy. I had to take a shower when I got home .

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