04 March 2014

Ubud: Early Morning Walk

Ubud: Early Morning Walk cover image

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

I woke up dazed, confused, and wondering where I was. The bed I slept in didn’t feel familiar. Sunlight seeped through a tiny gap in the window, while birds and roosters spoke in varied tones outside my room. 7:30 am the clock displayed. I fumbled out of my room and into the porch where the caretakers greeted me with a smile.

‘You like vanilla pancake?’ the woman asked me. My instinct told me to say yes, so I nodded before my brain could process the brief conversation. Did she mean pancakes with vanilla ice cream? I don’t mind that.

As I was about to take a seat, a small bark emerged from nowhere. I looked down and saw a hyperactive pup running around my feet. It was so eager for attention that I couldn’t take a sharp photo of it.

Breakfast was a surprise. Vanilla pancake turned out to be a green crepe-like wrap of goodness. It tasted great—like glutinous rice and not-too-sweet but flavourful. Wrapped inside was a sliced banana that gave the vanilla pancake extra flavor.

After my meal, I went for a walk. There was a small temple right outside my room. I remember Boy, the taxi driver telling me that they prayed 3 times a day at home. And unlike other religion, had no need to visit the public temples unless there was a big festival.

Around the neighborhood, I found shops that sold strange-looking knick-knacks. The art scene was also bustling with local artists displaying their paintings and sculptures.

These square-shaped offerings placed on the floor seemed to be a constant sight. Boy had one in his taxi. He says it’s for good luck and prayers.

Taking a right turn, I found myself walking towards Ubud market. At eight in the morning, it was packed with people selling flowers, spices, fish, and sarongs. I followed a bunch of tourists who had a local guide sharing stories about the market. I can’t remember much of what was said, but it proved to be a great way to avoid being noticed as I took photographs of vendors.

Women are required to wear proper attire before entering a temple. One of the requirements is a sarong. Boy mentioned that good quality sarongs cost about 240,000 IDR ($20.60), but some sellers charge that amount even with lesser quality materials. Since I couldn’t tell the difference, I bought the cheapest I could find.

This woman demonstrated different ways I could wear the sarong complete with compliments to seal the deal. Then it was on. ‘50,000 IDR,’ she said. I haggled but only brought it down to 40,000 IDR ($3.50). Not a lot, but who cares. It sounded like a good deal, anyway.

Melody

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