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Bali - 2013

Bali Journal #2    July 2013

I just arrived back at my Bali bungalow and found myself crying with joy thinking of the wonderful early morning adventure I just had at the big Ubud Central Market.


Even the deafening noise (worse - yes - than downtown Manila or Mexico City) and the extreme danger for the rare pedestrian, didn’t faze me today. I was glad to be home in my second home!

But the traffic IS perilous! The cars and motor bikes dominate life here: the bikes gliding gracefully – and fast,  like professional ice skaters – around corners, up hills, down 2 foot wide alleys, on the sidewalks for quick shortcuts, their smiling drivers focused and determined to get somewhere quickly in almost impossibly dense traffic. And the cars and trucks don’t notice pedestrians at all, competing with the motor bikes.


Today was my first visit to the big Ubud market. Shortly after daybreak I left the bungalow on foot. There was still little traffic. Most shops lining the Monkey Forest Road where I live were still shuttered and it was quite calm.


The market has changed - much more built up. The old, messy central open area previously crowded with fruit and vegetable vendors is now a motorbike parking lot topped by 2 floors of cement and glass shops all selling approximately the same tourist junk merchandise. (How do these merchants make a living?)


I had to search carefully all over the rest of the covered market (unchanged, but a bit squeezed for space) to find the old friends who have sold me vegetables and baskets and fruit and spices over the years. Most remembered me. Some of the merchants have been replaced by younger family members (“dadong meningal”= grandma died).

Over the many years I have lived in Bali I have been a good and frequent customer so I was greeted with many smiles and questions about my whereabouts. There were exotic fruits and flowers for sale everywhere: a small mountain of pineapples, big mangoes, baskets overflowing with,
a delicious small fruit that tastes like a marriage of a ripe pear and a date.

Small not-very-sweet apples from Java, there are 5 different varieties of bananas, and

a small pear shaped fruit with a skin like a snake, an expensive luxury that grows on a thorny palm plant. Considered to be especially appreciated by the gods it is often part of important offerings made at temple ceremonies.


Young girl making a temple offering


Loaded with fruit, the long walk back from the market was like passing through a war zone, traffic cluttering all the streets and roadways. I stopped often to drink water, sit, and rest and arrived home tired but still OK and happy. I haven’t walked so much in years…surely over a mile today.



More next time!


Aloha Esta
Feedora Batiks



Also see Journal Page # 1


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