Day 206 – 04.02.2016
Yes, I am feeling better. When I woke up this morning, I didn’t have temperature anymore. Who knows what that was all about.
Our first day in Ubud, the culture centre of Bali. Everybody loves it… so they say. For us it started with a new experience: go jek. This is an app with which you can order a motorbike taxi. Depending on the distance there is a fixed price. And since the traffic is horrendous in Ubud, a motorbike is the only sensible way of moving from A to B.
I wanted to go to the Wood School. Since our wwoofing experience in Cambodia was such a nice one, we thought of doing something similar here. There are not many wwoofing places in Bali, but one of the four I had found was the Wood School. It looked great. All the skills they needed we had: gardening, DIY, computing, teaching… I had contacted them a while ago but never heard back from them. So I had sent a second and a third message and even called – without getting any feedback. So my last attempt was today – going there directly and asking. When it was difficult to locate the place in the map Stéphane joked if the Universe was trying to tell us something. But I kept thinking, I want to try this, this would be so fantastic, not just for us, but also for Lara and Alina. Them playing and spending time with other kids while we doing something meaningful, could be great.
So we went, found the place and met the two English teacher. They had never heard from us and not received the messages I had sent. It turned out that there was no wwoofing possible at the moment. They are fully staffed. We had a look around and I still loved the place. We even talked to a couple of the parents and I had the idea of asking if we maybe could stay with a family from the school while volunteering. Before we left we even briefly talked to the head of the school. When we left, we were under the impression, that they were interested.
A few hours later we heard from the head of the school, that they can’t offer us anything. Well, I guess there is no need for our help after all and the Universe knew it all along. It’s still a shame.
Before going back into the city center the girls were hungry, so we just went to one of the places along the street and these were the faces we saw when they tried the food. There is a saying in English “Some food hurts twice.” This was one of them. Typical Balinese street food, no good for my children. In the end they just ate plain rice and were happy.
Ubud. What can I say… shops, guesthouses, homestays, spa, massage places, healers, yoga places, more shops, more guesthouses… you get the feeling. One can spend a fortune here. There is really nice stuff.
We went for example to the Studio Perak. Someone had recommended the place for the jewelry making workshop. Even children can do it. But the price also needs to be told. For IDR 400 000 (30 US Dollar) one has 3 hours to make out of 5g silver a piece of jewelry. For for us four… 120 Dollar, because kids pay the same. This is a lot of money when travelling for a year. I keep thinking, that when people come here on their holiday, it must all be so very cheap. But for us… it feels different. So we will have to talk about it as a family if we want to do it or not and where we might be able to save some money.
After all that beautiful stuff for the eyes I needed something beautiful for my soul: coffee or chocolate. In the F.R.E.A.K. Coffee I not only found a good chai tea but also some delicious raw chocolate. Agne, you would love this Raw Chocolate Factory. Unfortunately they aren’t open to the public yet. In a couple of months they can welcome visitors, but we will be gone by then.
Ubud is also a place for the health conscious and people who are trying to make a difference for the environment. These two things impressed me, and I will make an effort to help and support these causes.
Please pay attention to the plastic bag. We had gone dinner shopping: mango, bread, tinned pork meat, peanuts. The sculpture we posted in front indicates the area of the monkey forest, along which we had to go on the way back to the guesthouse. About 5 minutes later we both didn’t look quite as relaxed and happy. We had sighted the first monkeys and memories from Angkor and our water melon loss came back. The first monkeys we passed without problems. But I am honest. I was scared. The second group… one of the older ones must have smelled the mango and went straight for our bag. Only the quick help of a local with a stick rescued our dinner. Even more scared, and Alina is probably traumatized for life, we left monkey forst behind and returned home.
The girls had a treat later tonight. Stéphane took them to a dance show in Ubud. After not having seen any traditional Khmer dance and no dance in Myanmar, Bali had to be the place. And my family had fun, while I was looking for our next accommodation. 🙁 Life is unfair.