more of my weekend

Ubud Travel Blog

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Where did I leave off? Oh right, the tranny bar hooping. So Barbara Jean and I went home after that. The Ozigo bar is a bit out of town and they provide free transport back to your house, which is great! Here, a dollar is worth a lot!

Sunday I walked into town and sat at the Panorama hotel having juice and breakfast. Barbara Jean lives right in town on some rice fields behind one of the main streets. Nice digs..but she is leaving tomorrow for a 10 day meditation retreat and then is traveling outside Bali for awhile. So like it is with some many travel friends, paths cross and then diverge quickly.

She showed me that there is bus in Ubud that takes you to Sanur, Kuta, or the airport. It was great. For $3 roundtrip we had a cramped air con bus that took us one block from Sanur beach. I hadn't been to Sanur yet, and I really liked it. The beach was totally unlike Seminyak. Quiet. Clean. Blue water. No waves (it sits on the east side of the penninsula). It was lovely. We got long chairs at a cafe for free and lounged around and swam a bit.

Sunday afternoons must be beach day for the locals, because at about 4:30, the beach began swarming with people. There were little kids in floaties skimming the shallows everywhere! It reminded me of a similar scene in Nha Trang, Vietnam. It was the perfect time to head back up Ubud.

Once back, Barbara Jean and I got to know each other better...swapping stories. She made me realize that as much as this was a solo travel for me, I havent yet been solo. I was with Paige and then Chaz almost nonstop. So now I need to start making decisions, and I guess I have been having troubles doing that, because I havent been forced to yet. I think my decision, though, is to head to the Gili islands at the end of the month (so in about 9 days) and hang out till my flight to Kuala Lumpur on the 5th.

The Gilis are super cheap and no not have any cars, motorbikes, or atms. Barbara Jean said a horse and buggy pick you up from the 4 hour boat ride from Bali and take you to sleepy hotels. Also, the Gilis are surrounded by coral reefs and provide excellent diving, which I am excited about.

But going back to decisions, I know it is financially risky, but I think I have decided to head to Australia for almost a month. I don't know...I just think it will be great. Ive been combing couchsurfing.com and travbuddy for advice, work, and places to stay. Where there is a will, there is a way, right? Then why don't I have the balls to press the 'submit' key to purchase the ticket?
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The past few days have brought new people and new happy situations. The last night that Chaz was in town, a bunch of us went to see this great band at the Warung Opera in town. Leah nd her friends came, and Jill from BurningMan met up with us too. She told me of this crazy adventure she took with this guy on his motorbike to see the ricefields. He didn't charge, and took her to some way out places. At the end of the night, Chaz introduced me to this gal from LA named Barbara Jean who has been living here for the past six months. She and I swapped #s...more on her in a couple of paragraphs.

So the next morning, my phone rings, and it is Wayan...the guy who took Jill on the ride. He asks me if I want to go out too. I probably never would have entered into a situation like this (nor actually found myself in this situation) had not Jill told me he was totally kosher and the ride was quite fun. So I met him at noon in front of the Ubud
Palace and off we went! It was strange indeed, but it was kosher and fine. He took me way way out of town to some killer views of rice fields and river valleys (I have included some of the photos from this ride on this blog). I'm not exactly sure what his MO was, but sometimes those questions are hard to answers when dealing with people from other cultures. If he did want anything more...ie a date or money or whatever...it was not apparent. We spent about 2 hours on the drive. He kept stopping for good photo ops, and as I learned in Thailand last year, I find terraced rice fields to be ridiculously beautiful. At one point, we departed off the road and went on his motorbike through the little mud path that the farmers use to walk through the fields. He kept hooting and hollering and was having the time of his life...and it was pretty fun, I have to admit. After the drive, he dropped me right at home. He has called a variety of times since, but I have not answered the phone. Not to be a dick, but I have other things going on.

Later that same day...I think this was Sat, I was planning to go to this party that a girl named Nicole was throwing. I met her through Leah at the Opera the night before. Barbara Jean sms'ed and we decided to meet for pizza and head to the party. Barbara Jean is 40, was in the furniture business in LA for 10 years, and then it sounds like she got way burned out, had a stash of cash, and has been here in Bali for the past six months. She and I have a lot in common...which became even more apparent when we got to the party. Getting to this party was a trip! We had to walk on a very dark narrow path next to rice paddies and mini waterfalls (from the irrigation). No streets. No signs. We ended up in some Balinese guy's house who helped us find the right path. It was hilarious because I was like, "Who the hell lives out here"? We finally arrived and I do not think I have been around that many full blown wacky hippies since a Dead show. Flowing dresses, people dancing with eyes closed contorting their bodies in long peculiar poses. A little girl does not even say hello to me and grabs my hula hoop out of my hand and runs away. We took one look at the crowd and knew we weren't staying long. The house was spacious and beautiful, but neither I nor Barbara Jean were going to engage in this community.

We left after about and hour and headed to the Ozigo Bar. Sat night is tranny night there...but they didn't arrive until later, and I was exhausted. These two Ozzie girls saw my hoop and cajoled me to perform. That was my first time actually hooping in front of a crowd with nothing else going on. I was received with many applause and several cocktails being purchased for me. :-)

ok...Ill switch to a new blog entry for the next day...

Ubud
photo by: eddie8498