I've been to Ubud1 and I'm finding this visit both nice and odd. Nice in that Paul is with me. Plus I somewhat know my way around, like where to buy groceries (the Coco supermarket2), where to mail a post card (two months to get to Canada), and where's the house (via cement path through froggy rice paddy or via hidden path from street).
Odd because I've to reconcile my pleasant Bali memories with what currently strikes me as a drier, noisier, more crowded, and dirtier town than I remember.
Has it changed?
Or is it context? For example, has two weeks in Thailand lowered my tolerance for countries where cars and motorbikes have priority over pedestrians?
Memory is curious; I've read that it changes with each recollection, like the uncertainty principle, the act of recall changes what you are recalling. So Bali cannot be exactly as I remember. Fortunately the house we rented feels the same, spacious, private, and visually pleasing, with friendly Wayan coming in each morning to cook breakfast.
1To read about my previous trip start here.
2We've since found more supermarkets, the Bintang, like the beer, the Pepito, and the Delta.
The turducken of statues
Elephant plus serpent plus human.
Lots of work goes into making a ogoh-ogoh. It has to be ready for next week's celebrations on the eve of Nyepi, the Hindu new year.
Readying a penjor
Now this has me confused. I thought these bamboo offering poles, or penjors, were limited to the Galungan celebration and the next Galungan is July. That said, I'm happy to see them.
Where the cheapest wine is the Balinese white at 149,000.