Bali Day 2 – Ubud, Monkey Forest Road, Harassment in Bali?

Because this whole trip’s purpose was to relax, I woke up a little later than usual. The sounds of crickets and leaves whistled as I opened the door to my porch at 9am on a Saturday morning.

I dipped my toes into the pool and sat down at the porch to write. Not long after, I decided to head for breakfast. Tejaprana Resort & Spa offers free breakfast to all guests and they are very lenient with the food. Nothing to complain about the breakfast although I prefer to have it buffet style.

Around noon, I ventured out to the Ubud city center and suddenly craved for Nasi Babi Ibu Oka near one of the temples. From the entrance, the servers greeted us in English, and immediately I knew that this place is “westernized”. What do I mean by ‘westernized’? Places that are ‘westernized’ mainly appeals to Westerners, they have changed their food/drinks to cater to them and lost the authenticity compared to when they first started. For instance, Nasi Babi is supposed to be rich, oily, and spicy, an all rounded heavy Asian dish. But the one served at Ibu Oka was a huge disappointment as the pork isn’t heavily seasoned (as it should), and the chili isn’t even spicy. I didn’t finish my meal and head to do a little shopping.

Things I usually shop for = 1. local designer clothes, 2. bathroom essentials (bath&body stuff like soaps, lotions, bath salts), 3. Anything unique (locally made products/decor). Ubud did not have a lot of these. I visited Lulu Yasmine and thought it was a little pricey and the cutting looked like it was for a tall, lean body aka European sizing. Another thing I like to spend my money on is bath&body goods. There’s this one particular shop called Jamusara that I really liked and enjoyed, despite being located next to a trashy bar. I purchased their green tea body lotion, which happens to make its way into my February Favorites. One other shop that really caught my eye was called Pina Colada. Its interior fits my liking with bursts of pastel colors. However, I did not get anything as I knew what I wanted to buy would go to waste. Shopping was a dud in Ubud, after all, Ubud is not for shopping.

I also noticed as there are tons of locals trying to call you out. There are many tourists in Bali and what they do is they will shout out “Hey you, girl! Motorbike?”. All they are doing is offering us tourists a ride but I feel like they are intruding my personal space. They yell “Ni hao” in order to get my attention, not knowing that I’m actually an Indonesian as well. I understand that Bali is a tourist destination but I’d hoped that these people who give us the freedom to approach them when we do indeed need a transport, rather than them aggressively offering us their businesses.

We ended our day with dinner in Hujan Locale (it’s okay, nothing too special) and coffee at Seniman Kopi.

At night as I was running the water for a bath, I sat in the sitting area with my laptop and found this next to me. It was a live baby snake and I freaked out a bit. Immediately, I went into my villa and called for the house keeping. I’m not too scared of snakes but it was just to prevent it from coming into my room. This is so normal as the villa is in Ubud where you are surrounded by nature, so there isn’t a reason to make a big fuss of it.

That night I laid under the sheets of a kingsized bed and held my hands together to pray. At that exact moment, I felt so blessed to be strong enough to go on this trip myself. I was taught to just go, take a chane, and not think what other people had to say, nor was something like that would stop me from doing what I want. No. I’m unstoppable, and I hope to always be stronger and more sensible by day. Because life will always throw things at you, the good and the bad, but these are just experiences which turn into lessons. I want to live everyday feeling thankful I’m actually alive and breathing. Amen.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Jesus Christ.” Philippians 4:6-7

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