Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Month 3 in Paradise
The Japanese are flowing into town, it is their holiday, walking in single file along the side of the busy main Jalan Raya Ubud: sunhats, fanny packs and baggy shorts in place, camera on the belly, alternated by groovy printed hot panted ladies and colorful umbrellas, held up against the sun. The coaches, that just dropped them at the market, back up with difficulty, requiring many people to wave and gesture to get the job done.
“Tourists”, we tut tut under our breath, as we wait in the car to pass.
We have landed in Ubud, cultural and spiritual heart of Bali. With the Japanese, the Ee-Pels (EatPrayLove seekers) are here in abundance, Western woman by themself, of a certain age, who with other spiritual seekers talk about oneness and higher consciousness, words that sound as familiar here as spaghetti bolognese, which on the other hand is not said that often. A vegan diet is the natural choice for most, but a Raw Food diet is the definite superlative, and is generously provided for on the menus.
You can choose between the Tibetan Chiming Bells Therapy or do the "Stand and shake your body for fifteen hours a day" meditation at the Osho ashram: I just heard about that one. It is supposed to release many bad things in your body, including green sweat. Really.
It is the town where if you are sitting in the new vegetarian restaurant, and complain about the (jazz) music because it has been on repeat for an hour, they ask; ”would you like something more spiritual?”
All this is very well, but it sometimes has to be compensated by a visit to the famous warung Ibu Oka, opposite the Palace, for a plate of the most succulent suckling pig on the island, with a Bintang on the side.
Allard is now half way into his month long yoga teacher training. He starts at 6.30 and returns at 6.30 in the evening. He has started coming home grumpier and grumpier, so I am not sure the path to enlightenment is easy, or perhaps too easy. Apparently he is not sweating as much as he would like. Don’t ask him about Yin Yoga! It is not his favorite. As I understand it, it involves staying in a pose for a long time and not using the muscles. But on the other hand yoga is pretty much all he talks about. Those who know my husband might understand. He buys meditations from the internet. We discuss the relative merits of the Dahla Lama meditation and he demonstrates his new breathing techniques when he gets home at night.
Jip has a new world atlas and has made a list of places he would like to visit. Great Britain and Ireland are topping the list. Do you think he has had enough of the tropics already?
A year or so ago Rosie often went to school in her brothers t-shirts trailing down to her knees, demanding to be addressed as 'John'. Nowadays she will only wear outfits that match (usually lots of colors with lots of colors) and look 'pretty'. 'Cool' is not a description she wants to hear. In fact a little stamp of the foot might follow such a compliment.
Rosie sings out loud when she plays around the house, self made lyrics which may involve a princess being kissed on the lips by a prince or just a little ditty about coming and going.
“Rosie, be quiet, I can’t concentrate!” Jip will shout, but this does not bother her one bit.
She will continue and Jip will be forced to find a quieter place to read his book.
The new house in Ubud is great with long corridors and glass doors that are opened every morning, looking out onto green palm and papaya trees. We are warming the Japanese minimalist look in the house up a bit with Balinese cushions and strategic lighting.
Now if the rainy season would just stop.
The parents are taking Bali in their stride. Enduring the heat and the rain.