Saturday, May 11, 2013

dinner, dancing, and shopping

Last night we ate dinner at Laka-Leke (the name means 'hideaway' partly because it's tucked in the Monkey Forest). One of the main reasons you have dinner there is the evening dance performance at 8pm. The restaurant is owned by the same people who own our beautiful hotel, Alam Jiwa. We had 7pm reservations so we could eat dinner before the dance started -- Marc had an Ubud specialty, crispy duck, and I had nasi campur, which was a plate-smorgasbord of Balinese specialties. Both were really good.

crispy duck with some very spicy condiments
nasi campur -- chicken, green beans, tempe, tofu, chicken satay

The meal was great, and then there was the dancing. The movements are so incredibly stylized, and I kept trying to make my fingers bend backwards and then move quickly, like the women were able to do. The costumes were gorgeous and the music was live, and the story was an ancient one from the Mahabharata, probably. There are several styles of dance; the one we watched was Sendratari Ramayana Classical dance.

The sky was black and filled with stars, and I sat there in a chair, a few yards away from this beautiful Balinese dance being performed for us, next to Marc, and felt such awe. Watching Balinese dancers, in Ubud, in the Monkey Forest, under a Balinese night sky. Simply amazing, in every way. At no point in my life would I ever have thought something like this was waiting for me, could happen for me.

This morning after breakfast on our terrace -- again, banana crepes with lemon and honey and cinnamon -- we ventured back into Ubud to do some shopping. We started at the big market, which is mostly touristy junk except for the produce market buried deep inside:

flower sellers, of course, for the offerings
and veg too, of course
offering packets underway
and more veg
exquisite little flower petals, fragile and beautiful pink
Our main purpose in the big market -- since it catered to tourists -- was to buy a pair of nail clippers. When that was accomplished, we set out into Ubud to do some shopping for souvenirs. I was looking for earrings for Katie and for me, and we were scouting for something special for Marc, which we found at a Tibetan Buddhist shop: a beautiful thangka of Tara. I wish I could post a photo, but the one we bought is tightly wound up in a packing tube. It's bordered by beautiful silk, and hand painted in the center, with gold leaf. Really beautiful. While we were waiting for our car, we sat with the owner of the shop who told us a story of a local man (we think) who suddenly sat down in the middle of the street, hunched over and not speaking. He went to get a friend of his, a visiting Swiss neurologist (we think), who came and poured cold water on the man who suddenly -- like magic -- came to. It was a lot of fun talking to the shop owner, who also had a lovely conversation with Marc about meditation.

A member of the local royal family has died and there will be a huge funeral on the 14th, which we'll sadly miss. Parts of the funeral are private, but then the body (we think) will be carried through town for burial in the cemetery, which is just outside of town (we think). We happened onto a giant tower being constructed, which is part of the procession:

local men constructing the tower -- note the head wrap
this giant tower will be carried through Ubud by 100 men

Too bad we'll miss it, it would be great to see; the shop owner told us that everyone in town will be out. We'll be on a little island nearby, snorkeling or swimming or shopping or eating or relaxing.

Marc is helping me try to get a tan, which I never can seem to do, so we have a systematic lying-by-the-pool daily routine. That's done for the day, so we'll go get something to drink and plan where we'll go for dinner. We keep saying how amazing and special this place is, and how much we want to come back. I keep fantasizing about living here, having a little shop, living in the rhythm of this very special place.

1 comment:

  1. Fabulous! Haven't heard anything about gourds though....


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