April 25, 2016

And Then There Was Ubud

{wearing bodycon from The Kewl Shop}

"Wow, this place looks nothing like the Ubud in 'Eat, Pray, Love'."

That was the first thing I said to my sister, Patti, when we arrived in the leafy Ubud. Lushes leaves, big plants, yoga and detox places... The town of Ubud looks like a massive "A Thousand Villages" store with "self improvement" messages and people hounding you for taxis every block. The hotel we stayed in was the classic cabin style in which I made Patti take a bazillion photos of me in my bodycon dress from The Kewl Shop- so fitting and appropriate.

"Want to go see a Balinese healer? I think that's what people do when they come here." I asked Patti.
"I read from Lonely Planet that they spit on you and hit you with tree leaves and that it's not very enjoyable... So you're on your own."
"Alright, lets go eat more suckling pig then."

Suckling pig (Barbeque pig) is my favorite Balinese dish. The fat, the crunchy skin- Everything about it screams cholesterol but it just taste so heavenly. Ubud, on the other hand, is truly something else. The hills, the temples, not to mention the rice patties are some of the most beautiful rice patties I have ever seen. It's also astonishing the amount of time that certain people devote to being 'well' around Ubud. At Alchemy restaurant, on the table there was a menu of all the raw foods and beside it was another menu consisting wellness improvement such as "Vaginal Ozone", "Rectal Ozone", "Enema detox" and "Psychotherapy".

"Vaginal Ozone- A great treatment for all kinds of problems from endometrious to thrush." Patti read the menu out loud.
"I highly doubt that considering the ozone is highly poisonous." I replied.
"Huh. They also serve raw ice cream here."
"Maybe they want you to consume some unpasteurized milk so they can sell you an enema after. If that doesn't work they can then sell you a rectal ozone and if you're really messed up after that you can go for psychotherapy. That's an amazing business model if you think about it!"
"Hmm. Let's just get some vegan salads."

Enema and rectal ozoning aside, Alchemy did have some of the best salads I've ever tasted. After lunch, Patti wanted to do yoga. "At 40 C and 100% humidity!?" I complained. But how often are we in Ubud- yoga was ridiculously expensive but since the building was an outdoor hut, hot yoga was free. I also got myself a $3.50 haircut and $7 hour-long massage because I couldn't resist the price and really, how bad can someone screw up a trim (famous last words).

That night, we walked back to our cabin hotel not feeling anymore "Eat, Pray, Love" like Julia Roberts. We did not find a spiritual guide, or a healer, nor did we found a lover in Ubud to run away with. And as it turned out, a lot of "Eat, Pray, Love" Ubud scenes weren't even filmed in Ubud. When we asked our driver, Made Dana, if he has seen "Eat, Pray, Love", 

"Yes..." Made Dana said
"Did you like it?" I asked.
"I didn't finish it... It was kind of boring." Made Dana replied in the most polite, almost guilty way hoping we would not be offended.
"It's okay, I found it boring too. Julia Roberts cried too much in the movie." I laughed and said.

But alas, we were full and happy. And Ubud was definitely worth staying a few nights in.