I love my Flip Camera! (thanks to jimmy!) I got to capture my walk into the city with some adorable monkeys along the way. The quickest way into the city by foot is through Monkey Forest Rd.
I went into the city to get my money exchanged. I had no idea I’d be out walking for 6 hours! What was I thinking when I left my villa wearing jeans and my flip flops?! Not only was it way too freakin’ hot & humid but the “sidewalks” are unevenly paved and they’ve got deep dips and steep hikes. I got my money exchanged and it was ON…by “on”, I mean shopping. At the rate I’m going, I may just need to get a 2nd suitcase! Bargaining is expected by all shop owners. If you don’t, they lose respect for you–not only is that what I read in my Lonely Planet book but experienced first hand. Case in point…I forgot about the whole price negotiations that are expected, and with my first purchase of a Batik scarf, the shop owner said “42”–which is 42,000 rupiah = $4. So I said, ok! And when I took out my money, he said, I’ll give it to you for “40”. HAHA…that’s when I realized the shop owner probably thought, “poor girl, she could have had it for 30. I will take pity on her and negotiate for her.”
I wandered into a few more shops, a bookstore called Ganesh, and then I realized that I should probably get some lunch. When it’s that hot & humid, it kinda screws with your appetite. So I asked a shop owner if she knew of any vegetarian restaurants and she points to a place across the way that doesn’t look like a restaurant but has a sign above it that says “vegetarian”. So I go in there, and am greeted by a young man who walks out of what looks like a kitchen. He points to several photos on the wall and says these are all prepared as 1 meal on a plate. The place isn’t very big, and I have to take a seat at the the only table that’s accessible and somewhat open. At the table is a Balinese woman with very long black hair down to her waist who seems to be consulting the health of a German lady (she’s actually Italian and
from San Diego!). As I sat down and looked around the shop, I see the photo of Elizabeth Gilbert and Julia Roberts on the wall and the book title “Eat Pray Love”. And suddenly I realized that I’m at THE Dr. Wayan’s shop from the book! She
actually does exist! The lunch was fantastically made of fresh organic food and each item was labeled with its name and healing properties.
Wandering some more around the city, I shopped and bargained away and then found myself spending the most time with a music shop keeper. He taught me how to play the Patika (spelling)–they’re like 2 egg shakers attached with a string. Here’s his awesome performance. He plays weekly in a reggae band in town.