Dinner last night at Pundi Pundi facing the same Lotus pond as the previous night. Nasi Bakar Lyus was Erica’s choice. It was great as it consisted of fried rice with seafood and Balinese Spices wrapped and cooked in a Lotus Leaf with two prawns on top. A great dish to eat whilst sitting next to a Lotus pond. Cost with Bintang Beer and Lime Drink A$ 17. The place opposite where we had a lovely evening was now swarming with 3 busloads of mainland Chinese! Thank goodness we were not there then.
Must mention Real Estate here. Prices are very high (US$1.5M for a villa) and many are leasehold if cheaper. We would not consider buying here even if we had the money, especially after reading the sage advice on Planet Boomer website re buying in Bali. The rules of foreign ownership could change at any time and involving a Balinese as part owner and leasing back is fraught with danger. Each to their own and if you want to purchase just go ahead with eyes wide open.
Bali’s great success as a Tourist Island has come at a great cost to locals. 80% of the Gross National Product is now generated by tourism. This land of gentle subsistence farmers has been turned on its head. Their Hindu faith is however still intact with special ceremonies almost every day. In theory they should be better off financially but we have seen little evidence of this.
The typical Balinese just takes life as it comes and hastens slowly in everyday activities. The elderly are looked after by the family but their lives are not prolonged by invasive medical procedures and they just accept that their “Batteries have gone flat” and pass away at home. The sort of existence many old cultures had before we poked our noses in! Needless to say with an average life expectancy of around 70 years Alzheimer’s is not a problem here.
We have noticed that building heights are no more than 4 stories and this has helped preserve the village feel. Building methods are old fashioned with work in our compound being done with buckets of hand mixed concrete /cement and tiles being winched up on a rope to upper levels. Noticed a band of women moved about 10 Cubic metres of sand by large buckets from the roadside into the compound. It does appear that women are the “Work Horses” of Balinese society.
For those who might be wondering we are not missing the home ownership lifestyle we lived in Australia. Not having to mow lawns, clean windows trim plants day after day in a never ending cycle (a little like a Hamster wheel) has been a blessed relief. Erica has declared many times that she has no desire to cook or clean again. The never ending world of travel with just two bags is still as alluring as ever!
Have decided to approach our forthcoming visit to Australia as just that. A trip to another country to catch up with loved ones and friends and get a few repairs done (Erica’s Knees) before we set off again to new horizons! We are already planning new destinations.
Taking a day trip in the morning (we are still in tourist mode) to Tanah Lot on the coast and Bedugal in the centre of the Island at Lake Bretan.
Had lunch today at Warung Sopa just up the street after a long walk through the Tourist part of Ubud including the Markets. The traffic fumes are very bad and there seemed to be more cars and bikes than ever. The effect of all this is to make you much hotter than you would be in a normal street situation. Once again all Europeans and Chinese on the street. Bought a couple of second hand books and am settling down with one now.