Bali, or rather Ubud, already feels like home - not that it should, but it does. I've spent a lot of time walking here - walking, writing, watching, eating, enjoying -- these have become my mantras if you will. I know my way around and find myself quietly smiling to myself as I see backpackers - ahem, tourists - roaming the streets. I smile because the little streets of Ubud feel so familiar to me; even though I know I still have oh so much to learn.
There are no crosswalks here. It's sort of a walk-at-your-own-risk situation, and pray you don't have a bad run-in with a scooter. The yellow and pink petals lining the streets and sidewalks seduce me and I can't help but think everything is going to be alright.
Taxi, taxi! from the men and Massage, massage! from the women are the sounds of the city on foot, alongside the roosters (they roam the streets freely, right next to the homeless dogs), the singing birds, and the rum-tum of the bustling scooters. At night I fall asleep to ceremonial song and dance from the neighboring temple, and the sound of geckos burping loudly. These geckos are quite the character here I might add. They peek their little heads out from behind signs taped on walls, and lightly scurry across the white tiles of my balcony, or right into my room with me. The teeny translucent geckos are my absolute favorites - they're the little kiddos I think.
It's funny having what I call a routine here, in a place I've only just met. Mornings are early, with a giant bowl of papaya and balinese coffee and too many cups of tea. Breakfast is brought to me to my room. Can I just gush for a moment. I LOVE my homestay. I am so taken care of here, you can't even imagine how wonderful the Balinese staff (family? I'm not sure what to call them) are. They call me by my name, and shamefully I can't seem to remember any of theirs.
And now Gush Number Two and Three. Coffee here is out of this world, as is the Raw Chocolate, which as anyone who knows me knows, are the two keys to my heart. My happiness: coffee, raw chocolate. Presto. Dunzo, I'm good for life. These two things ABOUND in Ubud, and Ubud does them oh so freakin’ well. Heaven on heaven.
After breakfast and computer time on my homestay balcony, I adventure the streets of Ubud and find myself at one of the many many made-for-me cafes, typically for a late and lengthy lunch. Bali knows slow living y'all. Cafe-dwellers (basically 99.9% westerners, I've noted) perch up at these restaurant cafes for hours on end, enjoying any combination of vegetarian fare, fish, fruit, dessert, etc. - chatting with fellow foreigners, travelers, freelancers, and the like; or working on laptops, enjoying free wifi, and writing and reading as I do. I've never been much of a writer, but I've gotta tell you, Ubud just beckons it, welcomes it, and embraces it. I can't tell you how or why, but it does; I'll let you know when I've figured it out ;]
love from the land of petals & pranayama xx
author: Juliana Mariia Rose // photos by: Juliana Mariia Rose @jules.m.rose