I've been to Kilauea on the Big Island of Hawai'i a couple of times, and it was breathtaking. Well, except for the sulfur smell. And the fact that my slippahs felt like they were nearly melting under my foot. I have images of that trip to the volcano from a long, long time ago. Perhaps I'll dig those up someday...
On clear days, we can see this volcano from the town that we are staying. It makes me smile. I'm not quite sure which volcano this is...it's either, Mount Agung or Mount Batur. We'd like to make plans to see it and hire a driver to take us up there. We figured it might be a trek, so we are going to spend some time in the mountains, and make Ubud our home-base for a few days.
Our initial motivation for making plans to visit Ubud was because we had no running water in the region that we are in right now. Can you imagine? Here's a link to my Trip Advisor forum post, if you want to read about the drama: Does anyone know which Hotels currently have running water?
We've been to Ubud, once, to meet some friends for dinner at a Mexican Restaurant. Yes, I mean tacos and margaritas! We were hesitant at first --- mexican food in Bali? --- but, our friend, Jeff, claimed it. And we were craving mexican like you wouldn't believe (my mouth is watering, at this moment, just thinking about it).
It was really, really good. The Indonesian owner had spent some time working in a Mexican restaurant in (I think) New Mexico --- and he's got some mad skillz in the kitchen. So we are going back.
Not just to eat the food that we miss. But to check out the Balinese art scene (yay, finally) and shopping, of course. Any special requests from home?
Ubud apparently has the best markets of all Bali. It's time to test my ancestral bargaining skills --- my Filipina blood runs thick when it comes to shopping and finding good deals, but I never get to do this in The States: "Half, half...I want half..."
Or, in Bahasa Indonesia:
"Itu terlalu mahal..." (That's too expensive...)
"Boleh kurang?" (Can you lower the price?)
"Ada yang lebih murah?" (Do you have anything cheaper?)
"Ini tawaran terakhir saya." (This is my final offer).
"Untuk orang Indonesia dijual dengan harga berapa?" (How much would you sell that to an Indonesian for?)
Shoots, that last one is long. I better start practicing.
Because I can easily pass as a local, my Indonesian friends like to joke, "Just pretend you cannot hear and you cannot talk, then you will get good bargain!"
That would be funny. But, let's face it, I would never be able to pull that off. My PC karma and guilt would follow me wherever I go. And have you ever seen me try to lie? Exactly. I can't do it with a straight face.
BTW, "PC" stands for politically correctness. Yeah, yeah, I know what you're thinking, "Oh great, another PC snob..." I'm not really, though, if you get to know me. Just buy me a beer or two, and we'll go from there...
Sooooo, unless we find reliable internet service, we might be going off the grid for a few days. A mini digital cleanse sounds mighty fine, right 'bout now...so, until then, I'll catch ya on the flip side --- x to the o