Tuesday, October 16

ubud off the main road


Central Ubud during the day is a growing disaster of traffic management. Tourist buses block the narrow one way streets, purging their load at the main attractions as indicated in the brochure; to pose with a monkey or temple gate and buy a wooden penis bottle opener or batik sarong. At least up here they are usually petite Japanese tottering in inappropriately high shoes and white sun hats, rather than mobs of singlet wearing mediocrity. Despite the rapid growth, Ubud still has charm, and only minutes from the veil of main street shops, the rice nods quietly and the pace slows to a saunter.  It is on the side streets that I love to sit on a busted plastic stool or squat in the dirt, and eat simple Indonesian fast food, served from the back of a motorbike or beneath a busted blue tarp.  Rice boiled in woven banana leaf parcels, chopped and served with bean sprouts, tofu and peanut spiced sauce is lunch for less than a dollar, leaving pocket money to spend on bottle openers.
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