I am charioted on the back of a motorbike to a homestay about 15 minutes outside the center of Ubud. It is a gorgeous house set in the middle of rice fields managed by a quirky woman from Australia who is a professional poi spinner. Bring on the circus love!
She shows me my potential room and ample kitchen (AHO!) and I meet two Norwegian sisters who too have crashed for five months. The organic restaurant Bali Buddha even delivers. The options for community are abundant and I feel beyond blessed.
At the queen’s home, she sits with her daughter (her eldest child of five) and a sister from Jordan. I join and learn the Middle Eastern beauty too works for the yoga studio I am applying to work. Magical connections are weaved continually.
The queen’s daughter and the Jordanian sister and I head out to lunch, chauffeured by the young male driver of the daughter in a shiny black Jaguar. He opens and closes the doors for us all before cruising out of Ubud to a café overlooking the rice terraces about twenty minutes afar. The caste system is still deep-seated in the Balinese world, those who have adorned in lace and escorted by a throng of house staff, cooks, drivers, etc. It is interesting for my naïve American mind to digest.
The daughter is a restaurateur and compatriot of the owner of this chic open aired bistro, tiered among the paddies. We receive refined service, glasses of fresh sour green skinned orange mixed with raw palm sugar and slivers of coconut meat, and the most beautiful salads with grilled tofu, fresh corn, roasted plum tomato, purple cabbage, avocado, proper leaves of lettuce, garnished with shredded crunchy beet, carrot, and jicama. The owner gives us complimentary desserts, a French/Japanese fusion pastry creation baked with thin apple slivers and topped with homemade green tea ice cream. Brownies are placed in a paper doggie bag. I feel like under-dressed royalty.
We drive further through the rice terraces, past Titra Empul and numerous fruit plantations before approaching Batur volcano. At a restaurant ridged on the edge of a cliff the ladies hydrate with local Bintang beer as I sip tea, admiring the clear view of the mother entity. It is gorgeous, the energy lines emanating from her crown. I send her love.
Bali is truly a special place to be, I am deeply grateful.
Back to Ubud in our snazzy ride and then lounging alone in one of my favorite cafes to write, a small dwelling owned by an Australian sister who is a follower of the Guru (of the ashram). I witnessed her sing passionately at the puja and it seems she puts the same intensity and love into her business. The energy of Atman restaurant is peaceful, the minimalism of decor and comfort of the floor cushions super homey and attractive. The staff lets me sit without committing to big purchases and the wifi the most superior I have yet to acquire. To Atman, the universal soul. We are one.