Eat, Pray, ....Shop.

Trip Start Dec 26, 2011
Trip End Feb 08, 2012

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Flag of Indonesia  , Bali,
Friday, January 6, 2012

Ubud got really famous several years back because of Elizabeth Gilbert's novel " Eat,Pray, Love"
and Bali was welcoming of all the attention and new travelers discovering this beautiful country and all the wonders it has to offer. But now years later, and many seekers trying to follow the authors journey other than their own, a few locals  have been known to say " oh that damn book" .  Its been years since the last bombing in a nearby town called Kuta, which killed many people, mainly Australian tourists on holiday. The country has bounced back, but the fear and the memory of a repeat attack have still scared off many travelers , which is a shame when we can look and see the violence on a every day occurrence in the very places where we call home.
 So the "Book" with its stories of love and adventure , brought back many of us with our spirits needing a little more  enrichment than just a beach to lay our sarong for the day.
You can come to Bali and Eat the most Delicious food for practically nothing. You can enrich your soul with the Balinese their beautiful spirituality and customs of praying and honoring their gods with twice daily offerings of handmade flower baskets and incense, one placed up high to honor and give to the gods above which are good and guide them with protection and abundance. Then a offering placed low to the ground to keep the bad spirits happy to keep them away from causing any harm.
Nothing like keeping your friends close, and your enemies even closer, its a concept that all of us know very well in our own lives.
Then there is the shopping....eventually when the people come, so does the opportunity to make money. Villages become towns, and a few shops, become many shops, and Ubud has become a shoppers dream, or a non-shoppers nightmare, depending on how you look at it. So far the only commercial business that has been able to buy itself into this special town is Starbucks...they even made a special sign with an organic look to it to blend in, but its still Starbucks for sure. And for all of you that know me, no, I did not buy a Starbucks mug to add to my collection at home.  I was a little tempted, but it just felt a little wrong to step into the place so my resistance to all that takes me off my Zen like journey was all avoided .  The items made here in are beautiful, and handcrafted here right in Bali, made by the actual people selling them in the stores. The prices can be high on some things, and a downright bargain on most that you cant but help to buy an extra little suitcase just to bring your treasures home with you.  the quality is incredible, and this was a perfect spot for Sara and Erika to come to start their business. They had the opportunity to honor their Fair Trade beliefs of buying directly from the people who make their products. So all the money goes straight to them. The Balinese are very much about family. In fact it comes first above everything. Many of them  live with their entire families, even after marriage. the parents  as well( imagine that, so you never really move out!)  they live in compounds where they some have their own homes, and all the family members contribute in some way, and most of the employees are all family members. Sara and Erika were so lucky to have gone to their homes, bought directly from these families, and their products, mostly jewelry and scarves and other beautiful handcrafted items were purchased with love and compassion to give back to some of the most deserving people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. What a great experience to be with them on this journey!
So, its back to Bangkok and its fun, and not as Zen way of life before heading to our next destination by over night bus, Koh Phayam.....and getting there should be a story in itself.
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christine on

Hi again, well you are in a much prettier place than I. Im in newark, NJ inbetween my brussels. day 5 for me. Wow the rice fields are so neat to look at! How are erika and sara going to take all that stuff home? Look forward to your next blog! miss you still, Christine

Bg on

Enjoying all your blog posts!!! I wanna go traveling with you! :-)

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