Trip Start Jul 05, 2011
7Trip End Jul 29, 2011
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Where I stayed
Time for some culture....pretty interesting how they name kids here. You notice quite quickly that a lot of people have the same name. In fact I was talking on the phone today to Nyomann and it was a whole different Nyomann than I thought. It's because the first child is ALWAYS named Wayan, the second Made, the third Nyomann and the fourth Ketut (remember Ketut from Eat, Pray, Love?…well there’s all sorts of Ketuts here.) After that, I don’t know. There are family names too but generally people go by their first name…and there's only a few to go around. And I get a lesson on the castes from my driver to Ubud, Nyomann. He’s from the near lowest caste called Shudra. And from him on "up" you’ve got the Gustis, then Dewa, then Idabagus, then the Brahmins (now those aren;t the words Wikipedia uses but they're def the words that Nyomann uses). He said that the Brahmins are kind of annoying to be around in public because you have to address them a certain way….with big respect….but when you're out drinking some Bintang w them, you can talk to them however you want. He’s glad to be a Sudra because he said it gives him a lot of freedom….perhaps fewer expectations….less formality. But there is a definite awareness of the castes folks belong to …
So I go walking around Ubud thinking about my next week here
Well on day two, riding is a whole different story. I'm getting the hang of it…my tactic is ride like the road is yours….weave around anyone in your way, and act like you're really on a motorcycle (and try to surround yourself with them for protection in traffic). It's really becoming fun…although at times still feeling a bit crazy. But I can get to the countryside easily now, the monkey forest (my favorite place), out to the rice paddies, and around town in a flash. I'm getting some serious exercise (although breathing in some serious exhaust) and feeling great – working off some of that black rice pudding with the coconut cream – and I think i'm getting noticed around town…maybe.