We had a bit of a strange night last night. We had tickets to see A Winter’s Tale at the Fringe Festival. We’d scoped out the venue, gotten our tickets and showed up ten minutes before show time. The theatre, like all of Edinburgh this month, was crammed with advertisements for theatre: It was a […]
So far, 24 hours into my visit, Edinburgh feels like a teeming young person’s city. I don’t know if all the young people we see on the street are locals out for the evening or tourists from all over the world who have arrived for the theater festival. Last night we struck out around nine
Today, I decided to catalogue the world’s greatest salads. I hadn’t intended to do that, but after the salad I had today in the London Heathrow airport, I felt compelled to start a list. Today’s salad, at a large sprawling restaurant called Giraffe, was called the Super Healthy Veggie and Oregano Feta Salad. It included
It’s the morning of my departure. Saying goodbye to Mom is the last thing on my list. I drive over to Sunshine Villa and let myself in her room. She’s sitting, as she usually is, on the flowered couch, newspapers scattered on the table before her. I clear off a space and sit beside her.
For the past few days, my mother has been calling me with a slight alarm in her voice. “Laurie, I was looking at my calendar and I see that you’re going to Scotland on August 7th and then I looked and you don’t come back until the 25th. Is that true?” “Yes, Mom, I’m going
Before we went to the cremation, Judy, Surya, and staff members who happened by, helped us wrap our sarongs and temple scarves properly, rather than the slap-dash vacation-in-Hawaii-wrap-around style many of us had been sporting. It wasn’t very far to Munduk Village, but the road was narrow with no sidewalks, and we were all constrained
On our way to the waterfall today, our last hike of the trip, Surya pointed out this leaf, kasa, or as it called it, “traditional Balinese toilet paper.” When we stroked the incredibly soft underside of the leaf, we could easily see why. Along the path, we came across this dead green snake. Judy said it’s the
Last night after dinner, Karyn and I got to spend a few special minutes with Putu Metta Sustrawan, the 15-year-old boy whose education we’ve been sponsoring for the past year. When we met him with his father last year, Putu was shy and deferential and spoke very little English. This year, his voice had dropped
We’ve all happily settled into our cottages at Puri Lumbung in Munduk Village in North Bali. The temperature here is at least 20 degrees cooler than it has been during the rest of our trip; the air is cool. Some of us have even pulled out our sweatshirts in the evening. I slept with socks
This morning, I had one hour before I had to be back in the lobby of my hotel to get in the vans to head to Munduk, up north in the mountain country, the final stop of our three-part tour of Bali. I set out, walking fast and determined, knowing exactly where I wanted to
Today was our free day in Ubud. Everyone was free to choose whatever activities they wanted for the day. Choices included: time to write and wander, time to shop, bike trips down from the top of a mountain, white water rafting, cooking classes, visiting a healer (a real one, not one of the Eat, Pray,
One of the things I love about using Judy and Surya as our tour guides is that they everything they show us and teach us is deeply grounded in their love and respect for Balinese people and culture. The other day over lunch, Judy taught us how to avoid insulting or alienating the Balinese by
We moved to Ubud yesterday. As we drove into town, the constant juxtaposition of the ancient and modern worlds of Bali increased exponentially. To my left, out the car window, I saw the “ice cream woman.” She was on a scooter with a cooler full of ice cream strapped to the back of her seat
In preparation for our visit to Tenganan Village today, where we’d be seeing the coming of age ritual and visiting some of Bali’s greatest artisans, Judy gave us a dramatic lesson in the art of bargaining. She began by saying, “Some of you may already be very good at bargaining from yard sales and flea
Today, everyone on the trip had a free day until our 3:00 PM writing group. People were going off on scooter adventures, to tour a Balinese chocolate factory, and to see the silversmithing village. Someone told me she was getting another two-hour massage. I’m sure there were other plans afoot that I wasn’t privy to.