Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Stragglers

After 20 hours of flying (note photo of sunset in Tokyo), 8 hours in the Singapore airport and an hour drive, Andy and I have finally arrived in Ubud--our restive way station. Ubud is ripe with tourists, mostly from Australia and Europe. Streets are relatively narrow, and motorists barely squeeze by each other nonchalantly. We are staying at a typical Balinese hotel (see photo entry). My room has a veranda that looks out over the pool and tropical, lush gardens. Porters brought my bags up to the room, and I'm sure they are still wondering why in the world I have two huge bags, one weighing 70lbs! They'd be doubly shocked to learn that the bag is filled entirely with plastic bags. The Customs folks two hours earlier had also found this interesting. The agriculture officials requested that I open the bag, and raised quite an eyebrow. Fortunately, my response that the bags were for an archaeological project was acceptable. I got a nice smile from the official, and he sent me on my way.

Corduroy pants and fleece top, while excellent for the snowy Seattle weather, and comfortable on an air-conditioned airplane, are not suitable for the typical 80 degrees and rainy weather of Bali. After a change of clothes at the hotel, Andy and I headed to the Monkey Forest. Here we encountered lots of energetic macaques looking for banana handouts from the throngs of tourists that flock to this sacred site. (see monkey photo)

Later, we had a papaya drink and watched a tiny parade of sorts (or was it a funeral procession? I'll probably never know). Participants were dressed in traditional clothes with bright colors. Some held drums; others flags or decorative umbrellas. After rehydrating, we tried to buy a SIMM card for my phone. This was somewhat difficult given the language barrier, and I ended up getting a card with astronomical rates. I will try to find a cheaper one tomorrow. In the meantime, we were able to contact Peter on Banda Naira. They sound very happy! Apparently, snorkeling has been a steady pastime for all the students. Unfortunately, Peter had some minor permitting difficulties and had to leave his colleague Daud behind on Ambon to finalize the process. As such, Andy and I will try to catch a flight to Ambon to meet up with Daud in the next two days, so we can all hed out to Banda together. In the meantime, we'll be eating well and drinking yummy fruit juices (right now I'm having a white mango juice with a lemongrass and lime garnis). Tomorrow we'll explore the world outside of Ubud.  

I miss you and love, Clara, Yari and Eric! XOXOXOX -- Love, Mommy


  1. Hi Laura!
    All's well on the home front. I saw Clara at Kumon and she told me and Savannah all about the photo album you made her. She really loves it! And Eric dropped by the house. They're all coming over this Sunday for dinner. Love, Jenni

  2. Hi, Laura! Can I come with you? JK. On Wednesday, I went over to the Newt to have lunch and a walk with Patty. Eric seemed to be surviving, but then again, it was about day 2. I got a full tour of your snug and efficient space. I didn't see the kids (maybe next week?), but loved the picture books you left for them. Sounds like people are trying to keep the family dance card full, so maybe the time won't drag TOO long for your guys at home. Love and hugs, Kath V

  3. Hi Laura! Eric and the kids are over here. Both kids are living a daze of sugar and videos (ha!). No, they will be eating vegetables shortly and they are building stuff. Eric misses you. So do the kids. Please bring home a monkey.