Ok, let’s have a real talk now. Since few months ago I decided to live in one of the “spiritual” area in Bali, called Ubud, I found it fascinating and confusion in same time happen to me during my stay in Ubud.
What is that?
- Find a place to live in Ubud can be such a pain in the ass
Oh, forgive my bluntly word, but it is really such a hard work and make me so dizzy. You won’t feel the same as I do if you have plenty of money, which I don’t. Rental place in Ubud is really killing my wallet. For some people, the rental is probably (really) cheap, or just average. But hell yeah, they are mostly foreigners and they bring lots of money from their country – which consider as A LOT, for them to consume in Indonesia and pay it in Rupiah.
Decent beautiful place can cost 5 million rupiah a month. 1 bedroom. 1 kitchen. 1 bathroom – sometimes no living room, but yes, with a view, a garden, the sound of river or green lust of rice field which people are dying to get it, including me. Plus an appealing note, 3 mins to yoga studio. I want that!!! But I don’t want to pay 5 million rupiah for a month, which I will not stay in there most of the time (because of my work). To get a nice room as I wish for 3 million rupiah is really such a lucky dip. But so rare. In low season they can give you that price, but very rare, again, it is very very rare.
Yes you can find place cheaper than that. It called kos. 1 room, if lucky including bathroom. Some with air conditioner – I don’t need that. But no view. Only a window which pointing to boring landscape, aka wall. Kos might be cost around 1 million rupiah until 2 million rupiah. Less than 1 million rupiah, it can be very very local. There is nothing wrong with that, but since living in Ubud is like living in paradise for some people (including me), you don’t want to ruin your paradise with crying neighbor babies – or dirty alley – or the loud noisy of motorbike. You want peace. For that you need to reach so deeper in your wallet.
Every time I log in to Facebook and see this group, I need to hold my breath and practice what I learn in yoga studio. Inhale exhale, inhale exhale.
- It’s a world full of western
As I wrote above, in Ubud, you will find so many western such as they are doing a big exodus from their country to this island of gods. Not only in Ubud, another famous part of Bali such as Kuta, Seminyak, Canggu, Uluwatu, Umalas, Kerobokan, you will see so many people that definitely not Indonesian or not Balinese. Ah, there is also another exodus from different island of Indonesia to Bali. Let’s say now Bali consists with too many Jakartans, or too many Banyuwangi. Most of the time I asked people who sell food or gojek (the motorbike riders service) where do they come from, they always told me they come from East of Java. Well… me too btw, a part of Jakartans that choosing to live in Ubud at the moment.
But the thing about too many western people, western culture, it’s making me feel like I am not in my own country. Most of the time I went to yoga studio, it’s always me that the only Indonesian. Or maybe there is another one or two Indonesian. Can’t be compared with another 20-60 western people in one class room. We are minority in that land of Indonesia. Funny but not funny.
I agree that western existence in Bali or some part of Indonesia can make that area better in economical part. But I just hope our authentic cultures will be still the same as how it is to be as authentic it is. Bali might still keep their ritual, but in some point, sometimes I feel Bali is too western than it should be now.
- Believe me, Bule is just Bule
Bule is how Indonesian called western people. Now, it doesn’t really mean a different treatment etc, as a part of the long argument about the word. In my opinion, that’s only a slang how Indonesian called western. Anyway, before I came to Ubud – or Bali, I always thinking, “Ohhh yeah, now I can find bule boyfriend, easily!!!” But wait, I am still basically single even already here for few months, and bule, they just buleeeee…
In Jakarta, it’s so famous many “bule hunters” – that’s because the competition to get “bule boyfriend” among the Jakartans girls. Some of them can do “cat fighting” only to get bule boyfriend (yep yep). I have no idea why (maybe I know!), but Indonesian women love to have bule boyfriend. To be honest, sometimes I feel pity for some of girls that so proudly to have bule boyfriend, no matter how does he look like – such as a very young Indonesian woman dating a very old bule (I can only say it from my point of view as woman). But that’s their life. For me, I like bule to be my boyfriend because they let me to be me (I can make another article for this topic). Back to the point, during the first days I stay in Bali, I felt so many handsome bule men around me, ohh the paradise of white handsome looking men! Later on, they just look as… men. Normal men. Some are charming, some are not. Some are nice. Some, ehmm, you just want to punch them in their face. Period.
- It’s very easy to live healthy
This is what I loveeee so much about Ubud. Just step inside of this lovely town, then you can feel the atmosphere that make you want to be healthy, choosing your food wisely and avoid to drink liquor. Oh, this side might be an exaggerate feeling from me. But that’s what I feel every time I go out in the evening for listening music or hang out with friends. People can dance joyfully without any glass of beers. We dance with coconut water in hands! You don’t believe me? Try to live in Ubud then.
You can easily go from vegetarian (vegan) restaurant to another. The view of lovely green rice field also make you feel that you want to live longer in this earth, that’s why you want to take care of your health. You started reading about what healthy food to cook today, you are collecting the information about where to buy coconut oil and all the organic herbs, you go to Bali Buda store regularly and your date is in Down to Earth Café or the Seeds of Life.
- It’s a world full of New Age shits
It’s not a shit, I love it by the way. You need to get used to it if you want to live in Ubud. Hippies here, hippies there. Yoga here, yoga there. Karma talks here, karma talks there.
One time, me and my friend had a conversation about the energy vampires. I was thinking we are talking about a movie or a book, or just a fiction about v.a.m.p.i.r.e.s. Until in the middle of conversation, I just knew that he talked about people who sucking another people’s energy, and he made a comment like this : “Hahh you live in Ubud and you don’t know what is it?” What is that? A vampire who sucking someone’s else energy like sucking a blood? Only without a mark, I think.
“And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.” – Roald Dahl
You don’t need to be freak out when someone suddenly grab your hands and tell you have a good energy. That happened to me. Or don’t be surprise if someone tell you that your energy is so white today, when you actually wear a black dress. Apparently there is color for all energy, depends on your mood. And people in Ubud so familiar with this. Someone told to my friend that all her chakra are closed. Chakra? If you don’t know, chakra is energy point in someone’s body. And there is 7 point in one body. If all closed, so he meant that my friend has no soul or what? Sigh…
A best friend’s friend told me that her job is spiritual healer. Oh yes, what a job, right? In Jakarta, I used pretty familiar with a job in hospital world as a doctor, nurse, pharmacist. Not spiritual healer. Another said she is a tantric teacher, another said, “I am a reader”. Maybe the normal one that I ever heard that “I am a yoga teacher.” But again, what is normal? Everything is normal in Ubud.
Another friend complained to me when they hear about a group in the restaurant talking about Unicorn. How it is exist for them, etc. The thing is, if you believe in something, then it can be so real for you. There is nothing right or wrong. So there is no point to angry over it. If you live in Ubud, you need to be ready to see or hear or experience things beyond what you imagine. Because anything seems to be possible here.
- Over-pricey yoga everywhere
I know I know that yoga teachers need to eat too. But seriously, anything labelled as yoga, can be soooo expensive overpriced – overrated. Holly molly. Just put a “yoga” tag in a basic white tank and sell it in yoga shop, it can cost about four times more than one in market. Crap. Just because of yoga brand. Sometimes I also want to scream when I see the price tag of stuff in yoga that not make-sense for me, even the price of yoga class. I love to be in yoga studio in Ubud everyday. But if every time I go there, I will not able to eat properly the whole month because I need to cut my meals budget. So bye-bye, I only try to find free or cheap yoga classes then. Some yoga places give different price between western and local (Indonesian), local can pay half-price (I wanna kiss your owner!), but I don’t have enough guts to have a look about yoga training or workshop cause I know it won’t be affordable for me. If you know some that are affordable, please please please let me know! Maybe, the problem is not about the price… Maybe the problem is my wallet. Anyway, I am a backpacker that trying to live cheap in this such expensive world and do yoga.
- It can be peaceful but also lonely
This is affected mostly by my melancholic side. Build a new friendship is a bit difficult in Ubud because people come and go. People that I like to talk with and hang out, mostly travelers that in some point need to return to their own country. This town is like a transit town for tourist. They mostly only visiting the area for some days. Lucky me that I have a roommate from Jakarta too. But I can be at home for few days without meeting anyone at all. Just me, book and my living room. In the other days, I am working, away from Ubud. I can’t have it all, I know.
But I love Ubud, no matter what. Especially if I walk around and see so many cute house ware stores. It makes me just want to have a home in Ubud and fill it with all that lovely wooden stuff. Ah, I wish…