Dorothy had her Oz, Alice had her Wonderland and Bastian had his Fantasia, I have my Ubud.
Having been accosted by a number of Bintang breathing Australians, being taught to samba by a handsome Italian, and having to constantly refuse requests such as: “you come look my shop” and “ey luv come ‘ave a dring with us”; I was done with the shoddily built group of clubs that is Kuta.
I sat on my surprisingly bug free bed in my bungalow trying to find the opposite of Kuta, and what did all the guide books say (along with a discerning Julia Roberts)? Ubud!
The peace and quiet of Ubud is truly indescribable with only intermittent calls for “taxi, taxi” I was able to wonder the streets filled to bursting with art galleries and a ‘shot left’ of the road landed me in the most beautiful rice paddies I’ve ever seen. My plans of stopping in a new town everyday fell apart as soon as I entered the laidback Art Cafe, filled with stereotypical travellers nibbling on humus and either reading a book or clicking away on their computers or phones.
There was the European looking woman on her Mac with armpits in desperate need of some attention from a razor…where’s an Australian sheep shearer when you need one? A group of stereotypical young Americans with fake dreadlocks and i phones were talking loudly in the one corner. Across from me what looked like a mother and her daughter were sitting glumly at a round table, food untouched, throwing daggers at each other each time their eyes met.
I shared a bench with a Swedish woman who had sold everything she owned after she caught her husband cheating and had been in Ubud for 6 months, not feeling the need to go anywhere else for the moment. I could see why she wouldn’t want to leave, after all who wants to leave paradise?
A paradise where the cool mountain air takes away the edge of the constant heat, where the mud from the surrounding rice paddies feels like velvet between your toes and the rain on your face doesn’t bother you but is a welcomed refreshment.
A paradise where everyone, is there just to be there. With not a frown in sight I whiled away the five most fantastic days of my life, all the while knowing that one day I would have to return and stay for much longer, because that’s what Ubud does to you.