Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Finishing a Full Day in Ubud

I went to a well known foodie hangout, Sari Organik Restaurant, where you have to trek into rice paddies to get a spectacular meal. I had the best quiche ever. I know, I know... real men don't eat quiche, but I am more than a real man!

My early morning caught up to me so I chillaxed by the pool and finished the book, "A Cook's Tour" by Anthony Bourdain that was handed off to me by a fellow traveler in Vietnam. Good and funny book about extreme eating.

In the evening I attended a traditional dance held at the Ubud Palace. To begin with, the setting was wonderful. It was in the outdoor grounds of a beautiful temple surrounded by gardens and pools of lilies, a very well decorated backdrop. As the procession of some thirty ladies came out I noticed that they were not young, some even elderly, and none of then had what I would call a dancers physique. I though this was going to be a very slow wobbling dance. Then they all took their places behind their instruments. They were the orchestra that played what I would describe as a type of golden laced xylophone. Twenty of them banged away on different pieces of metal using what looked like a geologist hammer/pick in one hand and using the other hand to mute the ringing when needed. There were a couple of gong players and a handful of women playing a wooden flute. it was like a fast choir of bells exaggerated with showmanship by twirling their pickaxes between notes. Each bell or whatever metal piece that was struck was not precisely in tune with the others giving it a slight out of tune haunting piano sound. i loved it.

The dancers were like a combination of the other movement artists we have seen in SE Asia. Posture and hand gestures were very Apsara and their irises did another dance within their wide open eyes. Amazing and pretty freakish to watch. The show was very energetic and sprinkled with large bats flitting around the stage and audience as our ally in the war against Mosquitos. A battle form which I should be awarded the purple heart medal of courage.

I am normally not a big fan of Reggie music, but sometimes in the tropics it's the best music to hop and sweat to. After a couple beers and bouncing on a crowded dance floor I retired to my bungalow calling it a day... a very long and wonderful first day in Bali..

Location:Ubud Bali

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