I'd avoided reading Eat Pray Love when it first became a best seller (amongst women of a certain age). Not another book about a woman finding herself (in Bali no less!!!) I thought. However since arriving in Ubud I've bought myself a copy from Periplus and am even starting to look forward to the film, opening next month they say.
Last August when we were here I took this shot of the extraordinary road collapse opposite the renowned Ubud markets - in the centre of the village, at its busiest point. Apparently it stayed like this for months; no one seemed to know what to do, what caused it, how to fix it. It created mayhem in the village and was very bad for tourism.
Come November last year the Hollywood film makers arrived, ready to shoot scenes of Eat Pray Love in a number of Ubud locations, including the markets (yes, with JULIA ROBERTS!). Apparently they organised the repair of the roadway, fixing it in a flash.
So today it looks like this........ Hooray for Hollywood, though we all hope it was not a temporary fix!
Scenes were filmed (with JULIA ROBERTS) in the markets. Apparently a lot of the stallholders were paid as extras. I heard they were paid 100,000 rupiah (about $12AUS) for their work as extras, which most stallholders would struggle to make in a normal day.
I predict Eat Pray Love will be big for Bali and may well convince many woman of a certain age to come here in search of toothless mystics so they can be just like JULIA ROBERTS.
An early morning visit to the Ubud markets, when the fresh food and cooking stalls are in full operation is a bit confronting as well as fascinating. It was wonderful to restore equilibrium afterwards with an iced Hibiscus tea at the beautiful Lotus Cafe.
And lunch afterwards at an old favourite: Ayu's Kitchen on Monkey Forest Road. Our jack fruit curry, larwa and rice and nasi goreng were just as delicious and just as cheap as in previous visits.
Rob and I both did a cooking class at the Bumi Bali Restaurant yesterday afternoon. Rob is preparing a nasi goreng here under the watchful eye of chef Nyomen. Easy, he says! I want to see him cook it at home now! We also cooked babi kecap, tum, bergedal and my favourite bubur injin (black rice pudding) - all fairly basic Balinese/Indonesian dishes (hmm).