As I might have mentioned in passing, I love the little magical and contorted island of Bali. More than that, I love the little hilly town of Ubud, which in ancient Balinese (ubad) means medicine! I therefore write this with a sinking heart.
Upon my last visit 3 years ago, I had loved the relaxed vibe of this town. During this trip, I was shocked at how this mystical little town has become not only overrun by tourists, but jam packed with construction sites and improvised hippies.
Yes you name it, whilst there are some amazing yoga studios with great teachers such as Radiantly Alive and the Yoga Barn, and some reputable healers and massage therapists (I am summarising), there is also, well a hell of a lot of devotional junk. With such spiritual clutter came an army of individuals all dressed like a cross between a leprechaun and a gypsy.
Whilst I try to steer clear of judging people by their appearance, I can only imagine a large amount of these leprechauns are in search of clarity, hence why they are dressed like they are roaming an enchanted forest. Moreover they decided to travel all the way to Indonesia to play this aforementioned dress-up. Which, if you ask me, in a developing country is a rather bizarre thing to be doing.
I wonder if they dress like this and dispense hugs to everyone when they go home. I doubt it, since most of them aren’t even friendly and they normally look at you with disdain. You see, you are destroying the illusion that they are the only magical leprechaun left on the island of Bali, having an authentic enlightenment. You, in fact, are literally shattering this construction by mirroring them. Because you are a tourist, AND SO ARE THEY. Well, perhaps of spiritual kind. So Ubud has in fact become full of tourist-hating hippy tourists. Ironic!
Anyway there are still a lot of fantastic things about beautiful Ubud, (particularly if you can close an eye on the amount of dreads and rat’s tails hairdos), so you should by all means STILL visit. I will give you some tips and tell you some of the things I did next time!
I just needed to initially have a little rant to get over my disappointment of how fast this little town changing, and not necessarily for the best. Especially since whilst having lunch one day I overheard a thirteen year old girl telling her mother that her anger is so deep, it reverberates and she can feel her emotions so strongly because of her past lives communicating with her. Aiuto! (Help, we would say in Italy!)
In the meantime here are some pictures of the lush surrounding countryside, which will no doubt warm your heart. I will be back soon for part 2 (the happy one).
To be continued…