The Money Problem

Usually I can figure out the money in a new country I’m visiting. But these Indonesian RPs have me confounded. One dollar is worth approximately 14,000 RP. Nothing is a dollar, though that hasn’t stopped me from trying to buy something for 14,000 RP. There are these cute small crossbody basket handbags which I believe are seen in fashion magazines. My goal was to try to buy one for $4 or 5. I have succeeded in getting lower than $8. But stayed stubborn and didn’t purchase. My brother says I must leave the seller happy and don’t worry about a dollar here and there. I agree now, after have my method fail me this morning.

These RPs can stuff your wallet fatter to about an inch beyond its normal expected expansion. And I’m only carrying $30 worth. Himself likes to dole the money out in small doses so I can’t go crazy buying brightly painted wood Balinese chicken carvings, or a pair of elephant print rayon balloon pants.

We hit this market today. Inside the walled part it is beyond hot, smoky with incense, smelling of BO from around the world. Outside was much less claustrophobic.

Backing up a bit – woke up this morning to cloudy skies and slight rain. Hot as Florida but the humidity seems much worse. In Florida when it’s hot and humid I do not go trekking a hill ridge. In addition to to heat and humidity the rocky muddy paths were very slippery. I’m looking forward to laundering my khaki capris that took it on the butt. After landing on my ass in the mud Budi would not let go of me the rest of the two miles. The hike on a ridge above the river gave a real view of the lush countryside.

Sue is very fit and scrambles on with ease. John and I both felt our age but so happy to have this adventure!

Our travel guide book mentioned another good spot to view the river valley. It was a place Budi was not familiar with, but with stops for directions and a wrong turn or two, and traffic obstacles such as this motor scooter carrying rocking horses,

we had coffee on a terrace overlooking the valley.

View:

Back into Ubud for a quick look at the 11th century royal palace.

Found a cute lunch place for chicken and rice, and beer. Sue says we may start clucking soon. It is just a “safe bet” food. Another beverage choice is watermelon juice.

John and I headed back to the hotel for a lazy afternoon. We are good until about 2:00 and then crave a lie-down and some time to wring out our clothes.My hair after these excursions is totally wet. Because there is “product” in it, it also stands up and out in stiff little spikes. Not my best look.

Dinner tonight was at Three Monkeys restaurant recommended by a friend. Lovely setting outdoors on the edge of a small rice paddy. Two for one cocktails and grilled snapper for dinner. Ready to grab taxi home at 9 pm.

It has been a wonderful few days in Ubud with John and Sue. We don’t see each other often, but when we do we make great memories!

Tomorrow we drive a few hours south to Uluwatu, the resort venue where the wedding is next week. Will meet up with Steff and Phil who arrive around midnight tonight. It will be a real change of scenery in the surfing area of Bali.

Falling asleep to rainforest sounds…

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