Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Entertaining in the jungle.

Friends from Canada are visiting today. Dougie our driver is picking them up and transporting them across town to our place. They  will have to navigate several challenges to make their way across Ubud and into the villa. There's the hair raising ride through Ubud...a near miss every minute, cars stuck in traffic, nose to nose stand offs. The Balinese are comfortable with it all; after a month I'm almost acclimated. In other words, I don't scream as loudly as I did during the first week. I'm a little worried for our guests as they have no idea where they are and they're being flung through the roads by a Balinese stranger. Oh but I forgot....Balinese are rarely strange with anyone for long.

After Mr. Toad's wild ride is over with, they have to navigate the long path through the fields, past Nyoman in his rice field, past the old cow shed, past the jackfruit wrapped in plastic bags. Accompanying the walk are the ever-present jungle noises...the quacking ducks, croaking frogs and annoying cicadas. It's possible they'll find it necessary to swat a mosquito, wipe the sweat from their eyes or worst of all, carry an umbrella if it's raining and balance on the path. In the jungle it rains without too much notice. All of sudden, the sky is black and a torrent pours down. The good news is that getting soaked feels great, most of the time. 

Last, they'll have to walk carefully down the stone stairs, still slippery from last night's rain.

If they make it to the villa without freaking out, we have wine on ice, Bintang beer in the fridge and a half case of sparkling water. The girls have spiffed the place up, refreshed the flowers, mopped all the floors.

Made has prepared a chicken dish; we have a smoked duck, Balinese red rice and a sauteed vegetable ready for the late lunch buffet. There's no way we could do dinner and risk the safety of everyone, post wine consumption, navigating the path.

Actually the staff here had to pull a drunk Australian out of the rice paddies a few weeks ago. She staggered off the path and pitched in. There's about 2 feet of loose mud on the base of the rice plants - once you get in, it's hard to get out....not for a Balinese, but for a drunk Australian, it was a challenge.  The staff here thought I was drunk at first, but they would never say anything. I finally explained to them the other day that my stagger was due to something wrong in my head. They seemed relieved. 

Many people like the IDEA of jungle, but they are unaware of the realities of sharing space with so many plants and birds. Along with the deal comes insects by the hundreds and in our case heat and humidity. Personally I like it and don't mind scratching the bites and the occasional large thing flying low over my head. Fortunately our guests turned out to be very game and seemed to enjoy the whole experience. 

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