It was still dark and quiet outside when I woke this morning, so I attempted to meditate for awhile to help allay the quietly expanding sense of panic that was beginning to bubble up in me. Today I have to find a place to live. How will that happen? Where do I start? What if I don’t find anywhere? This is the panic of my mind trying to railroad me. In response I try to focus on the feelings of calmness and relief that I know will come once I have this mission completed. I just have to trust that it will work out.
Breakfast is fairly standard and unremarkable, except for some curious green pancakes that appear at the end of my meal. I query the strange colour and am told they use leaves in the batter? Served with banana, sprinkled with shredded coconut and a good drizzle of palm sugar these pancakes are delicious!!
A search on Google has revealed these sweet green pancakes are called Dadar Gulung. According to Indonesian Secret Kitchen the green colour is due to pandanus leaves: “Pandan is a tropical herbaceous plant with long green leaves, which can be found throughout Indonesia. It is very aromatic and has a unique taste that can be used for many Indonesian desserts, cakes and drinks. It can be purchased as a ready-to-use paste in the Asian stores. Or if you buy it fresh, you pound into a paste, add water and then filtered and just take the juice for colouring.” Mystery solved.
After breakfast I set off with my day pack loaded with water, Lonely Planet, camera and sunblock. The walk to town is beautiful, taking me past fields of rice paddies, ducks, dogs and locals going about their daily chores. I reach town and locate the information centre. Following my enquiry about long term accommodation I’m given the name of one homestay. Alarmingly this is the extent of their assistance. I check out the homestay and am told that they only have a room for one week.
Feeling disheartened I decide to buy a local sim card for my phone. As I’m chatting to the guy who is putting the sim in for me I mention that I’m looking for a place to live. Next minute I’m shaking hands with one of his friends who has come to show me a room. We jump on his scooter and wind our way down narrow walkways in between a cluster of traditional Balinese family compounds.
Agung tells me his homestay is available for 3 weeks, he seems like a nice guy and when he shows me the room I’m sold. Beautifully spacious with a ceiling fan and a large bed draped Olde Worlde style with mosquito netting, private bathroom with shower, breakfast and wifi included. What seals the deal though is the spectacular view from the balcony. We are perched high on the banks of a big stream, overlooking lush green jungle in a small valley. The sound of running water soothes away the last of my worries. How does it get any better than this?!
Totally chuffed at finding a place so quickly I head back to the hotel to have a swim in the pool. Followed by a drink from a young coconut. Followed by a one hour massage.
Life is good.