Made the coconut lady
Made runs a warung (small family owned business) near the hotel I stayed at when I first arrived in Ubud. Her little roadside warung is stocked with brochures and billboards advertising tours and car hires. But what lured me over was the pile of coconuts I spied on the ground. There is nothing better than drinking from a fresh young coconut when you are thirsty and hot. I asked Made to crack one open for me one afternoon and we got chatting about life in Ubud. Her husband is a hire car driver and she has three young daughters attending school. Luckily her English is pretty good and we manage to communicate fairly well, although I’m sure much is lost in translation. One night she cooked her tofu curry for me, which was delish. Even though I’ve now moved to a different part of town I still stop by to see Made at ‘coconut o’clock’, it’s nice to see her friendly face and she always seems glad to see me.
Neil the IT guy
I’ve known Neil for a little over a week now, but it seems like we’ve been friends for years….
On my first day in Ubud I went for a wander around town to try and get my bearings. After a few hours of walking I was parched and my water bottle was nearly empty. One of my pet hates is plastic water bottles, and here in Bali they have reached plague proportions because everyone has to buy drinking water. I had read in my Lonely Planet that the library and a few other places in town let you fill up your own water bottle from a water cooler. Spotting an office for the Friends of the National Parks Foundation I figure they might be supportive of my ‘no plastic’ mission and I go inside to enquire about a refill.
The only person in the office is Neil. I wearily hold out my empty water bottle and ask if he is able to fill it for me. He takes pity on me, fills my bottle, and then we get chatting. I discover that he lives in Brisbane, small world! He is working as an AusAid volunteer for Friends of the National Parks and has been living in Ubud for four months. We seem to have lots in common and I arrange to meet him for a coffee a few days later so I can pick his brain about living in Ubud. Ever since then we have become great friends. And all because I wanted my water bottle filled!
Kiwi Lyn and yoga instructor Chris
I met Lyn in the arrivals hall in Denpasar and we caught up a few times while she was here in Ubud with her friend Chris. We all did a bike tour together, went out for lunch, and spent time hanging out by the pool at their lovely villa. While we were out at lunch Lyn showed me an old photo of her and Chris. The photo was taken when they worked together over 40 years ago. Even though they live in different countries they have remained friends all these years. I was really touched by their old photo, a beautiful reminder of the value of friendship.