“I crossed the street to walk in the sunshine.”- Eat, Pray, Love.
I’m not certain what I love about Bali.I see so little of it from the closed doors of a conference room, from the finite walls of a swimming pool. On the day we roam the streets of Ubud, the market is shut for the day. At lunch we eat at Bebek Bengil, the famous dirty duck diner, I eat no duck. And in Kuta, I do not find Bounty, the nightclub everyone’s talking about.
But, even in an empty bar by the road, where we get the band to play all of our requests, I feel Bali. I feel the magic of Kuta in the music, in the dancing, in the half-n-hour of heaven, where music is all you need. I feel the magic of Nusa Dua, in a swimming pool by the sea, where at midnight the calm water is all you need. And, I feel the joy of Ubud in a pleasant afternoon, where the streets are so empty, you can hear the magic it holds, the magic of Eat, Pray, Love…
I fall in love with food in Bali, and I eat as much of it as I like to. I pray mechanically from a faith that moves mountains,and believe there are no mountains. And, I forget love for all its pain, and longing: I fall in love in the moment, fall in love for the moment.
When they tell you Bali can change your life, you would expect: a perfectly scenic Mount Batur, hot lava flowing down- not clouds, and a dormant volcano in the distance. You’d imagine a bustling Ubud marketplace-and haggling for wares, not your thoughts, and your dreams in a street that barely whispers. And you’d think of so much else to do on a Saturday night- but drinking quietly by the sea, in a group of 7
Until you begin to laugh so much, your stomach hurts. Until, you begin to love so much, now is all you need…and you know (and it is clear forever) you want no ordinary things (and perhaps that is why everything is harder). You want more, more than just salaries and designations- you want to build new things/ more than just marriage and commitment- you want love/ you want passion not lust, madness not sanity, amazing not great.
Which is why you too need the magic of Ubud to know that, the truth of Eat Pray Love to see that…and then, you have crossed over to sunshine.