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Friday, August 11, 2017

UBUD: YOU'RE ON THE WRONG SIDE!

One night I drove my bike North along of Hanoman st. and saw a lady strolling across the road, so I slowed down to let her cross the street. She suddenly yelled at me, "You're on the wrong side! This is a one-way street!"

Yes, Hanoman is a one-way street for cars, but it's a two-way street for bikes. I explained this to her. But she was really that angry; as she once again yelled at me, "You stubborn!"

That was alright. Maybe she was on a bad mood. Maybe her heart was broken by a man that was not on her side, so she was venting her anger towards me.

Next morning, on my 'cheating day', I walked to my favourite bakery in Pengosekan to have my chocolate cupcake and sausages. With a happy heart, I brought the cake and the sausages to the second floor.

I had just taken one bite of the cake when a woman who was sitting next to my table warned me out of the blue, "Do you know how much sugar in it? It's very dangerous for your health."

I just smiled, "I know, it's my cheating day. Don't worry, I only have this cake once a month."
She was not happy with my smile, "And how can you take both sugar and meat at the same day. Okay, this is your cheating day, but should you eat animal?"

Turned out I couldn't even savour my favourite monthly-meal in peace. Devastated, I was thinking whether she was like some vegan spy who wanted to ruin non-vegetarian restaurant's business or something. I mean, if I ate bacons in vegan restaurant, you could judge me.

But that was okay. Maybe she was on a strict diet and I noticed how lack of pleasure could make you cranky. Or maybe she was just lonely and needed a friend to talk to. So I let her ramble about veganism. While she took an effort to convert me to follow her belief, I chewed my warm sausage, slowly. Sorry, but it was delicious, and I refused to be sad that morning.

The other night, I hosted some travellers for dinner. They wanted pizza. I brought them to a little warung in Dewi Sita. One of the travellers was barking at me, "I can't eat in warung. I'm white!"

I was surprised. I didn't really comprehend what he said. I knew he's white. But what was the problem? His Instagram bio says 'love living like a local', doesn't it?

Then he explained, "White people can't go to warung! We could suffer Bali Belly!"

I laughed really hard. Probably he just read some travel warnings and blindly interpret it. He roared, "You just don't understand!" Oh no, he was really scared.

So I explained, that warung is the term for a small restaurant/cafe. It doesn't mean 'dirty food' that could destroy your 'white'--or whatever-colour--belly. Yes, there are some dirty warungs, but there are also some dirty big restaurants. In that case, even I--'the yellow people'--could also get hurt, you know. I finally succeeded in making them ate pizza in that warung. They liked it, and we were free of Bali belly.

So, in the end, I just want to tell you these:

1. There is this 'dualism' on the streets of Ubud. One-way for cars, two-way for two-wheel rides.

2. This world is already chaotic due to differences. Don't let the chaos slip into our dining room. So, can the non-vegan, vegan, lacto vegetarian, ovo vegetarian, lacto-ovo vegetarian, pollotarian, pescatarian, flexitarian sit side by side, eating their own food in peace?

3. White, yellow, black, purple, red... YOU ALL can eat in a warung.

That's all. I hope we could really be that cool person we display on our social media channels.

I believe I have said and wrote this somewhere, but let me type it again: Never believe what people say about Bali, including mine. What’s exciting for me might be boring for you. What’s romantic for you might be horrific for me.

Stop expecting, start exploring.

And please, don't yell at me.

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