Monday, May 11, 2009

Earnin' Our Street Cred

Known as a tropical sanctuary for those committed to healthy living and “spiritual enlightenment,” the town of Ubud was the next stop on our tour de Bali (click on the above map to see where we were). Rather than hire a driver (which is pretty much how visitors get around the island), we thought we’d save our hard-earned Rupiah for eco/organic/vegan/cruelty-free/fair trade cocktails at our destination and try out the public transpo.

Right after Michelle shipped home the wool sweaters and ski jacket I forced her to bring (ok, fine, I know), we hopped a Northbound Bemo. Note: That’s what the kids call “getting on an overcrowded public van that’s only $5 but sweltering hot where people are smushed against you and you’re scared you might get some kind of sweat-transmitted skin infection from them.”

Over the next few hours, we tried hard not to contract MRSA while looking out the window. As we headed away from Bali’s Jersey Shore (Kuta and Legion really reminded me of the Wildwood boardwalk) to the land of enlightenment, the scenery gradually changed from rugged Aussies carrying surfboards on their shoulders to sleek Europeans carrying yoga mats in designer hemp bags.

We pulled into the station, peeled ourselves off our van mates, and set off to find a hotel. Our street cred having increased exponentially, Michelle and I were ready to take on the Yogis.

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