Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Masks, Shadow Puppets, Cooking Class & KL

Salumat Pagi from Bali

Welcome to Blog #4, as usual packed with events, this blog will mainly be photo's as I took many interesting shots!
I attended the Paon Bali Cooking Class out at Laplapan a few kilometers out side Ubud!
This wasn't just a cooking class as we were taken to the Ubud market and informed about the local vegetables etc.. Wayan and Puspa (husband and wife) are quite a slick humorous double act. Wayan took us out to his plot of ricefield and told about the growing of rice (organic) and the farming land issues in Bali. we also went back to his family compound where he told us about the various levels of the family compound and  customs associated with family life in Bali. Puspa on the other hand told all about the kitchen, making Coconut oil and organized the workshop participants to chop, stir and was definatley a hands on class as was the feast at the end, with multiple dishes, washed down with one free Beer. No need for an evening meal!

Wayan's philosophy is that woman is more spiritually aware and therefore her needs are put first!
Each participant chopped this amount of fresh spices, I learnt there are two varieties of ginger regular and aromatic which is very spicy on top of the standard ginger taste.
I was the only vegetarian and accommodated and called "Mister 100% Vegetarian"
Long, long green beans
Barbecue Bali style
I hired a bicycle for a day ($3NZ) and biked down to the south coast  
With many photo opportunities
No traffic police in's open slather!

About to open!
Wait two minutes, it's open!
The Balinese workhorse..... the motorbike.
Fresh with mud from the rice fields parked at the Supermarket
Polution is a big issue in Bali, the locals have no concept of binning rubbish!
Wandering around in the rice fields, I spot a veggie garden

Vespa's in Bali are a revered art object, quite often in camouflage paint, though this one ain't!
This was the best live music I've seen in Bali a mix of Jazz and Funky styles, the guitarist is an English man, who lives in LA. The drummer in the center was mexican, studied in Santa Fe and the Double Base player was local. The drummer was in Bali to learn something about Gamelan and had invited his teacher onto the stage, for me it didn't work at all, probably they thought so too as he only played one number!
The music Concert was held at the House of Mask and Puppet Museum down in Mas about 10Klms south east of Ubud, I had no time to view the museum on the concert night, but returned a few days later.

A fabulous place, a collection of 4 traditional Javanese antique houses (Joglos) from middle and east Java all made in teak. These Building alone where worth the trip to see (unbelievably entry was free, just by donation) and add to that the collection (beautifully displayed) of approximately 1060 masks from Indonesia, Africa, and Japan and 3600 pieces of puppets from Indonesia, China, Malaysia, Thailand, Myanmar and Cambodia.
This is a world class display, in any other county the que to get in would be Bali, I was it!

These are Comedia del Arte masks from Italy.

I was the sole person for the whole of my visit (90min) trying to absorb this amazing collection.

This is President Obama the puppet, shaking hands with the puppet who collected this amazing collection!
Walking to the you is the local Bali signature stones laid into wet concrete.
Now at the Supermarket...would you buy and use Hand and Body lotion called "Placenta"
ahhhh....KL, where it's still hot and sticky, but has a lot more Skyscrapers, with wi-fi everywhere!
This is KL Sentral train station (my sort of place spelling wise)
I needed to use Salak Selatan as it was near my accommodation, only problem was there were two Salak Selatans Stations from different train companys and I was always getting on the wrong one!
The joys of the traveller! 
Found place to do some Busking, the red flower in my hat is the Hibiscus flower, the National flower of malaysia
Don't know why I was getting some funny looks!
The yellow and white ones were gifts from the indian barrow boys stalls.

Massive Shopping centre......with
an equally massive food hall...these red bean cakes from the Japanese Bakery..took me all the way back to Nihon!

This is taken from the Bar of the Traders Hotel, Harald the Dutch guy suggested I go up there for a beer and watch the Petronas Twin Towers light up.
Pleased I took his advice the bar was 33 floors up and had a 30ft by 200ft swimming pool as well as these great views.
So that summed up my brief foray into Malasyia, only 3 days, my return to Bali also created a bit of fun.
The Taxi driver who took me from Ubud to the Airport said he would pick me up and have a sign, which said "Jimu The Sax Man" Walking outside into the waiting taxi stand area, I was confronted by 100 signs, none of which said "Jimu etc" all touting for business. So not wanting to take another taxi, if my man was already there, I did what any Saxman would do....I gave em a blast with the Soprano on Summertime. Tourists and Taxi drivers alike where stunned then, broke into spontaneous applause...... I phoned and found out my taxi had not left Ubud so I just got the first one that came into view and headed homeward!

Ubud hosts the annual Ubud Readers and Writers Festival from 3-7 Oct, so I ought to catch some of this!

Now I'm inside the last 3 weeks of this trip, so one more blog ought to cap it off...till then, stay safe and power to the people.


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