Saturday, April 16, 2011


The past couple of weeks has most definitely had its ups and downs. First we moved into the new house, even though it was not complete and still doesn't have electricity, but more about the juice drama later. 
During the first week of living in the house there were workers doing their thing throughout the day, which was disconcerting to say the least. But since then almost all interior work has been completed and all activity is outside involving the garden and landscaping. The stones have been set for the patios and now construction has begun on the two-level lotus pond.  We are at the end of the second truckload of topsoil which will be spread around the area so grass and all the various plants, shrubs and trees can be planted next week.  But all the ground within our property is dirt and often mud, which makes for a bloody mess, especially when taking Milo (our puppy Pug) outside to do his business.

Back to the ongoing drama with PLN, the electric company.  After waiting for months to get electricity we were told early this week that the first step has finally taken place--we would receive delivery of the three cement columns (telephone poles) which we would then have to move to the correct positions so the hole diggers could dig holes and then cement the poles into place. Well, all was going along swimmingly well as our men were carrying the poles when they crossed the corner of a rice field which did not sit well with the farmer who was out in his field.  He got very angry and told the men they could go no further as long as the rice was still growing. So that put a crimp in our plans because now we have to wait until the rice is harvested--another three to four weeks. There is nothing we can do except wait, and after harvest, proceed with the moving of the columns. Very frustrating, but as foreigners we have to adhere to their, sometimes weird, ways.

We are living with electricity borrowed from our neighbor, albeit not the full power we need for our house. So the refrigerator is running; we have lights, but can not turn them all on at the same time; we can't use the pool pump so no swimming; we are able to watch TV; we turn the hot water heater on for a few hours in the late afternoon so we can take showers; and we can run the overhead fans--one at a time.  Of course we have  gas for our stove so we can cook, but can't use the toaster-oven. We are really enjoying living in the house--it is light and airy and very comfortable, especially now that some of our paintings and art is up and about. So glad to be out of that two room place we've been living in for almost six months.

This coming week will bring the installation of kitchen cabinets, the last bed, a lot of landscaping, including grass planted around the stepping stones and some more furniture.

 All things considered we love living here, in Bali, In Ubud/Penestanan and in our little neighborhood.  We walk Milo a few times a day, run into people we know and  people who are here for a short time as tourists /renters, walk to the food market, ride the motorbike to town for restaurants, have a delicious coffee frappe at the Yellow Flower cafe down the path, watch a movie at night on our new TV, and--it is all within our living  budget. Our new favorite restaurant is a small, four-table cafe presided over by Siti, who has lived in Thailand, India and California and is a fabulous cook.  At Little India, her naan and stuffed parantha is as as good as you will find anywhere. Also her mutton qorma, eggplant with tomato sauce, and all of her Indian food is delicious.  Then there are her wonderful Thai dishes--so good! How does she do it in such a small kitchen?

I want to write briefly about our moving-in ceremony and some problems, but I will do that in a separate blog.