After a few months in Ubud, Bali we are are going to hit the road again. We have had some wonderful and enjoyable guests this fall (Bali does not really have seasons as we know them--only a dry season and a wet one). Peter and Anne were here for 2 weeks from Northern England, bringing their great British sense of humor and their own Manchester honey--delicious. Ken and Vicky were here (also 2 weeks) bringing their Oakland sense of humor and lots of memories. Good times! Nicole spent 3 weeks here planning and ordering her yoga clothes to sell at fairs around the west.
Our movie club keeps on going--everyone still enthusiastic and we get together once a week to watch a classic movie from around the world. We're making more friends and meeting interesting people so we're intellectually stimulated and keep busy within our little ex-pat community. The ex-pat community here in Ubud is a small but interesting scene, full of all types--from ex-professors to artists to world travelers. We attend lectures, go to yoga class at least once a week, check out art openings and always look forward to the new restaurant (we eat well!). The ex-pat community on the southern part of the island is a much fancier, high fashion, bar-hopping, socializing thing--much money down there and they flaunt it. Not for us!
So the house has been full--we even had the bungalow rented for most of the past 2 months. We have also finally got the pool and fish pond working properly, which took a few specialists and some money, but it has been a long time coming. The house is in tip-top condition--we did all the little repair things that show themselves during the first 6 months.
And now we have the house and bungalow rented for the next 2 months (thanks to Barbara's tireless efforts and hard work) and we have nowhere to go. Just kidding! We have some great places to visit, like Myanmar (Burma), Northern Thailand and Southern India. Our favorite and funny little pug Milo will be spending time with a local man who loves dogs--have a good time Milo!
We'll leave here tomorrow and will be in Myanmar for 2.5 weeks; and will see how they celebrate Christmas and New Year's Eve. This is a good time to see Myanmar because of the recent loosening up of the political regime and from everything we have seen and heard this is a beautiful and fascinating culture and country.
Next up--Thailand. Barbara and I have been to Thailand a few times, but this time will be different. We will arrive in Bangkok in the middle of January, where we will meet up with Barbara's sister Alicia and our youth brigade, Sasha, Eli, Darci and Aaron (sorry you couldn't make it, Zoe). After a few days we fly up to the northern city of Chang Mai where we will tour, trek for a couple of days, eat and celebrate my 70th birthday!
The family goes home (except for Sasha) and we fly over to Mumbai where we catch a train for Goa on the west coast in the south. Goa was a Portugese colony and so, therefore has Catholic and European influence.
Goa was the big scene (and to some extent still is) of the great hippie parties and gathering of the sixties and seventies. This was the start of the full moon parties that now occur in many backpacker resort areas. But Goa has beautiful beaches and wonderful food. From Goa we'll travel east and see some interesting and exotic towns and cities until we come back to Bali February 17.
Just realized that we never posted pictures of the garden, yard and fish ponds since we've been back this fall and everything grew exponentially during the six months since we planted. We can not believe how lush it is and how fast things grow here! So here are some pictures:
I'll post along the way and put up pictures. Hope you all have a great holiday season and a happy New Year!