The young French couple sitting beside me were newly weds.
Not look at us, loved up, sickeningly happy newly weds, just fiddling with the ring a little too often to be used to it newly weds. That, and the quiet happiness that seemed to emanate from them… Delightful.
Actually most of the 18 people in yesterdays cooking class at Bumi Bali were French- after all, it was a cooking class…And, at 250,000RPI (or $28 Aussie dollars at todays street exchange rate), the best value 5 hours food and entertainment I have had in I can’t remember when.
We started the morning with a walk through the narrow streets of Ubud to the market with the objective of exploring the vegetables and spices we would be using.
The market itself is like something from a different time. Accessed via a series of narrow laneways in the centre of Ubud, you emerge into a multi-storey cavernous space that is a multiplex of Balinese trade.
Pretty well anything and everything was on offer. We were supposed to be there to check out the produce, but, to be honest, I was more fascinated by the market vibe, the groups of ladies making offerings for sale. With so many more women working outside the home now, even this task has been outsourced!
Baskets of flower petals and various other ingredients were piled up ready for assembly into the tiny baskets that are left on shrines, temples and footpaths.
Oh and eggs. Stacks and stacks of eggs. Eggs in baskets, eggs in buckets, eggs piled high in narrow corridors, eggs in cartons. Eggs.
…and of course, the vegies and spices that we were officially there to see, touch, smell and learn about…
Next time: the recipes…