Saturday Analisa, my yoga school friend, and I decided to go for a hike through the rice fields and some neighboring villages. We made it about 20 minutes into our stroll before we stumbled upon a Guru, apparently they are hanging out in pretty much every corner in these here parts. This Guru is named Mantra and he is Balinese. Analisa and I spent about 45 minutes chatting with him and making plans to see him again.
I was so happy to have found Mantra as I was, without even really realizing it, longing for someone to help further my practice now that school is out. I will continue on my own to practice Kriyas, Pranayama, and Asanas but I am thrilled to have met someone who can help me continue on the metaphysical and philosophic yoga paths as well.
From Mantra’s we walked through some really petty areas of jungle and river canyon before coming out on the ridge that I look out at from the pool at my place. The whole walk was beautiful and it ends at the bridge separating my neighborhood from Ubud proper, pretty much exactly between Anilasa’s place and mine.
Upon returning home, I learned that two more yoga school friends were staying at the villas for the night. Irina, who wrote the note saying that I was graceful, had taken a not-so-graceful fall and sprained her ankle so she and Monika, a clothing designer/yoga teacher from Philadelphia, decided to come back to Ubud to let her settle and figure out if the ankle would require her to head home early. Monika joined me for dinner, a really nice treat as I was expecting to begin my solitude that evening.
The next morning all my yoga school friends (not pictured here) headed off. For the first time since Germany I was truly all alone, which lasted for all of about an hour. I returned to my villa after running out to check emails and there was a note slid under my front door.
I have a cell phone here but it costs something like $2/minute to use so basically it is a paperweight. Instead, for the last few weeks I have gone retro – resorting to hand written notes slid under doors or left under shoes at the doorsteps of my friends. Incase it has been a while since you have had a friendly note waiting for you at your doorstep, let me remind you just how nice this is. In fact I am keeping a collection of all of the notes I have received since arriving in Bali.
This particular note was from Wayan (pictured above). Incase you haven’t read Eat, Pray, Love or visited Bali, let me fill you in on the names here. There are only four in Bali – Wayan, Kadek, Yoman and Katut. These names correspond with birth order Wayan is #1 so it is the most common name in Bali. If you meet someone for the first time (based on my unscientific mathematical formula) there is about a 65% chance they are named Wayan. This gets really confusing so Wayans can also be called Putu on occasion, Kadeks are sometime Mare and Yoman can be Noman. By necessity there are a lot of nicknames used to help keep everyone straight. *All spellings here are subject to verification and given my atrocious spelling, are probably wrong.
This is a different Wayan than the aforementioned healer/herb spitter. This Wayan is the friend of Brendan, someone I know from Colorado who very generously passed his name and contact info along. Wayan and I had been exchanging emails but hadn’t managed to find each other until now. About five minutes after finding the note I was in his car on the way to his village to meet his family.
After having tea and rice crackers with Wayan’s wife Yanik, his daughter Putu, his niece and his mother (all of whom are actually Wayans), he took me on a tour of his village and a neighboring community where I got to meet his friend Katut (pictured here) who also hosted me with tea and rice crackers in his home. Wayan and Ketut walked me down to a holy water shrine where a spring comes out from the mountainside directly opposite a beautiful waterfall, it was a really special place.
Afterwards Wayan asked me what my favorite beach in Bali was and I had to tell him that I have still not seen the ocean here – he offered to swing by a surf spot before taking me home so I could verify that am indeed on an island. Sadly, I must report that today I still have not seen the beach in Bali.
On our way we happened upon a very bad motorbike accident and since there was no ambulance around we loaded the injured, a man and an elderly woman, into the car and took them to the hospital. It was a crazy intense experience as they were very badly mangled and aside from hold their hands and drive quickly, we could do frustratingly little for them.
We delivered them to the hospital where they were whisked away and that was the last I saw of them. I have no idea what their names were, if they even knew each other or how they are today. All I know is that they were in the very wrong place at the wrong time and I am thankful that we came along when we did.
Wayan was really shaken up afterwards, as was I and we abandoned our afternoon activities opting to go home early instead. After making offerings and performing a cleansing ceremony for himself and specifically for the car he deemed it fit for touring again and tomorrow he’s taking me to the volcano and two 11th century temples. Wayan assures me that our Karma Yoga is in really good shape now. I don’t know about that but if I were hurt on the side of the road I sure hope someone would stop to help me.
The experience helped me make a decision. I don’t think I’ll be renting a motorbike here, something I was on my way to do before I found Wayan’s note.