November 12 2014

November 12, 2014

As I write this, Aceh is experiencing huge floods, but Bali has a water shortage with some year-round rivers run dry, and farmers saying it’s the worst for 50 years.

The old guys say back then everyone was using only river water; but the population has more than doubled and many households – and all hotels and resorts – are draining underground water by sinking bores.

What can we do and encourage businesses to do? Simple things that dry countries know. Water the garden with a hose or a bucket, not an automatic sprinkler system. Re-use grey water (a bowl in the sink becomes water for pot plants), turn off the tap while you clean your teeth (biggest personal waste), five minutes max in the shower. And teach other travelers and locals from your experience.

When I built Ibu Jen’s House eight years ago, I suggested an underground water tank in the big hole caused by the foundations on my sloping land. My local partner and the qualified Bali engineer laughed at me. Loudly. “Silly bule, we have lots of water”. I had more knowledge but I let myself be convinced. Now who’s the silly bule?

The founder of Access Consciousness, Gary Douglas will “live stream” a day-long workshop in The Bars from Noosa in Australia, on November 26. Coordinated locally at Taksu Spa by certified facilitator, Lela Thomas, this session will be life changing for those who bring an open mind and a willingness to choose to change.

According to Gary, “The Access Bars are 32 bars of energy that run through and around your head, storing the electromagnetic component of all the thoughts, ideas, attitudes, decisions and beliefs that you have ever had about anything. There are bars for Healing, Body, Control, Awareness, Creativity, Power, Aging and Money just to name a few.”

Don’t miss this workshop, then link in to Lela’s regular sessions – the one on Money is a doosie – to do some focused work on making better choices. Prerequisite for Gary’s workshop is a Bars class (available dates November 7 and 21). Email: for more information.

Warning, protect your shoulder bag. Don’t hang casually over your shoulder, especially when on a motorbike, because we have bag snatchers in Ubud, nasty young criminals who laugh as they grab at someone on a moving motor bike. A Laughing Buddha waiter gave a Korean guest a ride home at midnight, and someone rode up behind them, snatching her bag (passport, money, credit cards, phone, camera) and knocking both off his bike.

Both were badly grazed, she has a fractured shoulder. They spent hours at the hospital and police station, with many calls to banks and airline, before she rushed to Jakarta for a temporary passport to get her home to Korea.

Before she begins to replace her purse and possessions the financial cost, including repairs to the bike and replacing his broken phone, was more than she had spent on her two weeks in Bali. No travel insurance, but that’s another story and lesson learnt.

These monsters target bags, not people. It’s happening day and night. Local women are injured too. Warn everyone; keep your bag tucked in safely when you walk or ride, travel home with others, and keep alert for bikes coming up behind you.

Accurate mapping of these attacks will make it easier to catch them, so report to the police and also Ubud Watch on Facebook. This one was on Jl Sri Wedari, just 100 meters north of the new bridge.

Happy update! The clean, punctual Kura-Kura bus service is now operating from Ubud to Kuta. The line runs from DFS Bus Bay in Kuta to Ubud along Jl. Monkey Forest, with two pick-up / drop-off points only at Puri Lukisan on Jl. Raya Ubud and Plataran Resort on Jl. Hanoman, before it returns to DFS Bus Bay.
One way price is 80,000rp. Check route map, time schedule etc on

I am happy to take part in another nation’s celebrations – friendship, great food, good company, “what’s not to like?” as the Yank say – so I’m booking my place for Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday, November 27, in Taksu’s garden restaurant. Taksu gets booked out early every year (personally, I think it’s their signature “Betutu” smoked Balinese turkey recipe) – so get a move on. Seatings at 4:30, 6:30 and 8:30pm. You can go for the complete buffet at 275,000rp++, a gourmet vegetarian feast (185,000rp++) or just choose part of the banquet.

That turkey is something else, I’m telling you. They haven’t even officially opened bookings but I’ve put claimed three seats already for Christmas Day too! Taksu Spa and Restaurant, Jl Gautama South,

One of Ubud’s first restaurants serving non-Indo cuisine, Deli Cat is still a perfect spot to chill out at sunset with other interesting, light-hearted people.

Every Tuesday, 5-7pm, is Irish happy hour, with free hot corn to munch on and a great menu of international favorites. Originally started – like Meghan Papp’s Kafe – as a place that served the owner’s favorites from other places, there’s great cheeses, a roast lamb night, Swedish meatballs. And very cold beer.

Worth more than one visit: 0361-971284. Next to XL, behind the football field on Jl Monkey Forest.

Jazz pianist Indra Lesmana, playing at Jazz Café on Saturday November 15, is one of the most influential, accomplished and famous musicians in Indonesia. Indra has performed across the globe with some of the world’s best, winning countless awards for his own compositions and releases.
A regular performer at the Java Jazz Festival in Jakarta, Indra is an original member of the legendary Jazz/Pop band ‘Krakatau’ and a giant among Jazz pianists – a fitting choice for the Jazz Café monthly Pre-events leading up to the Bali Live International Jazz Festival in March 2015. Jl Sukme, Jazz Café.

Ubud has vegetarians, evangelican vegans, raw food chefs and paleo (early man?) diners, chefs who are a whiz with “slow” food and others who specialize in beef rendang or melt-in-the-mouth pork belly. Jokingly I say that I could be vegetarian if it wasn’t for meat – and I do love the access Ubud has to organic vegetables – and I’m a sucker for a home cooked roast, whether it be beef, pork or lamb.

If this goes for you too, sms your interest to Pop-Up Roasts on 081337 290712 or email Not sure when or where the next one will be held, but you won’t want to miss it.

Copyright © 2014 Wayan Jen
You can read all past articles of Ubud News at