November 26 2014

November 26, 2014

Several favorite Ubud spots have been asked to franchise or open a second store elsewhere – Yoga Barn on Gili Trawangan, KAFE in Jakarta and Singapore, Café Havana in Australia and (wait for it) Cuba!

This year, XL Shisha Lounge and Laughing Buddha both opened on Gili Trawangan. XL has even exported some of Ubud’s live music; Laughing Buddha just their great food.

As I reflect on how good the staff-owner relationships are in all of these businesses, I realise that I’ve spotted one of the “secrets” that other wannabees are searching for. Both places – and KAFE, Yoga Barn and Café Havana – have excellent staff training and support. XL’s namesake, 6’7” celebrity Dutch footballer Herman (XL-sized) van Wamel, closes his businesses completely to give his staff a special holiday each year, and they love him. I guess Gili T is in for some great role modeling for staff of other bars and clubs.

Help Ubud Rotary – and have a superb night – at their second annual Holiday Celebration and Benefit Dinner, on December 14 at the beautiful Maya Resort and Spa. Rotary projects bring hygiene, health, drinking water and toilets to remote Balinese schools.

The classic Christmas menu includes king prawn cocktails, fabulous salads, snapper, wild mushroom lasagna, roasted turkey, roast pork loin, a vegetarian coulibiac and eight desserts including Christmas puddings and eggnog cheesecake.

Starting at 6pm, the dinner includes welcome cocktail, raffle tickets (one free, buy more for 5-star hotel stays, dinners, spa packages), and excellent entertainment.

Limited seating, so book your 575,000rp ticket now by bank transfer or cash. Visit or contact Sue at +62 8123866349 or

Until Christmas Eve, customers spending 150,000rp or more will receive a “Care About Bali” green message bracelet at Ubud Eco Shop on Jl Dewi Sita. A great way to say “we care” about Bali’s environment.

Started by environmentalist Darsih and organic farmer Gede, both the Indonesia Organic website and the little green Eco Shop support our eco-community, via sales of green and organic products from local ingredients and local businesses and information-sharing.

Their collection includes effective organic anti-mosquito products, soaps and shampoo, and vegetable seeds. Look for their “How to Clean Without Chemicals” booklet, permaculture information, environmental-educational books for kids and adults and creative, unusual gifts and gift bags. Corner of Jl Dewi Sita and Gautama, open 11-7 daily, except Mondays and major Balinese holidays.

Mostly, we don’t play late – locals like to sleep and it’s their town! But Ubud has some good music venues and decent bands. Here’s a start.

Monday, the Icang Rahimy Trio plays modern and trad jazz at Jazz Café on Jl Sukme. Tuesday, choose Unb’rocken – a group of vibrant, innovative young Indonesians perform their own original music plus good cover blues and rock at CP Lounge (near the footy field) from 9pm till late. Or Magic Mushroom Blues with bold-voiced Imelda Joplin at Jazz Café.

On Wednesday, powerful Timorese singer/ guitarist Kacir – a passionate, happy-to-be-alive performer with a committed following – plays Laughing Buddha on Jl Monkey Forest. Or Bali Bull (rock cover band) plays at XL. Thursday, the best blues cover band, Cooltones, plays 7.30pm at Siam Sally near the Yoga Barn, and Unb’rocken plays at Bamboo on Jl Dewi Sita.

Friday, try Cafe Havana on Dewi Sita – for 6pm free Salsa class then sassy Latin band La Bamba, or find Cooltones at Oops on Jl Raya Ubud. Saturdays Jazz Café hosts extraordinary international and Indonesian acts (check out their Christmas/ New Year line-ups!) and Sunday, Cooltones play Laughing Buddha from 8pm and Unb’rocken at Bayu’s Kitchen in Penestanan from 6.30-9pm. Other venues also host visiting international and Indonesian performers. No excuse to stay home.

Congrats to the owners and great staff of KAFE – otherwise known as Bali Spirit Kafe – on Jl Hanoman. Pak Kadek Gunarta and Meghan Pappenheim started the (then) little café in 2004 with a simple menu plan; Meghan wanted a place to eat recipes from other countries that she couldn’t otherwise find in Bali.

Time has moved on, and we now have restaurants from more than 20 countries in Ubud, but the simple delicious recipes of KAFE still draw tourists and expats alike.

I’ve even met visitors who go there every day, breakfast, lunch and dinner; that’s madness, but it explains why they’ve quadrupled in size over that time. Here’s to another ten successful years.

Hanoman Street 44, visit for menu and phone 0361-78038000 for home delivery.

Heyokah Art Space on Jl Andong has celebrated its successful first year of support for local artists with the provocative and captivating visual art exhibition, “The Embodied Mind”, by The Three Brothers.

Locally known in Ubud, these three extraordinary young men were born with “glass bone” disease, which caused their bones to grow in zigzag form. Despite missing bones in their arms and legs, The Three Brothers seem to express and hold a secret world.

I am not your typical Ubudian yoga blissbomb peacewalker. However, I’ve just flushed a huge load of emotional entanglement-jangled baggage after some Theta Healing sessions with Erika at Taksu Spa.

There’s a slight challenge; you have to start with an open mind. Dang! But if you can flush release old emotional bonds and get rid of whatever is holding you back, why hold onto the backpack of dead cats that’s both weighing you down and smelling out your life?

Theta Healing accesses the subconscious through our natural brainwaves, so with a skilled guide it’s possible to create a deep, positive change on physical, emotional, mental and spiritual levels, clearing anything in the way of achieving your fullest potential in life.

A positive change in your world is often noticed even just a couple of days after a session – a feeling of happiness, lightness and ease. Have a go.
Erika Johansson is a qualified Theta Healer;

News Flash: Check out the new flea market at Ubud’s botanical garden, open every weekend and holiday from 9am to 7pm. Come to browse or book a table to be part of the action.

Copyright © 2014 Wayan Jen
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