Monkey Trouble in Bali: Visiting Uluwatu Temple

My husband always considered me fearless until the monkeys… In Bali, we grabbed drinks overlooking the beach at Single Fin and headed to Uluwatu to see the Kecak and Fire Dance. The male performers artistically chant “cak” for over an hour during sunset while traditional characters reenact famous scenes from the Ramayana. The circle formed in the temple surrounding the fire paired with the backdrop of the glistening sun is just stunning. Personally, I loved that Hanuman started talking selfies with audience members—gotta keep it relevant. But onto the hissing monkeys. Let me start by saying that the Ubud Monkey Forest was a one-time experience (2009) that I will never re-visit. Never, never, never. On this trip to Indonesia, I told everyone: NO MONKEYS.  When we pulled up to the temple for the fire dance, our friend coughed out: bythewaytherearemonkeys.  SERIOUSLY?! While touring Uluwatu, announcements warned that if a monkey…

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Orchids and Eyang: How Living Abroad in Indonesia Touched My Life

I don’t believe that there are random coincidences; instead, I think every moment is a serendipitous sign that either strikes dead center to the heart or we blink too quickly, missing the message. One year ago, I was at the Epcot Flower and Garden show when I came across these nearly hidden orchids.  Orchids remind me of my Indonesian grandma, “eyang,” as she would vigilantly care for hers with a tender caress and kind word.  Every weekend when I approached Jalan Penjernihan in Pejompongan, Jakarta I’d find eyang on the front porch cultivating her flowery children, a lusty wink in her eye.   Last year when I first stumbled upon the Epcot orchids, I messaged Ibu Nina, her daughter, to let them know that I was thinking of them.  I had not been in touch for awhile but those orchids spoke to me.  Two days later, I found out that…

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