Eat, Pray, Love: Bali Prophecies

Right around the time that I lived in Indonesia, Eat, Pray, Love was taking off. Lets face it, what woman wasn’t dreaming of gallivanting off to Italy for the fine Italian…pasta…and seeking sanctuary and relaxation in India and Bali. Liz Gilbert was our idol, and in her honor, we visited THE Wayan—the actual traditional healer from the book—in Ubud.   Pictures of Julia Roberts and Elizabeth Gilbert cheered us on as Wayan grabbed our hands, pinched our cheeks, rubbed cream on our faces, made us swallow vitamins, and examined us from top to bottom: Wayan: You like sweets and eat too many. You need to stop. Your blood is dirty. You are a 5th generation reincarnation. You dated a man for 3.5 years and had two jobs. Me: [Stunned silence. That first and last sentences were definitely true] Yes, ma’am. Wayan: You have too much acid in your stomach. You…

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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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