As my time in Ubud continued, I continued to shop! The heat was astounding and all of my jean shorts and t-shirts were way too heavy. I found myself buying light weight dresses and rompers (yes that is what they sell,all the tourists here) because the material is so light, it feels like you have nothing on. When the wind actually did blow (which is about twice a day) it literally made you stop whatever you were doing just to bask in the 3 seconds of glory……it’s that hot! Additionally, I stopped at cafes every 2 hours to take a break from the scorching heat and order fresh juices. Some of you know that I got on a green juice kick last year and my last 6 months before leaving NYC I would have a green juice everyday for breakfast. The only problem is that they cost a fortune. Not in Bali though, they cost $2-3!
After shopping until I dropped and filling my tummy with every juice imaginable I was feeling a bit bored. In Ubud, every time you walk down the street taxi drivers approach you asking if you want to go somewhere. It was super annoying the first few days but I soon grew accustomed to it. An older driver approached me and asked if I wanted to go somewhere. Since I was bored I stopped and had a chat with him. He said that he could take me anywhere but I didn’t have any place that I really wanted to go. However, I did enjoy my trip on the moped the day before to the spa. So I said to him, “I’ll tell you what, I don’t really want to go anywhere but would you mind driving me around on a moped for a few hours?” He looked at me in a confused manner and said you really don’t want to go to a temple or anything. “No”, I said, “no more temples, I just want to ride on a motor bike out to the country side, maybe see a rice field but nothing touristy”. Honestly I was just so hot that I thought the wind would on a bike would do me some good! I’m convinced that the reason why Southeast Asia has so many motorbikes is so that they do a great job at cooling you off, it’s like a natural air conditioner when you hop on one! He asked me to wait a second and he ran across the street and asked his friend if he could borrow his moped. Within 10 minutes we were in the country side of Ubud looking at the beautiful rice terraces as our natural AC was pumping! He did in the end take me to a famous one called, Tegallalang but I didn’t mind because it was gorgeous. We walked the fields and then sat with a toothless old man as he prepared fresh coconut juice for me in the sweltering heat.
On the way home I was thinking about whether or not I should tip my driver, since I’m sure he already was charging me a decent amount for what it was (the price for the 2 hours was $15 bucks but remember Bali is cheap). Then all of the sudden as if he read my mind he said, so have you ever drove a moped before and would you like to learn how? Ok if this man was going to let me drive his (friend’s) moped then he was definitely getting a tip! We pulled over to the side of the road where he explained to me where the gas and breaks were and then hopped on behind me. At first, I was a little shaky, stopping and going, like a 16 year old learning how to drive for the first time. But after a few minutes, I got the hang of it. He even offered to take a picture of me as I was driving! He definitely earned his $5 tip!