Bali: A Queen’s Suite

The sounds of dishes clanking and Harry’s powerful giggle woke me up at 6 am.  I peeked my head out the window and Harry’s Mom glanced over and shouted “Johanna. Mornin’. Breakfast?” I groggily made my way over to the sitting area. The Dhali Lama sat staring at me in a frame.  Limp, faded flowers surrounded him as he watched my every move.  Incense infused the air and got caught in my eyes. Pamphlets of yoga, reflexology, sound medicine and massage lay next to an assortment of essential oils. Harry was entertaining himself with an orange, bashing it against the wall in hopes it would bounce back to him.  A homemade hot pocket appeared on my plate. While I sipped my tea, staring into space, I brainstormed my rough plan for the day according to my senses. Harry’s Dad rustled around in the garden and approached me with heaping handfuls of 

Travel SE Asia '12 2082green leaves, spouting out the scientific names.  “Good for you I think. I will boil.  You drink.”  He handed me a book of medicinal herbs and their healing effects.  I bit into the hot pocket.  It oozed out banana and sugar. I finished the medicinal tea, while being comforted by the sounds coming from the kitchen. Wayan interrupted the peacefulness. “Johanna! You want motorbike?  Good price.  For beautiful lady!” I hadn’t yet properly finished my planning for the day in such a short amount of time. “No, Wayan.  Not today.” He winked and joined the party in the kitchen.  The Dhali Lama still solemnly sitting next to me and Harry now distracted by a simple paper puppet he joyfully helped to dance in the shadows of the early morning sunlight.  The annoying tabby cat ritually released moans and meows while he lapped up the leftover rice in the corner.  I took my dishes back to the kitchen.  Harry’s grandmother, wearing a Bob Marley shirt that hugged her love handles, rubbed my back and accepted the dirty dishes like an offering.  “Okay Johanna?”  About to go and further brainstorm, but in my bed this time, Harry’s mom asked me a question. “That room I give you special price. Queens suite.  Very nice. For you, Queen Johanna.”  I peered through the gold-embroidered windows, outlined with radiant red that lead my eyes to a white canopy draped above a king size bed.  The salmon and scarlet marbled floors on the porch were quite inviting to practice yoga before the roosters could wake me.  For $2 more, I agreed.  I deserved it.


Harry waiting for me to play

Harry and Kiwi

In a hotel, of course, you’ll get service, but you are paying for it.  In a home stay, money doesn’t matter as much.  You are guest in their home.  It is real.  I have been part of the family since the moment I walked in.  In some ways it has shrunk the distance between my real one.  Harry’s Dad, a reiki master and healer, has been an angel in my quest to learn more about herbal healing.  Meanwhile, I will enjoy my time in my Queen Suite, study from the array of borrowed books (of which each word enlighten and inspire me), and explore, eat, look forward to Leah’s arrival and take in every piece of this wonderful little gem of a place called Ubud!

I haven’t had a minute to write about Japan, but to sum it up, one of the most unique and special places in the world!  A friend who I met in India for only 8 hours, randomly graced me with his presence for the last 4 days in Kyoto.  Here are some of the photos…enjoy 🙂

Kiwi Goes to Japan

Temples and Lies


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Michele Franck
    Sep 16, 2012 @ 12:27:21

    Hi Johanna:

    Enjoy Bali, it is really a magic place. Go to the temples and the lotus café if it still exists in Ubud.
    I leaved in Indonesia in 1979-1980 and the place is close to my heart. I enjoyed your story very much as well as the pictures.
    Safe journey,
    PS: am currently in New Mexico


  2. jojobee6
    Sep 19, 2012 @ 22:02:06

    Michele! I followed your request and found the Lotus Cafe 🙂 It was quite pricey…. of course over 20 years later, but wonderful to say the least. We enjoyed a free ceremonial dance that took place at the temple in front while eating the “fisherman’s delight.” Thanks for the recommendation and reading my blog!
    Love from bali! -Johanna


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