Hanoman Street in Ubud

I love the surprises each day brings. After another superb meal at Atman Cafe I head north on Hanoman Street.

Hanoman is one of the two main arteries running north and south through Ubud. I set off, camera in hand, to capture some images that are representative of the flavor of the village. This carved, painted door with a soaring crown and gargoyle is typical Balinese architecture. It is inserted into a high brick wall that surrounds a family compound or perhaps a temple.

There are always steps up to the doorway so you can’t quite see what’s in there. Today curiosity triumphed. I climbed the stairs and took a peek  through the partially open door. There was a large open space bordered by several buildings that I assume are dwellings. The ornate facades of these homes are protected by statues of gods or fierce creatures.

My mission for the afternoon is to visit the new CoCo Supermarket and pick up a few snacks for evening munching. I hadn’t realized until now what a snacker I am! Not having a kitchen with stocked cupboards handy is definitely a lifestyle change. I comb the gleaming isles of the large store. There are thousands of varieties of chips, cookies, and candies. My search is successful and I leave with two apples and a bag of spicy Thai peanuts. There is a somber look to the sky as I head home so I pick up the pace hoping to reach cover before a downpour.

I am approaching my turn when Hanoman Street becomes suddenly quiet. No traffic. That can only mean one thing. Looking up the street I see them coming. A ceremonial procession is making its way toward me.

The black and white plaid fabric is seen everywhere in Bali. I was told that it represents balance.

They pass directly in front of me on their way to the temple to make the offerings that the women are carrying on their heads.  I don’t want to be the obnoxious tourist who intrudes upon their traditional rituals with camera flashing, so I try to be discreet and probably miss the best shots as a result.

The parade continues on and I head down the walled corridor that will take me home. As I turn the corner at the top of the steps, there beside my door is a canang sari, a small basket woven of palm fronds containing an offering to the gods. The Balinese present these offerings three times a day. Sometimes I wonder how the women get anything else done. They seem to sit for hours every day making literally dozens of these small gifts.

Finally back on my balcony I watch the threatening clouds approach.

There’s a stiff breeze and…ahhh yes! Here comes the rain!

4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. terri finn
    Mar 19, 2012 @ 07:06:55

    Since the moment I heard you share with our class, “Little Liechtenstein” I knew you were destined to write.
    Thank you for blessing me by sharing this journey you are on. I have discovered that by listening to your body you will reconnect the body, mind and spirit. From your pictures I believe you have chosen the place where nature speaks to your soul.

    Terri Finn



  2. jessa walters
    Mar 19, 2012 @ 10:43:43

    so many delightful images and stories, mom! i can smell the balinese incense burning as i read your posts! how amazing and perfect and wonderful that you are there! i love seeing photos of the food you’re eating! such beautiful presentation. xoxo sending you tons of love.



  3. Pat and Pete Grimsbo
    Mar 19, 2012 @ 18:51:09

    Sherry Dear,
    Your Dad just said, “Very interesting! I am glad you are doing what you want to do and enjoying it. We also are enjoying seeing your pictures and the descriptions of life in Bali.” I agree 100 per cent – am so glad it is turning out to be what you were anticipating. We miss you and are looking forward to your return but glad all is going well. Love, Dad and Mom



  4. Nancy Strauss
    Mar 19, 2012 @ 21:22:14

    Great pictures. Did you ever find out what the procession was about? It’s so lush & green. At least it’s been around 8o degrees here the last week. Although I know it won’t last forever, at times it’s made your departure to Bali a little easier to take.
    Miss you already –



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