Nasi Campur – Delicious Indonesian Fare

I’ve tried the Indonesian dish, Nasi Campur in three Warungs now. There are different ways of serving it and I love it in all its forms. But the pleasant ambiance of Cafe Angsa definitely enhanced their rendition of the local favorite.

It is right beside a rice paddy and, of course wide open to the fresh air and vegetation.

That’s a glass of watermelon juice. I’m afraid I had to taste it before I took the photo! I was parched and there is nothing as refreshing as the cool sweetness of watermelon to quench a ravenous thirst.

Here’s a better shot of the delicious meal. At the back of the plate is the steamed vegetable, in this case cabbage, some carrots, bean sprouts and peppers. Next to the veggies in the little dish is the tomato sambal, spicy and just a little bit sweet, and tomato, cucumber and shredded raw cabbage next to the half hard boiled egg with a dollop of sambal on top. Next to the egg is tempeh, a soy product that has a nutty flavor and a firmer texture than tofu. Next to the tempeh is fried tofu. It’s the seasonings in the tempeh and tofu that make them unforgettably delicious. The famous prawn chips complete the presentation. Oh yummy!

As a very special treat on this particular day a grade school band was practicing in the pavilion literally right next to the restaurant and oh! how they love percussion. It wasn’t a peaceful lunch, nor would it have been romantic even if I’d been there with someone special. But it was scrumptious and wonderfully entertaining.

When I finished my meal I strolled next door to the open pavilion and took a quick shot of the kids. Later I found out that there’s a competition coming up in a few weeks where all the schools perform for the mayoral election. They are working so hard! I’m not sure what the plan is for the flags. There wasn’t a lot of synchronization there, but what do I know! I played flute in marching band and that was hard enough!

Growth

I took a photo from my balcony that first morning in Bali. The tender young shoots of rice plants in the paddy below spoke of new beginnings, possibility, unlimited potential. They were like pre-schoolers marching in obedient rows, drinking deep of the nourishing mud at their roots.

Every morning since then I have eaten breakfast overlooking that same paddy, observing the subtle changes, drinking in the green of it, the succulence. I have seen it tended by barefoot women, bent all day over their task, mindfully pulling away what doesn’t nurture, what doesn’t belong.

And this morning when I sat down to breakfast and drank in the view it was like looking in a mirror I could so clearly see my reflection there. The seed of self planted here in the healing climate of Ubud has taken root. Things that do not belong to my truth, that do not nurture my growth, are being pulled away. I have met someone that I vaguely remember from a long, long time ago, a simple girl with poetry and passion in her soul. She got left behind when she didn’t fit the image I created for myself, the person I thought I ‘should’ be. We’re getting reacquainted. She’s a grown-up version with life-grit in her pores, not very pretty but very, very real. I am falling in love for the first time…with myself.

The rice paddy, too, has matured. She is a vibrant maiden now, full-grown but not quite ripe. I may not be here for the harvest of the rice. It’s not a plant whose growth I can predict with familiarity like tomatoes or corn. I’ve heard it has to turn golden before its time. I don’t need to know. It has fulfilled its purpose for me. Others will enjoy the fruits of its yield. My job is to show up for the reaping of my own late-sown crop.

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