So to be honest we've basically accomplished nothing the last little while. Finding lunch each day was the biggest accomplishment. We have been enjoying the terrific food at the 2nd Bali Buddha restaurant located much closer to us (in Kerobokan) than the one in Ubud. I love their vegan Nasi Campur. They also have a little health food store attached where we get snacks and fresh coconut water.
We have also survived the the uniqueness of Bali streets. There are sidewalks but as soon as it is congested, which is most often, they fill with speeding scooters which some how manage to dodge the pedestrians. There are about 20 scooters to each car. Tourists can easily rent them, which only adds the the chaos. We've seen everything transported on them. One scooter had 10 full water cooler bottles, another a family of mom, dad, toddler and a crib mattress! Then there are the taxis. Many are with out incident but some make you feel like you must be on candid camera. The one we took yesterday was speeding and weaving in and out of traffic like nothing I have ever seen. (and I've seen a lot of crazy taxis). At a red light he jumped forward as a kid as crossing just to make her jump. They both laughed though. Somehow the dogs seem to know how to navigate these roads (most times). In fact I once saw a dog wait until 2 tourists were crossing and then he ran along side them to cross. The open sewers are also another hazard. Most of them are covered but then there will be a surprise one missing when you least expect it. Neither of us has fell in, yet.
On one of our walks we came across a very enthusiastic fellow who assured us we could win fantastic prizes hidden within the free promotional material for a new hotel. We had nothing else to do so we obliged. Of course when I opened mine I was absolutely guaranteed to win one of the following; week of free hotel, $500.00 or a digital camcorder. We just needed to get in their company car and go down for a tour of the hotel (time share) and we would get one of these prizes (the scratch off area would be revealed after sitting through the presentation). We declined.
Today we found a Mexican place and had decent chips and salsa. We had a nice chat with the waitress about being vegan. She brought us out our bean tacos and as usual J bides his time until someone else tries it first, of course that's usually me. I bit into a gross cow taco. I wish "beef" and "bean"did not look so similar when scribbled down on an order pad.
I did however finish an enjoyable book, Peace is Every Breathwhich is quite an easy read on incorporating mindfulness into every day life. It also had a nice explanation of the Buddhist notions of emptiness and non-self:
There is no entity separate and apart from everything else; what we call our "self" is made entirely of "non-self" elements. Emptiness likewise refers to the absence of a self that exists apart from everything else - the way a flower, for example, cannot "be" by itself alone, but rather is made of non-flower elements such as the seed, fertilizer, rain, and sunlight. If you take non-flower elements out of the flower, the flower no longer can exist. Emptiness does not mean nothingness of nonexistence; it only means there is no such thing as a separate "self" entity. All phenomenon rely on all other phenomena to manifest. This is, because that is; this is not, because that is not. To contemplate emptiness is also to contemplate interbeing (sometimes called "interdependent co-arising").
(photo above is from the same book)
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