As we live on the outskirts of Ubud we are quite immersed in village life. We have a friendly, greeting relationship with many people we see each day. We are also renovating our guest room, and have found that much of what we need is available on our doorstep. Thinking we would check out a small manufacturer of bedspreads a little down the road, today we wandered along to see what they could do. Just looking you understand. We had no clear thought in mind, but knew we needed something that would tone with a hanging that we wanted to retain. The room had been rarely used and this hanging had been pinned with thumbtacks to the wall behind the bed. We knew it needed a bit more glory, but hadn’t quite solved the hanging dilemma when we carried it to the bedspread store for colour matching.
On the way we stopped for fresh fruit at the small toko – pineapples, mangoes and dragonfruit – and popped in to the little hardware for a particular fitting for the new shower. A brass one at $1.50 equivalent solved the problem.
We didn’t expect to find the bedspread today, but there it was complete with matching pillow cases.
Next door a lady was busy sewing more, so we could have ordered, but if you see what you want, buy it, is our philosophy. So, another problem solved. Riyan had been here earlier in the morning fitting the custom mosquito net so the sleeping side of things is now pretty well sorted.
There appears to be a new curtain outlet on the street and noticing a fitting that might suit the hanging that we were still carrying, we called in. Fractured Indonesian from me, and no English from the lovely young Muslim woman soon established that she did not have the length of that particular rod we needed for the hanging but she proposed an alternative solution. Perfect, and for $15 the hanging will look lovely behind the newly-netted and covered bed.
Among the workers on the street were the carvers working on the new wall at the banjar building. Chipping away at nothing more than raw cement they are creating fantastical figures and decorations. Meanwhile women are literally doing the heavy lifting carrying cement blocks on their heads from tne road to the building site.
Stopping to admire a plant we hadn’t noticed before, a man appeared from nowhere and told us it was called kumis kucing, or cat moustache (probably cat’s whiskers in English). He makes an infusion of the flowers and leaves as well as the roots of a local grass used for roofing alang-alang. Swears it’s wonderful for bladder problems, especially for men, so probably more prostate. We weren’t expecting to learn that today!
The hanging can’t be ironed, but will settle in time. The red border is not very clear but this is the colour to be echoed in the bedspread.
Our walk could not have been more than 500 metres, and the small injection into the local economy will repay us much more in social currency, with new people to wave to on future walks and at village ceremonies.