Bali Birfday 🎂

April 21, 2017

Always nice to visit Bali! Had a wonderful time celebrating my birthday with my sister and her friend.

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Went to the same old reliable places (Sea Circus, Potato HeadBebek JoniIbu OkaMade’s WarungWarung OchaSingle Fin) & visited new cafes and bars (La FavelaLa Plancha, BikuMotel Mexicola), danced every night and capped it off with a traditional Balinese massage.

Went around Ubud once again for the Rice Terraces and Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary and also checked out the Kecak Dance Ceremony in Uluwatu Temple (a must for tourists, i’d say!).

Fun times… I will see you again Bali! x

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Eat. Pray. Love.

May 29, 2010

Good Read

I just finished reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s best seller entitled Eat, Pray, Love, a true story based on her own life as a 30-something year old American woman. At the start of the novel, I noticed how heavily depressed she was and how stupid I felt reading about her anxieties and despair.  In my mind, I wanted to say, “Stop whining lady! There’s poverty and war in the world and you are depressed because of… what?” The origin for her intense depression was somehow not crystal clear to me , as she reasons her divorce with her ex husband and her love/hate relationship with her ex lover. Did she break up with her husband for a chance to be with another man? (I am actually looking forward to the film adaptation for me to truly understand this issue.)

In any case, the first part of the book, set in the stunning and charming capital of Italy, was written with sheer delight inspired over what may be one of the best cuisines in the whole world. With her quick-witted and thorough narration of her experiences in Italy in learning the culture, the language and their God-sent food, I found myself laughing with her in her encounters. I visualized and reminisced on Rome, which is one my favorite cities in Europe. I tried to remember how the Piazzas and the fountains looked like, and how in each small street or alley, one is bound to find a gelateria, a trattoria or an osteria. I would generally assume that it is common for depressed and bothered people to take refuge in food… I mean delicious, mouth watering food. And reading the EAT part of the book, lightened up my feeling towards Elizabeth as she tried to put herself together in preparation for a greater journey ahead of her.

As I got to the PRAY part of the book, I found myself learning more about meditation and Hinduism. This chapter was a big change from her Italian journey as she eloquently described her spiritual journey in that small Ashram in a remote rural village in Mumbai, India. I mean I could easily picture the contrast of dusty India and cobblestoned Italy. However, this spiritual journey of hers made me applaud her as it took her strength and a lot of patience in her pursuit of devotion.

Finally, after all the drama in her life, and 8 months away from the bustling New York City life of hers, she found peace and contentment (as it appears). When I was reading through the last part of the book, LOVE, I felt that something in her changed. She was actually happily chilling in Ubud, a town in the middle of the island in Bali, Indonesia (the last setting of her 1 year hiatus). Naturally, everything is a love story.  And in this chapter (at long last!),  she indeed found love, sex, romance and everything a woman would need after eating all the pasta & pizza in Rome, all the scrubbing of the floors in the tiny Indian Ashram and all the conversations over coffee with a toothless Balinese healer.

Well done Elizabeth. You are finally living.

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