Ubud in da hood
The last few months I’ve been working like a crazy man, setting up a new café, training new staff and in general filling my time more than one wants. But don’t feel sorry for me, hell no! Because this is accomplished with the sole purpose of getting me exactly where I am presently… “where is that?” you ask. You inquisitive make believe person… Well I am currently sitting next to our private pool in our villa in Ubud (I will take a photo for you right now). Brilliant. Got to love holidays, pools, camera’s and computers, possibly not all together as I have found over the years that pools and computers are not meant to meet, not even after a few drinks when both are nicer and more affable then normal, still they never seem to hit it off.
So my amazing and real life girlfriend/lover/travel agent sorted this entire trip for a Christmas present, I know! How effing good is she… but as I have just called her my lover on a public forum like this, then I imagine it may be our last holiday for a while. So I shall enjoy it all the more knowing it to be our final days together, I may create a montage of our time together and get it played on a massive screen to make leaving me nigh on impossible, as the treasured memories of frolicking in boats on lakes, snow ball fights and that time we rescued beached turtles and swam them back to the safety of the open ocean… hang on a damn tooting minute, none of that will happen as firstly I’m sure she just skim reads this just to placate me, and secondly non of the fore mentioned bollocks every happened, so I reckon I’m safe and shall continue my tale of wood carvings, Ralph Lauren shops and sweat as these are the three every present things I have associated with Bali in the last 12 hours.
As everything in our life our holidays are based completely around food, this I feel works so well as you should all be aware by now that we actually need food to survive… FACT… so why not put just a little thought into your dining experiences and then all you have to do is fill in a few hours in-between meals and bam your holiday is sorted, then add the extra dimensions of a different country and by all that is holy you’re in for a treat. Of course traveling doesn’t instantly mean new cuisines, you could for instance come to Bali and act like the majority of cashed up bogans and basically ignore anything slightly cultural and eat burgers, club sandwiches and pizza whilst sipping on what you think is Balinese culture in a bottle, a.k.a. Bintang… now I won’t lie to you that does sound kinda nice but not day in day out.
Since I started writing this we have snuck off and been pampered by a pregnant Balinese lady who performed some very impressive Thai massage techniques, I wonder if I was to go to Thailand, would a Thai virgin perform an impressive Balinese massage? Something for all of us to think about, me thinks.
Babi Guling* was what we where hunting for after our 90 minutes of bliss, and this my friends is the kind of hunting I’m best at; the kind where the pray is well and truly dead. If it’s not dead its doing a very good job of pretending, a rouse perhaps, one that this pig has definitely not thought through… regardless of my want to hunt helpless pre dead creatures and ineptness of the swine’s master plan, we started our expedition. We had a map which Lauren had compiled from two of our very good friends, both stating they knew the best pig place in Ubud. G-money is a true foodie and our most frequent dining partner so we where locked in with his suggestion, then another great mate suggested the same … Che is a chef, he is our very good friend and he lives in Bali, so when he agreed with G-money we thought too easy. So it was off to find a place called IKU OKA, down some alleyway hidden in-between shacks and bamboo scaffolding.
This adventure would have been a lot easier had we actually taken said map with us… instead we walked around Ubud with the kind of pace only hunger can arouse, we found out a few things along the way… firstly Lauren gets very snappy when she is hungry, secondly there are fuck loads of Babi Guling restaurants in Ubud and thirdly finding the right one is worth going through all that shit… Iku Oka is pretty effing amazing, we ordered the special plate which had, roast pig, fried pig meat so crispy it should be iligal, crispy skin, blood sausage, rice and shit tonnes of their delicious green chilli relish. All in all it was everything Gray and I always bang on about, it’s was simple, it was un-pretentious and it was pig in many forms…. Fucking right on Iku Oka, you guys are the tits!
Why spend an hour finding a pig shack down an alley? The answer is simple, play to people strengths I always say… well I don’t actually say that, but I really do think it a lot… let people/chef’s (they are almost the same thing) do what they know and love and the finished product will be amazing… unless they are a shit person/chef then it will be mud.
*Balinese roast pork