Also along Jl Raya and no more than a 2 minute walk from the Bungalows is the Ubud Market. This was easily one of the places I was most excited to visit. In fact, we went to the market three times, once every day that we were there. Marilyn, the sweet lady manager of our bungalows, taught us an invaluable lesson in one of her many emails to me before my trip: always start your haggling with 30% of their asking price, you will usually end up agreeing at 50%. They are always willing to sell even at the smallest of profits, if they don't agree to what you're willing to pay that means it really is too low.
Armed with this strategy and some techniques I've learned through the years in dealing with persistent-to-the-point-of-being-downright-rude vendors under my belt, I proceeded with confidence. Looking back now I realize I should have expected it but during that first visit, I was taken by surprise when we found ourselves dealing with some of the most amiable sales people in the world. With each stall we passed I felt my guard come down a notch until it was gone. There was none of the hassling and tugging and glaring (when you wouldn't buy) that I expected. Sure, some were gently persistent but reasonably so. They were trying to make a living, after all.
they don't call these the Spice Islands for nothing
What did come in handy was the haggling strategy! There isn't much you won't find in this two-story marketplace, you could shop to your heart's content. I should have listened to Marilyn when she told me to "bring an empty suitcase!". If i wasn't so worried about excess baggage expenses, I would have bought an empty suitcase there (yes they had those too) for everything that I wanted to buy. There was saffron and sarongs, masks and mats, art and antiques, wood carvings and stone carvings, hammocks and handbags, guitars and gongs, paintings and plates, kites and curry. And this was just the ground level. Out in the courtyard, we stumbled onto heaps of fresh produce, donuts the size of frisbees, a mountain of chilis, flowers used for offerings and more sarongs. The second level was a maze of batik fashion, table linen, shoes, bags and toys.
in my best Cookie Monster impression: "COOOOOKIEEEEEE!!!""
A pre-dawn shopping trip for ingredients for our Balinese cooking lessons allowed us to witness the market at it's busiest. Fish and fowl and pig and greens abound, and yet surprisingly there is no stench. It was still cold and dark out, but already the market was abuzz with women from Ubud and nearby villages filling baskets balanced on their heads with foodstuff to feed their families for the day. In a traditional Bali home, there are no refrigerators because everything is bought fresh every day. The few items bought in slightly larger quantities to last a few days are onions, shallots and garlic. I love this concept, it's so... French Women Don't Get Fat .
Who you calling chicken legs?!
Assembling offerings for the dayRowena ;)