so the last post I referred my vacation to was two months ago, on the seventh of May. And back then I told you that I would post my finding on my vacation as soon as possible. My, how time gone by so quickly, it almost felt like I posted that article just yesterday. Well, considering the volume of posts I did these few months, I guess it could be just yesterday.
Anyway, for two weeks on the month of April, I went to the resort island of Bali, the so-called last paradise on earth Not so in my opinion. those who said this must have traveled to Bali only or stayed there – get real ; there are more places that deserve the title of last paradise on earth). I didn’t like all the beach and night scene Bali infamously offered in the tourist resorts such as Kuta and Legian, so I went to Ubud – a place that offers appreciation of Arts and Crafts, and generally the town (or city?) is more quiet and a bit more relaxed than the rest of Bali – though it is getting busier each time I went there.
I stayed in Ubud for 10 days doing nothing much but a few hours daily touring the place just how a tourist should do without looking like a tourist and avoiding tourist traps and all (also while going around town with my friend I was approached by a tourist whom asked me for directions ,without knowing she is talking to a tourist too). the repetition of the word tourist is just for the lulz.
Anyway, on the ninth day I was there, walking around town, revisiting places I went and stayed before, I came across a shop directly in front of Champlung Sari – the hotel I went the last time I stayed in Ubud. I forgot or rather just disregard the shop name as I was very excited seeing what was offered in the shop – geometric patterned textiles!
I went inside and first I thought there were no one there.thinking why would this kind of a shop I browsed a bit silently around the small shop. It is a boutique mainly catering to female clients, selling fabrics, dresses, accessories and other articles of clothing. As I looked around a small squeak came from a makeshift counter. I almost jumped out of my skin never knowing there were actually someone there!
“Hello” the clerk said. I turned around and found a small young lady drowned under the rather messy counter. I replied in Indonesian, having visited the island three times now, I got fluent in their language (not much of a difference anyway to my native tongue) and she promptly replied back. We grew silent, though in my mind there were lots of things going on. Well, actually just one – I’m in geometric pattern heaven! or something to that effect. i asked if i can take some photos for my blog and she gave the green light.
I looked around and checked the price tags on one of the item on sale. RP75,000, which is around USD80 or USD90. For a small scarf. Ouch. I read a pamphlet about the items there, put next to a basket of fabrics. Apparently the textiles were hand made with batik painting technique, on all-natural organic cotton cloth. No wonder about the pricing. My attention were diverted from the pamphlet on the floor to a larger fabric on display, showing the traditional Islamic geometric pattern in blue and painted on pure white cotton fabric.
I examined the textile and saw the price-tag – RP100,000, around US120. The pain. I picked a corner of the fabric and take a good look of the quality. It was cotton, alright. Heavy and perhaps a fabric for upholstery or maybe a wallpaper. My exclamations of awe must be very audible, for the clerk immediately approached me.
The clerk said, “ada discount mas” (I will give you a discount)
“Ini fabrik untuk apa mbak? (what is this for, miss) I replied, expecting in return that it is for curtains or upholstery for chairs
” alas meja mas”
“Alas meja? tablecloth?”
I was stunned. Such beautiful art for a tablecloth? let alone the price! This is sacrilege! Such dishonour of a noble art! What disgrace!
Of course, all that in my mind.
I left the store telling the clerk that I will be back soon. On my way back to the hotel I though of buying one of the article on sale or not. Thank goodness of sidewalks because if it is not there adding with my mindless strolling, I might just be flattened by the rushing traffic of tour buses from from and to the Monkey Forest nearby.
The next day was my birthday, April 24th! since it was my last day in Ubud, and thinking of getting myself a birthday gift, i thought i should get something from that shop before i leave. And so I walked to the store at around 11 in the morning and it was pretty late and the shop should be open by now. No, there was no one in the shop, and the door said closed.
Maybe next time I guess. But another thing caught my eye – a silver ring! I went inside a store owned by a local silversmith named Nyoman Rena and bought a beautiful silver ring decorated with a dome of turquoise. It doesn’t concern this blog so I wont elaborate. So good bye Ubud, and hello silver ring and ideas!