A collection of short stories, essays, blog-posts and photographs from Ubud, Bali.

The Ubud Handbook « Eat, Pray, Self-Love

I'M SITTING IN Ubud's Black Beach Italian restaurant on Jalan Hanuman waiting for my spaghetti bolognese. A tattooed Australian woman in her thirties – all swinging-tits-in-the-salad and no bra – picks the table in front of me. Her obedient female friend, all frumpy and over-forty and painfully low on self-esteem, takes the opposite chair.

The Tattooed Lady kicks off with a beer.

– "Ye naee, Oi tole yew she was sach a princess. A fackin' princess. She cams ap to moy man in a fackin' miniskirt at the bahbeque an' staats pawin' at eem. Loike she wants the fackin' stayke off ees playte..."

And it doesn't get any better.

My spaghetti arrives. Her ciabatta salmon sandwiches come too – her obedient friend has ordered exactly the same. Every time her friend opens her mouth, the Tattooed One shuts it with a "Naaee, bat..." and carries on with her withering, cucumber-spitting diatribe.

My concentration's shot to pieces. The spaghetti keeps falling off my fork. She's on her third large beer now. She starts saying "facking" even more and speaking so loudly that people passing on the street have begun to look her way, and she's spitting bits of ciabatta bread and tomato and fish into her friend's dinner.

– "En ye naee wot?"

Her friend just cowers and blinks behind her beer glass.

– "En thet's when Oi realoised. Thet's when Oi realoised Oi had a fackin' crash on meself."

I blow beer through my nose.

– "Yee. Oi jas' fackin' fell in lav wi' meself. Thet's when Oi noo Oi didn' need iny fackin' boyfriend. Or fackin' inybody."

The friend drops her head another ego-mashed inch and pokes at her last fish sandwich. It's at this point that I start to wonder if they have genetic counselling on The Gold Coast.

But to be honest, I'd begun to enjoy the show. There's nothing funnier than a bogan on Bali.

© 2020 John Storey.

The Ubud Handbook by John Storey

Other Tales of Tourism & Self-Enrichment from The Ubud Handbook

The Land of Self-Healing and Snake Oil

MAN-BUNS, CAMEL-TOES, hipster beards and Buddha tattoos flood the downtown Ubud scene. Not enlightened yet? Then you're late to the Conscious Party.

Shake out those Kundalini Awakenings with some HoopYogini™ and Bhakti BoogieŽ at the Yoga Barn. Celebrate The Divine Feminine with a splash of Shakti Dance. Puff up your lungs in a Sacred Breathwork Immersion Workshop, insert a Jade Egg at The Womb Temple for luck and polish it off with some tantalising Manifesting And Abundance.

You know you're worth it...

[ ... » Read on... » ]

From Ubud With Love

I'M STAYING AT A CUTE, family-run bed-and-breakfast – a homestay – on Ubud's trendy Jalan Goutama. A young member of the homestay's family tours her compound, blessing it with incense and rice and jepun-flower offerings in little hand-made palm-leaf boxes.

All is well in Bali's spiritual capital...

[ ... » Read on... » ]

© 2020 John Storey.

The Ubud Handbook by John Storey

The Last Word

Portrait of the Day

Portraits from Bali by Ubud High

© 2021 Ubud High.

The Ubud Handbook by John Storey

© 2021 John Storey. All rights reserved.

The Ubud Handbook

The Ubud Handbook

THE UBUD HANDBOOK ~ Your free guide to living in Ubud and Bali in a nutshell.

Chapters & Extracts

The Ubud Handbook is a free resource for those living on Bali — and for those poor souls whose Bali Bucket List has been left unchecked.

Culture Bites

Cinema Paradiso

Religion Matters

An American Calonarang

The Tale of Ganesha the Globetrotter (Excerpt)

Getting Around

It's Silly Season Again

The Other Side of the Coin

Surviving Bali on a 'Bike

Personal Stories

Diary of a Market Girl

Food Talk

The King of Stink

Tourism & Self-Enrichment

Eat, Pray, Self-Love

The Land of Self-Healing and Snake Oil

From Ubud With Love

Holidays from the Jungle

The Heads of Trunyan

A Line in the Sand (Excerpt)

The Ubud Handbook

THE UBUD HANDBOOK ~ Your guide to living in Ubud and Bali in a nutshell.

THE UBUD HANDBOOK ~ Your guide to living in Ubud and Bali in a nutshell

And finally, the weather

Today's forecast for Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

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