This September, I was busy preparing proposal research (yes I'm a student who goes on fieldwork to gather data for thesis). At that time, it was a bit hectic to prepare all the things before I go on fieldwork. Oh I forgot to mention that Ubud in Bali was my destination, a place which is quite famous in Bali. Oh well this time, I will tell how I spent my 3 weeks in Ubud!
After a short flight from Bandung, I arrived in Bali. This time its quite different because the last time I went to Bali, it was for a holiday. But this time I went there to do fieldwork so even though I’m in Bali, my thoughts were all about, “How I will get the data I need for 3 weeks?” This thought stressed me out but that’s the risk of fieldwork outside my city—it’s challenging and there is more to see in Bali. Eventually, I will get valuable experience from here.
After I put my stuff in a homestay (yes, I stayed in a homestay during my stay in Ubud. I will tell about that later), I was told by my thesis supervisor that I first time I have to do is observe around Ubud by walking. Of course at that time I was so happy because I walked around Ubud with the Lomo LC-Wide with me.
The next day I continued my observation but went north towards Jalan Raya Ubud.
As I went down through the streets of Jalan Raya Ubud, I found this little walking path that led me to a rice field. I wasn’t sure what’s the name of it but I just keep walking.
I was so curious because every time I go to Bali, I never get the chance to know Ubud this close, so with all my energy and a camera in my hand, I just kept on walking and walking.
I keep on walking and I found myself lost. I really didn’t know where I was that time!
Walking for kilometers with just me, the LC-Wide, and a bottled water, I had no idea where I was but the view beats all my tiredness and the thought of getting lost! Yes, I was that lost so I talked to local people and asked where I was and how I could get back to Ubud. I had no GPS with me, poor me! My so-called smart phone couldn’t give me the right answer either. So the wise thing to do was WALK, WALK and WALK.
I kept on walking until I reached Jalan Raya Pengosekan, and oh my, I felt so glad! It’s a shame that I didn’t bring more film rolls with my during my “lost” time there so right after reaching Jalan Raya Pengosekan I walked fast to my homestay and told my “lost” story to the owner of my homestay. They laughed at me and said, “Hahaha, you should get a bike, Adi!” So, lesson learned!
As I walk the street of Jalan Sugriwa, I decided to keep on walking and observing, and that time I went to the famous Jalan Hanoman.
Since it was my first week in Ubud, I decided to continue my observation and delay “thesis activitiy” for a few days.
After days of walking through the streets of Ubud, I got to know how to get here and there by foot. In my opinion, walking is the best way to “get close” with the place I went. This walking experience give me the sound of people talking, the morning view of people doing their morning rituals and seeing tourists enjoying their time in Ubud. So it’s a priceless experience to see these kind of scenes in my first week and absorb how life in Ubud is.
I found this unique street, Jalan Bisma.
Jalan Bisma is full of homestays, hotels, and other accommodations for tourists. So I decided to walk there and look what I found!
It’s relaxing to see these kind of views. I think this is where I found myself falling in love with Ubud and it just takes three days to fall in love with Ubud! This path leads me back to Jalan Monkey Forest and its quite nice to know that there’s so many secret walking paths here!
The next day is Saturday! The weekend! I was so lucky there were two Balinese lomographers which live in Gianyar. Meet Agung and Engga!
They took me to Tjampuhan Hills.
Tjampuhan Hills is walking path which located near the Ubud Tunnel. In the afternoon I saw people running, walking, or just relaxing and seeing the beautiful view there.
It was fun to talk and walk with other lomographers in Ubud. Great to talk about cameras, films, lomography and analogue photography in Tjampuhan Hills, it’s so different here I guess because I read in many books that people often feel that spirit or taksu when they stay in Ubud. That spirit or taksu (Balinese word for spirit) is something I can’t explain here, its intangible and its a feeling that you have to experience yourself. I’m sure people who have been to Ubud know this great feeling.
After a great afternoon in Tjampuhan Hills, we decided to fill our hungry belly in a famous local pizza resto called Pizza Bagus.
As we all know if we meet up with other lomographers, we will talk about lomography and other stuff for hours; this was what happened to me! It’s fascinating to share the analogue love and talk about it for hours while eating pizza. Good food, good friends, and such a good life!
The next day is Sunday, the final day of my first week in Ubud and I went out again with Engga, his girlfriend, his little brother, and Agung. We went to this so-called “Virgin Beach”.
I felt stupid at that time because first I forgot to bring my Krab, second I forgot to bring swimming pants and I forgot everything. I don’t know what was happening to me! But I just enjoyed this wonderful afternoon in Virgin Beach.
After enjoying Virgin Beach, I felt so fulfilled because I got to see this beautiful beach and had a great time with friends. Good times! On my way to homestay, my thesis supervisor texted me and said “Adi, its time to do your fieldwork! And check your email! I have so many emails for you!” It was time to face the truth and continue my fieldwork here. So here’s my first week in Ubud! Stay tuned for another installment of the “Three Weeks in Ubud” series!