The rice fields glittered vibrant green at me from my breezy verandah on my first afternoon in my brand-new flat in Ubud, Bali. I’d spent all day looking at apartments before settling on this two-story bungalow in the suburb of Penestanan, and I allowed myself a few moments to take in my good fortune before racing off to the supermarket, unpacking, and starting in on my paying work on my laptop. I was lucky enough to be the first inhabitant of the flat. The new house ceremony, common in Bali, hadn’t even happened yet.
I stood up and padded around the small apartment. Bed. Chair. Closet. Desk. Power point by the desk. Oohhh, someone had been thinking ahead. Laptops like power points.
I examined the giant soaking tub in the bathroom, and contemplated what might be whirlpool jets. That reminded me I’d left my laundry soaking in the sink—best get to it. There was a washing machine somewhere on the premises, but I wasn’t yet sure where, and when I eventually did find it, I’d quickly learn to time my visits for when the staff wasn’t washing sheets and towels from the compound of guest bungalows.
The flat’s kitchen was by no means luxury, but it had a kettle, refrigerator, two-burner stovetop, and a sink. No pots or pans, but Kadek said she'd get some. Breakfast wasn’t included with my flat, but that was fine with me. Over the last year of traveling around the world, I’d eaten far more eggs than any person needs.
There was. I soon explored a leafy path past a yoga studio and vegetarian cafe, and that wound along a ridge almost to the back of Bintang. I'd only need the stairs for going to the center of Ubud, and I'd quickly learn to hire a motorbike taxi to bring me home up the hill. I didn't really want to be wandering through the rice paddies in the dark anyway, though I quickly learned to always carry a flashlight.
I pulled everything out of my backpack and dumped it on the floor. There would be no playing tourist quite yet.
Bali was around me. That would have to be enough for the moment.