Singapore Adventure

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Postcards From Munduk
by venitha


A man splashes along the narrow street, using a banana leaf as an umbrella.


Sue and I are captivated by the stunning rice terraces, take at least a million pictures, but Putu, our kind and handsome driver, is upset and saddened.

"I wouldn't have brought you here if I had known," he says, explaining that yesterday's hard rain has beaten down the grain-laden stalks, likely ruining the harvest. To my unknowing eye, the vista is nothing but beautiful.


"We'd have been lost forever."

"Oh, yeah."

Sue and I follow Ketut, our $3/hour trekking guide, as he leads us through winding paths alive with lemongrass, nutmeg, snakefruit, ginger, guava, lemon, avocado, jackfruit, ... the list goes on and on, and ends, of course, with cacao and coffee. Our destination is a majestic waterfall, crashing boisterously with the recent rainfall, and Sue immerses herself boldly in the powerful stream of its cooling wind and mist.


Two bare-chested boys with long switches drive a paddle of ducks down the road toward a rice field stripped bare. "I wonder if it isn't like herding cats."

Men and women in broad-rimmed straw hats work knee-deep in mud, thrashing grains of rice from the yellowed grass.


Four girls climb out from under a tarp draped over a moped as someone's big brother drops them off for their dance class. Yes, that makes 5 passengers and 0 helmets on a moped driving mountain roads in a thundering downpour.

The four-year-old daughter of the instructor mesmerizes and charms us, moving her hands seductively, her head dramatically. "She even dances with her eyes."