Sunday, July 26, 2009

Item From the Past: Igna 2, Bali

Swimming, bicycle rides, catching fireflies -- I did all these things with my daughters today, which would pretty much make it a Summer Day. I managed to catch a firefly between my palms, but it refused to be put in a jar. Lilly managed to get one in a jar, but almost immediately both girls decided that fireflies were born free, as free as the wind blows, so they released it, especially since it wouldn't light in captivity.

Fifteen years ago, Yuriko and I arrived in the town of Ubud on Bali, and parked ourselves at a guest house called Igna 2. It cost about 12,000 rupiah a night, all of about US $5.80 in those days. Not only did we get a room, more about which below, a lank young Balinese fellow who called himself Yogi brought us breakfast every morning. Usually its centerpiece was a fine jaffle.

Igna 2 was essentially a brick shack off the main road, a very Spartan place. One room, one bathroom, a porch. In this pic, Yuriko is standing next to the footpath from the main street we took to reach the place, only 100 feet away or so. She's also standing next to a tiny creek that ran near the property.

Because of the creek, the guesthouse had an amenity I’ve never gotten even in rooms costing 40 times as much, the sound of a gurgling creek accompanied by an army of singing frogs (or some kind of vocal amphibians) and a chorus of tropical insects. Every night, as soon as the Sun had set, the concert began.

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