Missed It By That Much!…in Bali

I recently wrote an email to a friend about our trip to Bali, and I realized that the story is probably worth sharing with a wider audience.

Let me preface this by saying that Bali was fantastic — we had an amazing time. It was so restful and relaxing, and we were very fortunate to be able to go for an entire week. The weather was perfect every day and it was lovely to spend so much time outdoors when it was so hot here in AD! (It’s finally cooling off, with highs in the 90s instead of the 100s, yay!) However , we did have some bumps in the road in Bali…one was that we didn’t get to take the cooking class I really wanted to take. So, the whole story:

The number one activity in Ubud on tripadvisor is this cooking class with a family. They pick you up in the morning, then you go to the market with them, then you go to their home and take a little tour, then make and eat lunch together. All this for about $40 per person! Well, I filled out their booking form on the website requesting a Thursday morning class, but didn’t hear back before we left for vacation. So, I checked my email a couple times at the first resort (and paid for this privilege), but never heard anything.

So, when we got to the hotel in Ubud on Wednesday night, we inquired about their cooking class (which was $75 per person!). Since we weren’t doing the family cooking class the next day, we decided to start off by going to the Monkey Forest, then walking around Ubud and exploring the market. We wanted to do the hotel cooking class on Friday, our last day in Bali.

Thursday morning, we’d just woken up when the phone rang. Vic picked up and was told that they were ready for us to go to the cooking class. Vic was confused, and told them that no, we wanted to do the cooking class tomorrow (Friday). We went about our merry way and really enjoyed the Monkey Forest (even though I was nervous the entire time that the monkeys would steal my glasses and leave me blind for the rest of the trip!). That afternoon, we bought tickets to see some Balinese dancing — the other main thing we wanted to do in Ubud. Once we got back to the hotel, I confirmed that we wanted to do the cooking class on Friday with the hotel chef.

Well, for dinner Thursday night, we split a cheeseburger (hey, it’s lame, but we wanted some beef so badly…since we are good Texans and the Balinese are mostly Hindu and thus didn’t serve much beef) and had some local rose wine. The wine did NOT agree with me. I had some of the worst heartburn ever. It was so painful that we couldn’t go to the Balinese dancing because I could barely function, must less sit quietly and appreciate a performance. Goal number two of time in Ubud: not achieved.

The next morning (Friday, our last in Bali), we woke up early for the cooking class. We enjoyed a lovely breakfast, then just kind of sat around until it was time for the cooking class to start. The hotel only had one computer, so I decided to check my email just to see what was going on. Lo and behold, there was a message from the family cooking class people that they’d come for us on Thursday morning, but were told we were doing the class on Friday, when they were fully booked and couldn’t accomodate us. Blast! I was very disappointed because I’d really wanted to meet this family and see their home, in addition to learning to cook something new. I sent them (I hope) a kind response explaining that because they never confirmed the booking, I thought they weren’t able to offer the class to us.

And then it got worse. While I was checking my email, Vic had flagged a waitress and asked about the cooking class. Apparently whomever it was that I spoke with about taking the class never told anyone, most importantly the chef, so they weren’t prepared. There was still hope for a few minutes while they asked the chef whether he could just offer the class on the fly, but, alas, ’twas to no avail.  Goal number one of time in Ubud: not achieved.

Thus, we did not get to attend the Balinese dancing, nor take a Balinese cooking class. I suppose we will have to go back!

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