Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Eat, Pray, Mock

Page 178 of the latest Bali Lonely Planet includes a text box entitled “That Damn Book.” The excerpt begins, “You see them everywhere these days in Ubud: women of a certain age strolling the streets with that look. A mixture of self-satisfaction, entitlement and too much yoga, with maybe just a hint of desperation that they haven’t yet found their Felipe.”

I haven’t read the book, haven’t seen the movie, and have no idea who Felipe is but can only imagine what he must represent. Of course, I’m referring to Elizabeth Gilbert’s international best selling novel, “Eat, Pray, Love.” Within the first fifteen minutes of walking the streets of Ubud earlier this week, Lindsay and I had seen more than a handful and simply began saying, “Look, another EPL’er.”

I can only wish we were seeing stars from the English Premiere League; alas, we were witness to exactly what Lonely Planet had warned. Simply put and not to judge, but these women aren’t even a dime a dozen in Ubud, more like an Indonesia rupiah a dozen (to put things in perspective a rupiah is equal to approximately 1/9000th of an American dollar).

Every person has their own reason to travel and I hate to make fun of people for living a cliché. But here are a couple of pictures I was able to covertly capture during my time in Ubud that pretty much accurately portray the quote from Lonely Planet.

And yes, I get that it says something about who I am that this was the most entertaining portion of my day spent in the cultural center of Bali. While Lindsay appreciated the ridiculousness of the situation, had either of my buddies Jimmy or Morrow been along for the day, it would have been a much crueler (yet still funny, at least to us) environment.

I'm also proud to say I was the only American yuppie I saw proudly sporting an Iowa cap (though in the spirit of full disclosure, I've been a cliché before: I listened to the “Braveheart” soundtrack while taking the train from London to Edinburgh during the summer of 1996. I was in college, and let’s be honest, I was more impressed with the fact I could legally drink a Carling on that train rather than soak up the Scottish countryside with the smooth bagpipes of Mel Gibson’s periodic epic crooning from my Discman; in my defense, I thought the street performer in full William Wallace face paint and regalia was taking it a bit too far; like William would ever lower himself to playing bagpipes for schillings on the street).


  1. I *finally* got to watch "The Movie" on our flight back home last week. Blech. I couldn't even FINISH the movie. It was ... well, sad and so much a disappointment from what my expectations were.

    I kind of enjoyed the book, but that was pre-Delhi and I was THIRSTY to get my hands on anything India at that point.

    I will say though, that after living here under the circumstances that we are, I would LOVE to live somewhere with a different definition, so to speak. To be able to be a bit freer with our travel, exploration, soaking up and wandering ...

    There's a bit of EPL jealousy in me, I'll admit it!

  2. LMAO this post made me laugh! (As did the photo of the EPLer in the floppy hat...the blury-ness adds to it in a very comical way!)

    I did read the book, a few years ago (before I had any idea I'd be moving to India),and actually quite enjoyed it...much more than the movie though I didn't mind the movie. But I can only imagine the amount of tourism that book and movie have caused for Bali specifically (India and Italy being the other destinations in the book).

    I would tell you who Felipis is but I don't want to ruin case you decide to watch the movie...though I highly doubt it lol!

  3. Very funny post

    We have made fun of the situation in Ubud with a new book: The Monster That Ate Ubud