The Panchakarma Experience – Part III – Putu

Evenings are quiet in Nyuh Kuning. Usually after an early dinner I’ll take a walk along the a darkly lit but safe road to the village Temple and then walk back to the hotel to read.

With Wayan before Yoga
Once the first 5 days were over and I had ingested all the Ghee, my massage treatments started to included steaming. After oleating the body externally and internally, herbal steaming opens the minute channels in the body, to loosen toxins from its original site and to encourage them to flow to the digestive tract and to some extent also the skin. I sat in what I considered to be a make shift sauna so I could sweat out all the toxins. When I say “make shift sauna”, I’m talking about a large wooden box that I would sit in and sweat, with my head sticking out and the box holding all the steam. I’ve been told that this is a traditional steam box. (I just made that term up) They have these in Ayurvedic clincs in India. Ketut puts me in the box after my treatments and says, “and now I’m going to cook you. Untuk makam malam. (for dinner)”. I sit in the wooden box for as long as I can and sweat. 


I moved from the Garden View to the Puri Asri Hotel across the road. The room is much prettier and the bathroom is nicer. As they say in Bali, you have to take the good with the bad, and on my first night it seems I was sharing my room with the biggest, furriest spider I have ever seen in my life. I looked up on the wall and there she was, big and fuzzy, just sitting there, waiting to greet me. Grabbing my camera I managed to get a couple of quick pictures. I turned for a second because the phone rang and when I turned back she was gone. I decided to name her Putu.


The next day I went to the front desk to show them the picture of Putu and said sweetly, “this  was in my room last night when I moved in.”

The reply was, ” Oh – Balinese spider. Good if you grill it, cook it up and add some sauce, tasty, ya?”

 I said, “You want me to grill it and eat it??”

“Ya”, he said, ” Very good Balinese spider, not dangerous.”

I stood there half laughing and half surprised by his response, but not really.

“Okay,  if she comes back can I call you to remove her?” I asked.

“Ya, Ya, sure. No problem, tida apa apa. Take photos for your wall, big Balinese spiders” and he made the universal gesture of photographs on the wall with his hands.

I wasn’t that amused because it was Day 6, I had just started my period, had a long steaming in the box and was really feeling light headed and weak. The staff at Puri Asri were sweet, Indonesian style, and also a bunch of teenagers. When I asked any one of them for something, they’d say, “Ya, ya”, then 30 minutes later I’d have to ask again. Then 45 minutes later someone else would come back and want me to remind him of what I asked for in the first place. A hotel run by teenagers. My room was  pretty, but came with terminates (now that i know what the “sand on the floor” means), rampant mosquitoes and a large Balinese spider I named Putu.

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