It’s dusk in Ubud and I leave my villa to walk to Tutmak for an early dinner. Walking out of Ani’s Villa I cross the street towards Bridges Restaurant and turn left walking over the Champuan Bridge. I walk carefully on the small narrow cobblestone sidewalk to the right of the bridge. Looking over at the old dilapidated, wooden foot bridge twenty feet to the right, I’m careful to avoid it because it looks like someone could fall through at any moment. The Champuan River runs fast and loud below as I cross the bridge to the other side.
Passing Murni’s Warung I’m offered a taxi by a local. I know it won’t be the only time on my 20 minute walk I’ll hear, “Taxi? Transport?” Walking slightly up hill heading into the city center I try to be as careful as I can of the treacherous pavement. It’s uneven and filled with so many gaping holes anyone could easily twist an ankle or go straight through the sidewalk into the sewer. Quickly and carefully I head into the most run down stretch of sidewalk with stone walls on either side of the road and big banyan trees that form an overpass above.
On my right I come up to Jl Bisma and I know I’m halfway there. Another local offers me a massage and I quickly reply, “No thanks” in Indonesian. Once I come to Beetlenut Restaurant there’s a few men hanging out ready to offer me another taxi ride. Picking up the pace I pass by a group of people sipping happy hour cocktails outside at Casa Luna and pass the Ubud Music Store.
I’m offered a third taxi ride in front of Arys Warung and as I say no, I look directly across the street to Jl Kajeng as motorbikes turn a fast left to join traffic on Jl. Raya Ubud. Continuing on Jl. Raya for about 5 minutes I’m at the intersection of the Palace Road and Monkey Forest Road.
A quick right past traffic has me walking down Monkey Forest Road as I almost lose my shoe in one of the grates on the sidewalk. I stay on the narrow sidewalk and the Ibu Rai Art Gallery is on my left with lights twinkling in front of the adjoining restaurant.
Approaching the football field I cross the street and turn left, walking on narrow footpath next to the football field. I can see the Shisha Lounge in the distance at the end of the field and Tutmak Restaurant just before it. I go in the back entrance to Tutmak and find my favorite platform table vacant near the back door. Ketut, the waitress who always remembers my name, smiles sweetly and greets me. I relax and smile as I sink into the cushions on the floor of my favourite table.