The little wooden hornbill at the mast of our boat held his head aloft, wisely and knowingly guiding us in the right direction with his bright, banana yellow beak. A tangled, dense forest full of clicks, squeaks, howls and chatter towered around us from all sides. The water below us snaked through the wilderness, weaving […]

A question that my students never fail to ask me is ‘what do you think about Jakarta?’ I know the place gets ripped a lot, but my genuine real answer is: I like it. The food is delicious, the weather means I never have to wear a coat, the people are warm and friendly and […]

I’ve now been in living in Jakarta for around two years and six months. Here’s a little somethin’ somethin’ I wrote after my first five months into the move in 2012… It was 11.47 am – and I needed to be present at work in precisely thirteen minutes. Where are my keys… where are my […]

I woke up early the next morning and as soon as I was looking half presentable, I quickly pitter- pattered my way down to Ayu’s kitchen for my last ever dose of green banana pancakes with honey. (I know I’ve mentioned them in pretty much every post I’ve written about Ubud, but seriously, they are […]

I returned to my homestay after an exhilarating afternoon of jungle river rafting. As it does precisely everyday in Indonesia, the clock chimed 7pm and the sun began it’s glowing, blushing descent down below the horizon. A still, lazy evening drew in and the crickets hiding amongst the rice fields began to chirp their evensong. […]

It was my third morning in Ubud, and I realised that the novelty of waking up in the midst of tranquil green rice paddies and a shining sun would never wear off. I made my way down to the eating area where the lovely Ayu served breakfast. Whilst I tucked into another helping of her […]

My activity for the rest of the day after my traipse through the rice fields? A traditional Balinese cooking lesson. And for the RP 300,000 (approx £15) it cost, it was worth every penny. I was picked up from my homestay by a tall, smiley man dressed in traditional Balinese clothing; he wore a black […]

After bidding my farewells to Ola the Elephant (aka Colonel Hati) I realised it was still early and I had plenty of time before my Balinese cooking class later on. It’s only midday, I thought, what to do next? The lovely Ayu back at Nirwa Homestay had mentioned wandering through the rice paddy fields at […]

It was an early start with a breakfast for champions, courtesy of Ayu. Green banana pancakes, a bowl of fruit, complete with tea and mango juice. My stomach was happy. I decided to go to Taro Elephant Safari Park. Made kindly drove me the half hour trip to the park through an abundance of rice […]

Ayu had suggested paying the monkeys a visit. ‘Have you been to the Sacred Monkey Forest?’ she asked me. Ahhh have to go there, I thought. They’re not just monkeys, they’re sacred monkeys. (Yes, my thoughts are like Marks and Spencers adverts.) After waking up from my cat nap, I decided to make my way […]