This spring, two of my house staff, Made and Putu entered a body builder’s contest. Made looks like a small-sized Mr. Universe. Six months ago, he enrolled Putu, the shy one, into a serious regimen of workouts. Made, the bold, pulled up his shirt to show off his abs. He’s been at this for years and it shows. Made, Made Curly, so named by the staff for his curly hair, just got a modified Mohawk this week. No more Made Curly. We also have a Made Security, a.k.a., Made Tinggi (or Made Tall) on staff. Made Mohawk proudly points to Putu and says, “Putu has abs now too, show them!” Continue reading Abs


Having finished an extraordinary final meal at my favorite restaurant in Bali, Lamak, I was looking forward to a quick ride home, an hour of rice field and lightning bug watching, and an early bedtime. We walked slowly down the half flight of steps onto Monkey Forest Road, the main shopping and eating street in Ubud. My driver of five years, Wayan, had dropped us off in front of Lamak and headed up the street to find parking. We walked uphill, window shopping and making final plans for completing the to-do list before I had to fly home the next day. Continue reading Wayan