Bali: Ubud Marketplace.

I love venturing into open-air markets in other countries. But I rarely buy anything. Well, there is one thing I buy. (And I'll tell you about that in a second.)

So far, on my travels,  I've been to markets in San Diego, New York City, Phuket, Hong Kong, Bruges, Paris, Rome, London, the Bahamas, Iquitos, and now Bali.  In a way, they're all the same. There's very little that's unique to each stall. What you can find in one area can be found in another. It's a matter of negotiating the prices for something that catches your eye.

(And, in case you were wondering... My rule for negotiating all things in life is, "only negotiate if you are truly prepared to walk away if you dislike the offer, and still be happy." The only true power you have in negotiation is the power to walk away and be okay with not looking back.)

The Ubud Marketplace, which was just a short 15 minute walk from my hotel, was the same as the others. But I still spent about an hour meandering around it, despite the repetitive nature of the objects!


Things were organized and kept tidy in each of the stalls. And, as per usual with these places, the vendors were quite aggressive in trying to capture your attention for a sale.


The thing I got the biggest kick out of in the market were the many phallic-shaped bottle openers I came across...


These things were everywhere! I don't think I even saw a penis-shaped bottle opener in the Phallological Museum in Reykjavik!


I was tempted to buy one to bring back to my friend, Nerdy M. But I didn't want to have to explain to customs in Los Angeles next week exactly what I bought. And Nerdy M had a good point... "Would this count as agriculture on the customs form?"

Naturally, there were also spices...


And apothecary mixtures. Essences and oils here...


And local produce...


Mini bananas!! (They taste sweeter - I think - than regular-sized ones.)

And there were very intricate wood works for sale. Like these vibrant masks...


Here's a craftsman in one stall staining a piece. 


It was a powerful varnish he was using! I could smell quite a ways after I walked past him. There was plenty of other art for sale throughout the market...


But my luggage-back pack wouldn't have been able to hold anything of significant size.

But I didn't leave empty-handed. I treated myself to a few fun things...


Those who know me well know I am mad about anything coconut. So local coffee made with coconut? Epic!

And a new scarf - because it's been a few years since I bought one - was procured as well...


And the one thing I actively search for at these markets...


The Three Wise Monkeys! I was so happy to come across these mini bronze figures, which are quite different from any that I have in my collection.

In my time, I've collected these monkeys from Hong Kong, Bruges, Iquitos, an apple farm in Massachusetts, Arizona, San Diego, Toronto... And now Bali.

Perhaps I'll be able to find some in Perth next week! I am currently in Lombok, but won't be leaving the resort to go in search of any treasures. I just want to relax on the beach and hang out here reading.