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A micro example of daily life in Bali

At a local farmer’s market I met a businesswoman who sells jamu (health drinks made with fruits and herbs). On Thursdays she sends texts to her customers via WhatsApp and then delivers on Saturdays.

Here’s the delivery guy:

After inquiring about his scooter, I was told it’s a 1978 Honda, handed down to him from his Dad. That’s a 43 year old machine for those who like math. The brakes are more than a bit squeaky but it goes from point A to point B (slowly). Pollution controls? No way. Up to date license? Doubtful. Welcome to Indonesia 🙂

I ordered two bottles of guava / mint, each for 75,000 rupiah (USD $5.25), including delivery. This would be considered an extravagance by local standards, but once you learn that Diana, the owner of the juice (jamu) business leases her own plot of land from a Balinese farmer, grows the fruits and herbs herself, prepares it fresh the day before delivery, and nurtures her customers with kindness and delicious tropical flavors, I’d say its entirely worthwhile.

Not crazy about tropical juices? How about good old fashioned French quiche? Ninie’s kitchen is willing to send you an amazing goat cheese and spinach quiche for a sum of 350,000 rupiah ($24.50 USD) including delivery. 

Now that’s first-world pricing any way you look at it. But consider that such an item is as exotic to a local’s taste buds as durian fruit is to an expat.

Since my wife is Indonesian, that means that the entire quiche is for yours truly. So I cut it into 6 pieces, froze 3, stashed 2 in the refrigerator, and ate one slice within minutes of its arrival. So now it’s a tad over $4 a slice. The verdict: totally OMG!

If you stick with local cooking most of the time and rarely splurge on some of your home country’s favorites, those memorable, wondrous classics will taste all the more amazing.

Trust me.

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