Sunday, 1 July 2012

Good Deed For The Day

It was our second day in Ubud and we decided to try hiring a scooter to show the boys a few sights while the baby slept in the care of Nai.  In previous trips to Asia it was always one of the first things Joel would do was to source a scooter for the duration of our stay as we had the freedom to explore the area on our own terms. We both loved the feeling that driving through the busy streets  or the greenery of Asia gave us, a true sensory overload. The boys were super excited about riding on the back of a scooter. So you can imagine Hamish’s joy when he learned he would in fact be heading up the family scooter, standing on the foot plate in between Joel’s arms.

As Joel navigated out of the sleepyness of Penestanan where our pool villa was located, Morgan sat bright eyed and full of smiles as he sat in between Joel and I.  At one stage he put his arms out as if he was flying. So I guess he was enjoying the freedom of the scooter as well.

We drove around the Monkey Forest area a few times, giving the boys a look at the monkeys that managed to escape the grounds and were waiting for unexpecting tourist to steal food from or pose for photographs. My money was on the former due to an unfortunate incident I had with these monkeys some 15 years earlier. So I personally was glad when the boys were happy to watch the monkeys from the safety of the idling scooter.

After that we head up and down some side street, taking in the scenery of Ubud and enjoying the warm weather. We came across some pretty rice fields and saw a photo opportunity. Joel asked a man passing by, an American tourist I believe, if he would mind taking a photo of us sitting on the scooter in front of this beautiful backdrop of bright green. The man kindly agreed.

While Joel got his camera set. I asked the man how he was enjoying Ubud.  He said, “Just fine, until I went and got myself lost.” He went on to explain how he had arrived the night before after dark and was ill prepared when leaving the hotel to go for a quick morning walk. He did not know the name of the hotel nor the street it was located.

So after a quick photo, we offered to help him find his hotel. While the boys and I found a nearby café, Joel and the American tourist rode off in search of a five or six story tall building, located somewhere in the Ubud centre !

I had only planned on getting myself and the boys a cold drink while we waited, but that drink then turned into lunch, which then turned into I think we have overstayed of welcome here.  About one and half hours later Joel returned to the Café. But the American tourist was still a passenger, they had had no luck.

So I headed off in a taxi with the boys back to the pool villa while Joel headed to the nearest tourist office to see if they could help.

Over lunch and during the taxi ride home the boys had lots of questions about what daddy was doing and why. It was the perfect opportunity to explain to them about helping others and taking time to give back in even the smallest ways when and if you are able.

So while the boys had yet another swim in our villa, Joel continued to drive the American tourist around before asking a travel information centre if they had a list of hotels in the area, to see if any of the names rang a bell with the gentleman. When one did, the travel agent kindly called the hotel to confirm that the gentleman was in fact a registered guest there and he was.

So with address and directions in hand, Joel scootered his way to the American’s villa back to his waiting wife who had become a tad concerned about the whereabouts of her husband.
Both the gentleman and his wife were very grateful for the assistance that Joel gave to them.  His good deed for the day was done.

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