Our day being Drenched in Balinese Culture with Tinggly was so epic and jam packed with newness, we had to split up the revelations into several parts. If you missed out on Parts 1 & 2, head on over to get caught up! For Part 1, click here. For Part 2, click here.
We started making our way to the family's rice terraces. The Ubud region's rice terraces are known around the world and are scattered beautifully like a patchwork quilt. Along the way, Made continued grabbing at plants and leaves to be used as ingredients in our meal. The family's property seemed to go on forever!
We arrived and were blown away by the lush, green rice terraces! The perfect way to finish the trek was to climb up the rice paddies to say hello to Made's uncle while he was out working the land.
After saying hello, we continued our way higher to the edge of their property and found ladies finishing the last bit of the rice harvest.
As we met the ladies working in the paddies, they started laughing at us! I thought they were laughing at my big eyes again. I was so curious and was observing their every move. I had no idea how rice grew, let alone how it's harvested. To be honest, the only visual I have ever known with rice is from National Geographic. You know what I mean, the pictures from far away Asia where people have the wide hats and are bent over in the wet paddies. Well, we arrived and were in the picture now!
Well, they were laughing because they thought Made and I looked like sisters! Well, obviously I'm a white "Bule" and Made is, well, have you seen her yet? She is absolutely beautiful! So, I took that as a huge compliment!
As we were all laughing, the ladies in the next paddy yelled to Made and she translated. "They are asking if you are married." We yelled back with big smiles showing our rings, “Yes! Two and a half years!”
“Ha, ha! No!”
Now, their eyes got big as they responded in English “Ohhhh! No problem!” We all laughed.
The ladies continued working and Made had to explain to Adam and I how the harvest happens.
The ladies gasped that we didn't know how to harvest rice. I couldn't understand their words to Made, but I could hear their shocked tone. They asked confused, "Where are you from?" Their eyes lit up, "Ohhhh, America! Don't you have rice in America?" "Uh, no, not really. Only a little bit." Honestly, I only have rice once or twice a month in the states, if that. To these ladies, their entire lives have revolved around rice. They work in the rice fields every day and they eat rice for breakfast, lunch and dinner!
They looked at us, shook their heads and laughed like we were so foreign and so bizarre! Well, we are! Ha!
This exchange was just hysterical! All this newness, I was thrilled to be here!
As we were descending the puzzle of the rice paddies, I asked Made what the ladies thought of us for being married two and a half years with no babies. Made explained that once you get married in Bali, you are expected to have babies right away. If you don’t have them, "Everyone will start talking a lot of things about you and will start taking you to the doctor." Well, we would have been the talk of the village for years then! We have now learned from other Balinese friends that it is absolutely normal for a man to take his fiancé on a "honeymoon before the wedding" to make sure she is able to have children. And, it's totally normal for a woman to be pregnant at her wedding and for the baby to be born three months after the wedding. "Ohhhhh!"
Over and over, our cultures are completely opposite!
As we climbed back up the hill, we were finally on the way to the kitchen. The cooking class had finally arrived!
Check out the last part of Drenched in Balinese Culture here to see the delicious food we learned to cook up! But first, how many spicy hot chilies ya want?