A Generation of Eat, Pray, Love...and No Enlightenment Coming

Coming this August, Ubud is taking a deep breath while bracing its tiny village self to welcome new kind of tourists into the gate: flock of depressive divorcee seeking spiritual enlightenment or perhaps love. There has been a steady stream of tourists flooding the much appraised green fields and yoga studio around Ubud since Eat, Pray, Love book hits Oprah big time. Five stars hotels started to create “Eat, Pray, Love” Package Tour (complete with a certain visit to a certain Yoda-esque psychic, or so I heard). All of sudden, being in Ubud is an ├╝ber-cool thing to do.

It was not that many years ago that a trip to Ubud was just a long drive for nothing except to soothing the eyes and getting away from all the hullabaloo of Denpasar. To had a bite of Murni’s poppy seed cake or spoiled the eyes by watching my favorite Walter Spies’s painting. Now going to Ubud is a Must. I can’t say I blame those tourists. It is a lovely place, my weekend getaway to find world class second hand reading materials, scrumptious cakes, cultural wandering in what possibly some of the best art museums in Indonesia. On the way, I could have a bite (or two) of the succulent pork ala Ibu Oka or getting down and dirty with Naughty Nuri’s finger licking ribs. The catch is: I now have to share it with thousands of people.

God of Marketing, Hermawan Kartajaya wrote in his new book Ubud: The Spirit of Bali
The essence of Marketing 3.0 is when marketing isn’t pretending anymore but expressing the real value of a product. Ubud is a place which has amazing inner value, a place where God, men and society blend together. This is why Ubud has such an incredible value, unique characteristic that no other places on earth possessed.
Or in the other words, where Tri Hita Karana, the Balinese philosophy of harmony between God, Human and Environment, really do co-exist. I learned that at school but like another Utopian ideas in books, I didn’t think it actually exist in this complex layers of life in Bali. Over populated, over developed and always being cautiously under threat by the extremist, we are not exactly the happy people we used to be. Yes, we still smiles to make tourists feel welcome. It is our main occupation after all and after all these years in hospitality business, it becomes a sort of gag reflex. Very much the same reflex when we hit a mosquito that bites.

To go back to this whole Hollywood business of eating, praying and loving, I do feel as a Balinese, anxious to see how Bali is now portrayed in cinema magic. Will it push Indonesia into a new level like what Slumdog Millionaire did to India? Or will it just brings more tourists to Ubud? We will soon see.

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Hello! I’m Eve Tedja

I have been a professional writer for four years.

During that time, I have worked as a permanent contributor for Let’s eat! Magazine, Hello Bali, epicure, and published my articles in several other magazines like Venture, Panorama, Bravacasa, and Bali & Beyond.

Words, sentences, stories... these are my passion. I love to take new challenges in writing for various format and media. I create contents for websites, blogs, and communication materials. I’ve also worked as a copywriter, translator, coffee book editor, social media coordinator, media consultant, and even writing for a specialty coffee packaging.

Interior design, travel, environment, culinary, culture, history, and social issues are some of the themes that I have worked with in the past. I love getting involves with individuals, companies, organizations, and communities with stories to tell.

I am available for assignment worldwide. Reach me at eve(dot)tedja(at)gmail(dot)com.


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