Looking for Bigger Balls
My friend Peggy wants me to find some Balinese Balls for her. They’re special balls, Harmony Balls, which are shiny brass and have little fairies inside of them (or something) that sounds magical. When these balls are shaken, they emit a tinkling that sounds like you have captured some stars in that ball and they are happily colliding. Supposedly the balls that come from Bali are the best.
Now, I haven’t had much time for shopping, or more truthfully, the energy or desire. But I’ve been here a week now and it’s time to see what’s out there. I’ve been to the Gianyar market, the K-Mart of the area, so now it’s time to look at the Ubud market, which has not really been high on my list because it’s so touristy. Finding some balls for Peggy is at the top of my list.
First, I find a jewelry store on the street. Silver is the precious metal of choice here, and there are many stores. In the store, I ask the woman, do you have any balls? She does have ballls, but they are small, the size of big marbles. Peggy needs big balls, the size of a small orange. The size that you can comfortably cup in your open palm. Where can I find big balls, I ask? Check the market. OK, will do.
In the market, I see a woman selling silver earrings, bracelets, etc. from a cart. Does she have balls? Yes, but they are also too small. How big do they have to be, she asks? I show her using my hands, cupping the air. Oh, she says. You be here tomorrow? I’ll have them then. Hmmm, I say. Thanks.
I stop at every silver seller looking for big balls. Finally I find a store that has the right size balls, but the woman there only has one ball. I need two, maybe three if I get one for myself. One ball is not enough. Maybe she’ll have some more later this week. Another store has two balls, but they are not shiny brass, they are inlaid silver, a little rough. I don’t think these balls are the quality of balls that Peggy needs. She wants balls of superior quality, I’m sure.
Of all the places in Bali, I would have bet that Ubud, yoga/new age/spiritual healing center of Bali would have amazing balls on every corner, or at least in every nice store, but no. Big balls are surprisingly hard to find.
Finally, near the Monkey Forest, I find a store (the first store run by a man, no joke) that has big balls, made here in Bali. Big balls of brass as well as silver. Whoa. He says he always has these balls in stock. Always. I’m not ready to buy these balls yet, because I have another place to search for them. My friend Kadek says she’ll take me shopping to the place outside of town where her friend makes jewelry. She’s never heard of these balls, but you never know.
I emailed Peggy, informing her about my search. The website she sent me that sells these balls has them packed in a silk-lined box with a special ball stand. The Monkey Forest Road man’s balls do not come in a box, but in a plastic bag. Will balls in a bag do? Do they have to be brass balls or would she like silver balls? She emails me back with some sound files of how the balls should and shouldn’t sound. Balls in a bag are ok, as long as they tinkle with the right amount of magic. Ok, now that I’ve got that straight, I’ve got to go back to that store and give a good listen to that man’s balls. Haven’t done that yet, I’ll keep you posted.
Stopped at the satay stand for some grilled fish on a stick, met Gus at the Yoga Barn for a nice yin class, and back to the Nest, where Gus is cooking cleansing soup with rice again. Yum!