A woman walking in a green field with so many crops


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I love movies with exotic locations. Eat, Pray, Love made Bali look so beautiful, romantic, and otherworldly that given the chance to go, I couldn’t pass it up. Who wouldn’t want to live in a glamorous hut shacked up next to Javier Bardem and never worry about locking the door?

When I arrived in Ubud, the spiritual center of Bali, I half expected to see Julia Roberts at a café drinking Kopi Luwak, otherwise known as civet coffee—you know the coffee beans digested by civet cats and then pooped out and hopefully well cleaned.

But alas, no Julia was in sight. However, that doesn’t mean her presence wasn’t felt. My friends and I hired a tour guide who showed us around pointing out every spot Julia graced. And there were many.

By far, my favorite was a scene just downstream from a waterfall—a young couple stealing a kiss. Of course if I had widened out the shot, you would have seen their wedding photographer and entourage too, but why spoil the moment?

Away from the main drag, it doesn’t take long to get out into the fields where nature is balanced and everything seems in order, just like these ducks.

Ironically, I did have my Julia moment after all. No, it wasn’t in Bali. It wasn’t in some exotic location. It was actually halfway down my block in Brooklyn. She was filming a movie and her trailer was parked on our street. Trying to be nonchalant, my neighbor and I took turns walking by, putting out our garbage bins and then putting them back. And then there was a sighting. An assistant opened the door of the trailer and there she was, luminescent even if only lit by a table lamp. She was simply knitting to pass the time.

Which just goes to show you, sometimes fantasies can come true even in your own backyard.

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