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Eat, Pray, Love and Spend

October 5, 2011

There’s someone who is doing very well for himself in the bohemian Balinese town of Ubud. Since shooting to an unlikely fame in journalist Elizabeth Gilbert’s bio and Hollywood blockbuster Eat, Pray, Love, local medicine man and palm reader Ketut Liyer is a very happy chap.

Last week during our epic South East trip, I was lucky enough to meet the seventy-something and a shot of the famous, toothless grin that lit up cinema screens as he rested between readings.

Liyer is now own of Ubud’s top attractions, alongside the trance-like Kecuk dances, Mount Agung’s simmering crater and myriad art galleries, attracting tourists in their droves. It’s no mean feat for the Balinese OAP, who does a grand total of 25 half-hour readings per day.

Visitors have to get to his modest compound, tucked away in a tiny lane, early to collect their deli-counter style ticket to ensure their place in the long queue. Not bad for an old guy. And quite rightly, Ketut is raking in the flailing Indonesian Rupiahs. Each palm reading costs 250,000, that’s £20 in sterling, pricey in Indonesian standards.

Our friendly driver in Ubud, also called Ketut, explains that their local celebrity has made so much money that he has even opened up his own home stay behind his house. Here, the true Hollywood diehards can pitch up and follow Julia Roberts’ footsteps.

It’s also common knowledge, says our Ketut, that Dr Ketut’s insights into the future are pretty much identical in all of his readings. You will always be guaranteed a long life and great sex by Ketut Liyer!

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