This Jezebel article is kind of a must-read -- I find the idea of Bali falling victim to an international obsession with Elizabeth Gilbert herself, a fictionalized version of her courtesy Eat, Pray, Love the book and movie, and Julia Roberts as Elizabeth Gilbert absolutely fascinating.
Which is weird, since I've not yet read the book and I am fairly certain I won't be able to find anyone to join me for the movie....
But one community getting sort of rich lady cougarized (pardon the sexist and inappropriate categorization) is interesting. And the idea the characters in Gilbert's book would become caricatures of themselves is all the more interesting -- could the same happen to any of us? And, as the author of the Jezebel post rightly points out, if you're following someone else's path to enlightenment -- or love or self-understanding or whatever it is Gilbert found -- can you really find anything at all?
Excerpt: With its Pilates classes and plentiful shops selling overpriced flowing clothing, Ubud has catered to women seeking spiritual harmony since long before Gilbert, but the book was a tipping point for the temple-strewn town. Gilbert's haunts here have become destinations of their own, stop-offs on an Eat, Pray, Love pilgrimage. Many of these places now have waitlists and, in some cases, have begun charging exorbitant prices. The prices are paid with due reverence by Gilbert's devotees, women wearing stylish resort wear and similar Buddha-like smiles.
(Image from this site.)