Thanks for writing this, Patricia! I was on Bali in the beginning of this year to give a lecture at the Green School Bali and we stayed on for a while. How I came to love the people and the whole island!
I think it helps that we stayed on the edge of Ubud and did not go to the south. Instead, we traveled over the mountain on our scooters to go to Lovina. And explored. And just like you we had the most fascinating talks with locals.
That changes all, I guess. Talk with locals.