Friday, December 12

Day 106-Padangbai

Aside from the occasional solitary bushwalk, which-due to the possibility of snakes, dogs, military cordons, angry landowners, quicksand or other unseen pitfalls-would better be made in the company of a local, there has been precious little physical adventure on this trip. Nonetheless, it has been a journey of cultural discovery, and this is particularly true for my time in Bali.

I have spent the last few day traversing the countryside by taxi and minibus, touring the rather unassuming temples, gazing out across vast stretches of verdant rice paddy, or simple sitting bayside as the local seacraft go about their business. Through it all I have been privilidged to absorb a small amount of the culture of joy and gratitude that so fully pervades daily life on this island. A fine example of this are the many morning offerings made to this god or that, (remember Bali is of Hindu persuasion) so carefully and neatly constructed of folded palm leaf, fresh blossoms, bits of rice or cooked food, maybe part of a clove cigarette. They are placed with considerable style and grace in places of import, the gateway to the family compound, the hood of the car, and certainly on or about the family shrine.

It is all so neat and tidy and obviously pertinent, it leaves me to wonder if I should not begin such a practice. For all its splendor, Bali has left me feeling a bit fat and lazy, too much beer, ice cream and comfort. And so tomorrow I must pick up the pack anew and head to yet further places of cultural and physical surprise, and I am certain that I could use the help of the gods to make my path a smooth one.

1 comment:

Jitendra said...

Dear Ken:

In Bali you have India all over again! Bali was the name of a great Monkey in India's major religious text "Ramayana" composed by Sage Valmiki more than 2000 yrs ago.

Long ago, India's spiritual domain went all over south east Asia including much of to-days' Indonesia and Indochina and north west all the way to Afghanistan.

But Ubud and Pandang! Please get away from there soon! They are up for a major Earthquake any time!! I want you alive back in these United States far away from there!

I have been enjoying your blog. It is very well written and absorbing.

Jai is back in the States for 3 weeks and will return to New Delhi by January end for another six months. I am hoping you two will stay in touch.

It sounds like you should be back in the States by January end?

Your Friend JP in Taos, NM