the balinese people are by and large really really religous. if they were christians, they'd go to to church on sundays *and* wednesdays, and not eat fish on fridays, and...
the balinese people are by and large really really religous. if they
were christians, they'd go to to church on sundays *and* wednesdays, and
not eat fish on fridays, and actually give up everything you're supposed
to give up for lent. luckily, they don't seem to prosthetize
(prosthsethsize? sp!) at all, it's just not something they do. nor do
they care if anyone else does or doesn't do what they supposed to do -
for example, drinking isn't something that good hindus do, but they
really dont care much if *you* (or their brother in law, for that
matter) get drunk. also it's a pretty cool religion, all the ceremonies
are for these crazy half-animist things like changing seasons, or the
volcano, or the night you have to walk around banging gongs at every
temple in town to keep the ghosts away and stuff. plus they almost
always have gamelan music, or big crazy statues that you burn, or both.
the best thing about night snorkelling is that no one can see that
i was pitching at a jakarta record label, and i mentioned that their cd
"sunda gamelan - mojang priangan" was the cd that i bought in america
that brought me to indonesia 6 years later. they were like, "we don't
distribute cd's in america!" it turns out they actualy have a lot of
problems with european and american record labels getting their hands on
demo copies of their cds that they gave out at world music trade shows,
and releasing them without giving money to the company that made them.
a bit ironic given how much american record companies complain about
south-east asian pirates cutting into their profits!
bali has more way earthquakes than san fransisco. in sf we'd get a
little tremor every year or so, but i think i've noticed about 5 in bali
in the year i've been here. also the volcano is, i believe, still
active, and last erupted what, 20 years ago? i could be wrong, but i'm
pretty sure it was recent. um, yup, quick google search reveals: "The
highest point of the island is Mount Agung , 3,142 m high, an active
volcano that last erupted in March 1963" ok so 40 years ago.
the balinese, being so religious and all, put little temples
*everywhere*. thats one of the cool things about my daily bike rides
through the ricefields near my house, there are tons of these temples to
look at as you bike by. most of them are about 10-20 meters sqare, with
these sort of layers of 5 or 7 pointy hairy triangular roofs. and stone
carvings and statues, loads and loads of them. usually there are these
2 big ugly statues of trolls with clubs on either side of the temple
entrance, to scare the bad spirits away.
balinese people are very very gentle natured and friendly, but they
really dont mind taking every bit of money off you they can. one of the
biggest challenges to living in bali is getting the right price for
things - for instance, it's very very easy to pay higher rent on a house
in bali than you would in, say, spain or singapore. however, if you
know the local price, you could also get the same or a similar house for
a 10th of that price. the thing is, even your balinese friends wont
tell you how little you could pay for, well, anything really. it's like
this island-wide moratorium on helping a foreigner pay less money to
you're fellow balinese countryman than that guy can get from him.
still, beats being stabbed or poisoned, as several people i knew were in
anyway, luckily my band, who are from java not bali, and knew me longer
and better than any of their balinese friends, are quite agressive about
helping me not get ripped off :) also the balinese band i'm working
with xxx, are pretty ok about the bali pricing thing. while they wont
tell me what price i should pay for something i'm buying from their
friend (they get all nervous and evasive when i ask), seem to consitanly
give me the correct going rate for our own financial transactions - for
instance they charged me a little less to produce soulflips video than
my rapper friends' balinese manager paid to make a video with another
company. and they pay me exactly the going high end of the local
musican scale (200,000 rp, about $25/night) when i play with them.
hmmmm, what else. oh yeah, i was thinking about this when i read that
whole peodophile thread on here a while back. though bali is in many
ways very sexually conservative, the age at which it's ok to start
having sex is a bit younger than in the west. my friends tell me many
bali kids start having sex at like 13 or 14. personally, through my
work i've been meeting lots of girls that would probably be considered
too young for me in the west. and while mostly i've been dating girls
in their 20's, i've been out with a couple of 17 year olds in the last
year, and my female (and male) friends can't work out why it would even
occur to me that these girls might be to young for me when i ask them.
the girls certainly dont seem to have a problem with me being in my 30s!
kites. balinese people love kites! in the windy season (which i think
is about 11 months long) the skies are filled with kites. kids and
granpaws alike like to make kites and fly them, and usually each vilage
will have at least one giant 2mx3m kite which 20 people with carry down
the road (holding up traffic the whole way) to the fields and somehow
get up into the straosphere. the kites look a bit like, well, i dunno,
some non-existant flying animal i guess, and are usually made with
whatever recylable plastic sheeting happens to be around.
snack foods: in bali, all meals are actually snacks - you start feeling
a little peckish at 3:15 or 11:20 in the morning or at 11:40pm after the
show or whenever and you go get some rice or noodles. noodles are
usually pretty simple, just yellow noodles in soup with some chunks of
chicken floating around. but more popular and better is nasi campur,
which is basically a bowl of rice with 3 or 4 different side dishes
scooped on top - maybe hand shredded chicken in a sweet thin vinager
chilli sauce, with some candied peanut crunch sprinkled on top.
probably with some sambal on the side, which is crushed spices and
vegetables, a bit like chutney but fresh not pickled - i like the one
with lemongrass, onions, a little bit of fresh chillis and a bunch of
spices mixed in. maybe with some chicken wings fried hard and shit, not
that little retarded one there though. no the one on the left - ini,
ini! yeah that one.
hmmm, now i'm hungry. better go eat.
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