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Published: June 21st 2017
Geo: -8.51927, 115.263
So I totally vegged by the pool today, had dinner on my front porch (room service) and only because the Gamelan Orchestra was playing literally next door at the Lotus Temple pond did I venture out for the show tonight. I've decided to stay in Ubud through next thursday march 6th for the BIG festival that precedes Nyepi (
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nyepi). They villagers have been working on an Uggah-Uggah (I'm so totally spelling that wrong) all week. It's a huge two story sized statue of a big fat man, kind of like a Macy's Day Float. It was just wire mesh a few days ago, but he got some coverings recently and is actually starting to look like something. The men first made some bamboo scaffolding and put a big tarp over it (to protect against the daily afternoon downpour), then started cranking away at it. They have a sort of bulletin board under the tarp as well that is keeping some sort of largish chart with family names and donation amounts listed. Some sort of telethon leader board of who is contributing to the construction costs I guess. I'll grab a couple photos while it's still under construction. I
guess on the BIG (have I mentioned this is a BIG festival/party/thing) day all the different 'statues/floats' made by all the different neighborhoods are ceremonially burned in a big frenzied party. Kind of reminds me of Burning Man a little bit, maybe it'll be like that? Who knows?
Anyway, on March 7th the day after the BIG holiday, it's a day of resting. Nothing is open, no restaurants, no shops, everybody stays home and stays indoors. I guess you don't even open your windows that day, to keep the spirits out? I need to lean some more about it, but one this is for certain...Balinese live very close to their Gods and Demons. Everyday Wyan (why-ANN) in my guest house, tends to the shrines scattered all over the grounds. Sprinkling each with blessed water using a flower and doing a little dance as she moves around. Every morning when I get up, the shrine that's on my front porch has fresh flowers, fruit, and an incense stick burning. And she does that 5 times a day. So I've gotta stick around for this party, if they dedicate this kind of spiritual discipline for everyday, what must it be like on
an actual day dedicated for it?
Made (pronounced Mah-DAY) assured me that if I was at the Guest house on the day of rest then he would be working that day. I'm not sure if he was hinting for a sympathy tip or just trying to reassure me that I wouldn't go hungry! LOL. So after the BIG party and the day of rest I think I'll be heading off to the north side of the island to a town called Lovina. Lovina is a chill beach town, away from the tourists of Kuta, with black sands beaches, great snorkeling, and is close to the Buddhist Monastery that I want to visit. Should be cool.
Tomorrow is Made's day off and he offered to take me around on a tour of the island...for a fee of course. He started at 300,000Rp and I worked him down to 200,000 just because that is the protocol. Truth is the 300,000 is really only just over $30, and seems a fair sum for use of a car/driver/tour guide for the day, but bargaining is the status quo and I've gotta do it. Nothing here has a price tag on it, and it's exhausting constantly
bargaining for things, especially when you get 50,000 off the price of a statue and it's only $5 to begin with! It's not worth the effort of bargaining to save the pennies, but what can you do?
So I've set our itinerary for tomorrow to see the Bird Sanctuary, and two different Animal parks. They are opposite sides of the volcano, so I should get some nice views while driving of the landscape and rice patties. Each park has different animals I want to see so we're off to both. I hope to see some Komodo Dragons, white tigers, elephants and camels among others. The first park is more reptilian (gotta see a Komodo!) and the second is more of a Safari setting where the animals are all allowed to roam free within the park. You can even get a tour of the park from atop a camel if you are so inclined. I'm not so sure about that, but we'll see. I've never ridden a camel before and I'm not one to shy away from a new experience so you might get a cool pic of me freaking out on a camel when I return.
Ohh also, I spent a few
hours yesterday in a high-speed internet cafe, and uploaded a bunch of the pics i took at the Monkey Forest, so you can go back into that entry if you'd like and check'em out. I uploaded some more pics into some other entries too. Even though it was the fastest internet connection in Ubud, I still couldn;t manage to upload any videos without crashing my browser. I'm really bummed about that, because I've taken as many videos as pics and I think they show off the place way better than the pics do. I'm not sure how to proceed to resolve that. I've burned DVDs of all my pics/vids too, maybe when I mail them back home I'll ask Marc or Mom to upload them here. It's really a shame to have them missing from this blog.
Ok, for having done nothing today I found a lot to say! Until next time!
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