Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Bali Update

The first thing you notice when you wake up in Bali is the incense. No matter how inundated with the smell you become, no matter how omnipresent the slow burning sticks are, it is always the first thing you smell.



Walking into markets, in hotels, restaurants and bars- all have Hindu offerings that unclude burning insence.

In fact, walking off the plane and entering the Nghurai Airport, in Denpasar, Bali, the smell hits you with the voracity of a jet engine.

An ubiquitouse symbol of the Hindu culture pervading Bali, one can't help but be enamoured with the peacefullness of the Hindu tradition.

Traveling north from the busy tourist district of Kuta to the countryside of Ubud, I watched the small fragrant flowers and little rice crackers bounce in the palm-frond casing of the offering. The rain that started on the first day hadn't subsided much- the small concrete channels on the side of the narrow road swelled with brown muddy rainwater.

I stared at that offering and I thought about what it meant. I thought about how the island of Bali, which was predominantly Hindu, had been affected drastically by a in small contingency of Malaysian Islamic Extremist who continued to wage a campaign of terror in Bali. How in October, 27 people were killed by a suicide bomber. How days earlier in Java, the larger Indonesian island to the west, another suicide bomber ripped through a Christian market killing many more.

Yet, the women here still walk, baskets of vegetables and snacks for sale balance precariously on their heads; the motor bikes still roar by, constantly narrowly avoiding catastrophe; the venders still hock their goods on an ever decreasing stream of tourists, still haggling expertly for their handicrafts. Life goes on, but ask any cabby how business is, and you will inevitably hear, "vert slow."

1 Comments:

At 5:38 PM, January 11, 2006, Blogger jiqUDnQg said...

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