400 We the Living monkey chanting for individualism in the land of fire + water
Senggigi, Lombok—Jan 1, 2015
.. 1st day of 2015 .. last day of 2014 spent chilling on the beach .. snorkeling .. saw more of the same cept treated to 2 octopi .. fighting or fucking hard to tell .. arms intertwined til they saw us + detached + quickly split in opposite directions under rocks so didn't get a photo ..
.. last night of 2014 spent at some elaborate but cheesy new years party at our hotel .. pirate themed even (eyepatches + other swag handed to us at the door) .. started w/ traditional gamelan music + dance .. good til they started pulling people on stage to dance .. then a modern band of Lombokese hipsters (dressed like pirates) .. good til they digressed into a long set of reggae .. then it started pouring rain + our table at the edge of the tent (right on the beach) .. + we had to get up early to catch our boat back to Bali (+ also idea of big gathering of mostly foreigners didnt seem such a good idea) so left before even over .. still cd hear it loud + clear from room (even w/ ear plugs + pillow over head) .. + the fireworks + the large families of Indonesians in the rooms both sides of us (8-10 people in doubles like they rented rooms just to party) .. hooting + hollering all night ..
.. taxi early next morning to some podunk harbor .. not even a pier or office .. junk everywhere .. word of mouth (after aksing at least 5 people hanging around) that Eka Jaya boats left from there but no consensus on time or whereabouts of people that worked there .. «New Years .. they party too much maybe .. come later» ..
.. finally kid w/ wraparound glasses shows up w/ clipboard takes our ticket .. eventually the boat comes .. already full of hungover party people coming from the Gilis .. went straight for the roof .. treated to massive pod of spinner dolphins .. wd guess upwards of 100 ..
.. landed back in Bali .. shuttle bus to Ubud .. insane traffic .. finally to our place .. wood house in the rice paddies .. literally on stilts over the water .. can hear fish jumping below our wood floorboards .. our bathroom outside surrounded by a moat w/ fish in it ..
.. went to see Kecak monkey chanting .. particularly special to us since we performed in a Kecak troupe for a year back in Santa Cruz circa 1990 (so we know the words per se) .. a decent production (inevitably touristic) .. spell-binding ..
.. then the trance fire dance .. 2 guys set a big pile of coconut husks on fire + then a guy comes out riding a straw horse thing .. sposedly in a trance (visibly shaking w/ eyes closed) .. he walked around in the burning husks .. kicking pieces + sending sparks everywhere (we felt his feet after + indeed they burnt) ..
Nusa Dua—Jan 3
Shifted from Ubud down to Nusa Dua .. down on the southern tip .. mostly cuz near the airport + our better-½ meeting up w/ colleagues + prepping for W. Timor .. also planning upcoming travel in February .. Rome .. India .. Nepal .. Paris .. Nusa Dua fairly mellow .. big waves (if u swim way out to reef) ..
Been reading We the Living by Ayn Rand .. while waiting for boats .. lazing on the beach .. perhaps a bit strange to be reading in Indonesia (about Russia under communist reign circa 1920s .. from which Rand fled) .. but also generally about life in a totalitarian state .. sacrificing self for the better of society .. something Indonesians seems to do naturally (Kecak exemplary of this) .. no 1 needing to take credit .. more about the art than the artist .. as this article argues a consequence of rice-growing culture .. a crop that requires a lot of community cooperation (to make rice paddies .. irrigation .. etc.) .. whereas wheat-growing cultures tend toward every man for himself ..
.. Rand obviously the bourgeois queen of self-interest .. bitching bout things under repressive communist regime .. «woe is me they took my family jewels» .. much as we value individualism + free-market economies not sure we sympathize or agree .. no 1 free til every 1 free .. no 1 entitled to special privileges .. communism intresting in theory but of course in reality not all that + in end ruling party always exploit privilege + power ..
.. then again not sure this world can accommodate 7 billion free spirits all on equal footing .. every walk of life for example now coming to Bali .. our hotel full of Chinese .. pushing + shoving their way in front of us at the breakfast bar + taking selfies w/ iphones (those extensions for better angled selfies suddenly all the rage) .. + why not every 1 in the world entitled to travel all the same .. or that not every 1 can eat beef or pork .. just not sustainable for the planet .. some form of self-sacrifice + autonomy perhaps necessary .. but w/in reason .... + in virtually every world state scientific reason compromised by corruption + faith .... U.S. in particular the worse cuz unbridled self-interest in a faith-based country .. a dangerous combination ..
|> 401 > East meets West Timor in land of living we dead spitting betel-juice|