The 20 minute drive late last night from the airport to our hotel was strange and dreamlike. I saw weird, round buildings with frilly edges rising out of the darkness. Palm trees flickered by in the city lights. Like Vietnam and Laos, the only other parts of Asia I've been to, there were stores with big garage doors that open onto the road. The most dramatic sight were two huge statues in the middle of roundabouts: one was a gigantic depiction of Krishna driving a chariot with five dynamic, fiery horses pulling in all directions; the second another huge god carrying two fallen bodies. Nothing staid, pompous or still about these two.
And this morning I draw the curtains and go out onto the balcony to see steep rooftops covered in thatch, carved lattice work on the edge of the roof, lots of palms, flowers and greenery. The smell of charcoal and incense and lots of birds singing. Oh that feeling of anticipation and excitement about new and different to come!
Still jet lagged but too excited to sleep, we go out this morning for the first look around. Frangipane and bouganvilla flowers are everywhere - yellow for the former and cascades of magenta for the latter. Many people persistently ask us if we want to rent bikes, motorcycles or taxis - I remind myself Bali is a mostly tourist based economy and people are trying to make a living. What strikes me most is that every shop, every entranceway, every temple, every everything has an offering. Little or big, these are beautiful arrangements of flowers, leaves, fruits and sometimes incense in bowls or small bamboo easily made baskets. There is often no water, so they are just made anew each day. How amazing to be in a society where people weave such beauty and meaning into their daily lives.
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad