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Tiny Hands, Monkey Love, Absolut Gas & Jegog

January 17, 2013

I have been touched…

by strong, warm, tiny hands. I don’t know how young she was but she was good! Everything off but underwear, then face up, no cover, baring the breasts, then breasts casually, smoothly rubbed. Completely nonsexual, but had to put in an effort not to smile or laugh or open my eyes to see this cute, tiny thing rubbing me down, and up on the table too. Padma Hastaa Spa on Monkey Forest Rd. Including water, cool moist towel, fruit & shower: 60,000Rp.

I love the smell of outdoor smoke – not cigarettes, but fire. Not as much the smell of B.O. and the B.O. I’ve been smelling today is mine. I love the small, tough women in their shirts and sarongs wielding sickles in the paddies and while crossing the street… to the paddy. Bottles of Absolut vodka and ‘growlers’ filled with gasoline. Various greetings, friendly and helpful: Morning! Hello! Good tattoo! Something to Drink? Taxi? Motorbike? Maybe breakfast with me tomorrow? Where are you going?

Absolut Gas

Checked out the Monkey Forest – interesting how they laze around, change position when they know they’re being watched, play together, pick out and eat each other’s lice. Two mothers were carrying and breastfeeding a teeny little baby, one while picking another’s lice – how’s that for multitasking? or is that just monkey love?

Two MonkeysLittle Monkey & Big Mean BeastMonkey Love

Or any love of the lice-picking, care-taking variety?

lice-picking love

I walked around just west of central Ubud yesterday, past Campuan and along lush, narrow, windy roads to Penestanan and Sayan. Penestanan is more yuppy, hippy, upscale with more resorts, more spread out, fewer shops, more artisans and artists studios, a couple of juice bars, and you can do juice fasts and artist retreats. I found an Indian restaurant for lunch and met up with Ian and a new Russian yoga friend of his for a Jegog (bamboo drumming and dancing) last night: 12 guys pounding away on the drums and 8 dancers, men, women and girls who did 5 dances and 4 instrumentals. I’ve never been big into tribal dance and cultural banging but the dances signify things such as becoming a warrior, bull taming and praying for good rice paddies.

Jegog drummersLittle Warrior
Jegog - dancing galsJegog - dancing lady

We talk about gratitude in the West, but in the places I have been in Asia, and here more than anywhere, there are offerings at the majority of entrances, and nowhere do you look, it seems, and not see a temple. In India and Nepal similarly, there is daily puja, temples and stupas, there is a belief in holiness, purifying, offering. Not quite the "If I go to church on Sunday, then cabaret all day Monday, ain't nobody's business if I do…" mentality I recall from both song and my younger, Catholic Church-going days.

Sawasthde praying

We think we are a tourist city in Victoria but our tourists and locals look alike. I suppose we have churches, and I think there is a mosque on Quadra near Bay, but Parliament and the Royal Museum and Undersea Gardens don't impart the same history or culture; home does have its beauty and charms and wonderful inhabitants, of course…

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From → Bali

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