Words of Wisdom ...or so it seems...


Saturday, 17 March 2012

And then there's the case of Ubud.

What felt like an endless padi field satiated every angle my eyes turned to. Cool breezy wind caressed my sun beaten face and body. The distance sound of the enchanting gamelan, seemed to have plunged me into an abyss of day dreams. It almost felt like my soul was trapped and the only way out is to dance to the vibes of Bali. Risking sounding like a cliché, Ubud got me. I was a sitting duck and had no chance of escaping it’s rapture. I’m a prisoner unwilling to be saved.

Alas! Pretty soon my dream would be awoken by the sound of the van honking, ready to porter us to the airport, destination, home. I have been to many places before in my life, but I have always felt homesick after some time. This time around, I still am home sick, only almost sick of home. It dawned to me now, how some Malaysians had become willing prisoners to Bali. For whatever reasons they offer, at the end of the day, Bali got them too.

Below: No, not a Vietnamese stranded in's just me.

What I love about Bali the most is that I can let my guard down and not worry about getting snatch thieved, robbed, cheated senselessly, or worst, raped. I did not get it during my early days here, why everywhere we go, there is no safety box, or even a decent cupboard with a lock at least functioning. It became clear to me later on, when I found the notebook I hid under the bed, being put nicely on the bedside shelf by the housekeeping boy. Frankly, I did not know whether to feel irritated or embarrassed by the fact that I was caught in an act of showing distrust to my hosts. Then again, we come from Malaysia. Our paranoia should be internationally well established by now. It makes me feel sad, at how I’ve witnessed my home, Malaysia, evolved from something of a Bali, into something of a New York city, just minus all the efficient public transportation. During my childhood, I do not recall any incidences of snatch thief, let alone people dying from it. Life was good back then. People can still leave their kids to play outside the house without having so much as to worry about them being kidnapped and sold to human trafficking, or being hit and run by a car.

How did we get here? We cannot forever blame the immigrant workers who come from Indonesia, Bangladesh, India et al. If anything, through my observation, the Malaysians, instead of telling these workers off when they commit silly things like driving their vehicle against the traffic, or cutting queue, practiced “If you cannot beat them, join them”. We have forgotten the spirit of reminding each other of our mistakes because we suddenly develop this “you mind your own business and I will mind mine”. This attitude of minding one’s own business, I believe, should only be applied to the faith one professes, the prerogative lifestyle one chooses that will in no way harm society and perhaps Ibrahim Ali.. that man should be left alone and not be given so much media coverage for his idiosyncrasy, but I digress.

Here in Malaysia, we do the opposite. We mind other people’s faith, proclaiming power to judge on who is going to hell and heaven, we are more interested in who’s effing who and what people do with their assholes, yet have no qualms in closing one eye to kids who no longer give up their seats to the blind, the pregnant etc, to the perennial disgusting public toilet habits, (or should I say “peri-anal” instead?) or to god forbid, corruption. We have become a society who enjoy punishing without solving the problem at its roots. Power is after all, sweet.

When society do not see that passing judgment and punishment that is harsher than the deed of the “offender” itself, is just so wrong, no matter what excuse given, then we become a society devoid of humanity. What is the point of being called “human” without “being human”?

A Muslim lady who was caught and sentence to flogging, some time back drinking alcohol in public for instance, is not even committing an offence in accordance to the Quran, yet flogging her, which is the punishment in the state of Pahang, which is NOT even the slightest mention of it in the Quran, is seen as “justified”. How did we manage to allow retarded people run our lives for us? Are we expected to keep reticent to imbecilic acts by the self-proclaimed authority that uses power of religion to hide behind?

Here’s a simple question I would like to ask my fellow Malaysians. If we avow that we are so righteous and religious, tell me, how come we can no longer leave our hand-phones in the public toilet accidentally and have almost null chances of recovering it? Why do women need to cover their heads up in men in this society is so righteous, enough to gain trust that they will not harm their women who go around not covering their head. (Not that it’s even slightly mentioned in the Quran if I may add). If a society is SO righteous as it claims to be, a woman should be safe walking around without having to cover her head no? In fact, why not solve the mental problem of the men, for not being able to contain their stupid hormones when looking a woman’s hair. Something MUST be medically wrong with their head (probably both heads) if men get turned on just looking at women’s hair. In Bali, women use to walk around topless and it’s nothing to them.

Okay… I think I’d better stop writing now, before I upset my……….whatever time left in Bali. Excuse me while I resume dreaming away…until that darn vehicle honks anyway….

Well, if you consider graffiti as art...I do..
Here's another form of art...they actually have to pay for each slab of tiles that make a road in Jalan Kajeng...which is pretty cool..and sometimes funny..

Well, at least we know where to get grass..

I think, the occupational hazard for a Balinese dancer would be suffering from Bell's Palsy. The Lenggong dance depends heavily on one dancer and how he/she transform art in a form of minute movements alternated by sudden outburst of expressions. If you hate looking at his/her face, you'd be better off going down the nearest food stall eating Bakso instead.

Guilty as charged...the man that quenched our thirst after a day of gazing..

A river flows through it...

Above and below: Gunung Kawi

On the way to Gunung Kawi: Goa Gajah

Gunung Batu Kawi...

Ah well, if no one buys, he eats..nothing goes to waste in Bali

Collin Mc Phee, writer of "A House in Bali" described this river, Ayung Sayan (Sayan River) as devine. I did the trek just adjacent the Ayung Sayan and to my dismay, the water was muddy. It dawned to me that it was either Mc Phee was high on something he got from Hans or Tino et al, or my luck was bad that it rained and there was mud content that made the term "White water rafting" quite oxymoronic. I'm sure it was clear water when Mc Phee described it though...

Resting along Ayong Sayan. We figured, it is lighter to carry the food in our stomachs since it's the center of gravity and all.

And wherever you look, the universe seemed to suggest love..

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