Monday, 30 April 2007

We're back!

All is good here. But much time and waters have past since I wrote of our little adventure.
Like anywhere life gets busy and the first things to suffer are these little chores, like maintaining a blog!
Not trying to create an excuse but of late I have been out of the country more than I have been in it.
So sit back, relax and be prepared for a whirlwind tour of our life in the past 2 months.

Where do I start?

My brother Michael, I had better change the names to protect the innocent, namely me! So lets call him 'Barry' and his wife Jane, lets for the sake of argument, which is what I will get after this post, lets call her 'Fluff' Anyway our intrepid explorers came up to visit for a week in early March. Neither had been out of Australia since their wedding back in 1986 (I think it was then?)

At first they were going to have a holiday in Melbourne and Sydney but once they heard we were moving here they, well I think Barry was the lubricant, they changed their minds and so we had them for a week. It was great and i know they both had a ball.

They arrived in on Saturday morning. I had just gotten back from Vietnam on the Friday evening. Nice timing I thought. And timing was indeed the theme.

For on the Monday was Nyepi Day, the Balinese new years day. However before we get there the day before Nyepi, all villages in Bali hold a large exorcism ceremony at the main village cross road, the meeting place of demons. They usually make Ogoh-ogoh (the fantastic monsters or evil spirits or the Butha Kala made of bamboo) for carnival purposes. The Ogoh-ogoh monsters symbolize the evil spirits surrounding our environment which have to be got rid of from our lives . The carnivals themselves are held all over Bali following sunset. Bleganjur, a Balinese gamelan music accompanies the procession. Some are giants taken from classical Balinese lore. All have fangs, bulging eyes and scary hair and are illuminated by torches.The procession is usually organised by the Seka Teruna, the youth organisation of Banjar. We went to the cross roads in Kuta which was hot an crowded. Oscar and I went home early. All a bit much for the short bloke!

On Nyepi day itself, every street is quiet - there are nobody doing their normal daily activities. There is usually Pecalangs (traditional Balinese security man) who controls and checks for street security. Pecalang wear a black uniform and a Udeng or Destar (a Balinese traditional "hat" that is usually used in ceremony). The Pecalangs main task is not only to control the security of the street but also to stop any activities that disturb Nyepi. No traffic is allowed, not only cars but also people, who have to stay in their own houses. Light is kept to a minimum or not at all, the radio or TV is turned down and, of course, no one works. Even love making, this ultimate activity of all leisure times, is not supposed to take place, nor even attempted. The whole day is simply filled with the barking of a few dogs, the shrill of insect and is a simple long quiet day in the calendar of this otherwise hectic island. Rather than get 'Villa Fever' we moved into the Dynasty Resort in Kuta and spent the day having massages, wallowing in the waters of the pool and partaking in the odd Bintang.

Barry has emailed me to say his bags are still packed and waiting by the front door to come up again. Hope that means that they enjoyed the hospitality.

Actually they are coming again. They will be here in December with two of the boys, David & Andrew. In keeping with the vain of this post lets call them Davros and Handy Andy. Their eldest son, John, So lets call him John! He will be in Europe. So no fun in the sun for you sport. Do not forget the Thermals at that time over there.

We will fly to Perth for Christmas on the 23rd and take up residence at their house for a week before returning here and into our new house. I think they are here for a month, so they arrive before we leave and are here when we get back.

Families, there is no getting away from them is there?

Lets go forward to Easter. The boys had 2 weeks off, unfortunately I had to go to HK for 5 days before the weekend before easter. If that makes sense. I also had to fly back there for another gig on Easter Monday. In between, I was here for a week. After the second HK gig I got home late on the Saturday and left again for Chiang Mai in the evening of the Monday. Time to get fresh laundry but not much else. The big downer was that this was right across the school holidays.

Maxi and I did have a week, the week prior to Easter, where we went surfing every day. Mostly in the mornings. He has a friend called Mian from School, his parents, Michelle and Louie have become our friends. Mian Surfs, actually taking out 2nd place in the under 12's in the Quicksilver Interschool Competition at Double 6. But I digress. We would all go surfing everyday. Louie, who doesn't surf became our cameraman and photos like the one of me here are credited to him.

Last Saturday, the 28th April was'Tumpek Landep' which is an important day to make offerings here in Bali. This is devoted to Sang Hyang Pasupati, Lord of heirlooms, weapons and metal tools for proper function and magical power. With offerings, special prayers are said to pray to God so that these material things as Kris daggers, motorcycles, cars and other metal objects continue to be strong and bring good fortune to their owners. Cars and motorcycles are all properly cleaned before being decorated with offerings and ornaments and this can clearly be seen in the streets on this day.

So Made cleaned our car, then adorned it with offerings. We all donned our sarongs and had the ceremony in the car port. And thus the car was blessed.

That night we went out for a talk on Global warming out at the Canggu Club. Afterwards we headed down to Double 6 area for some dinner and low and behold we get our first flat tire. Typical eh!

It kind of screwed Sunday up as we had a lot of things planned that hinged around using the car. In the end we laid around the house, I did some work on a couple of projects I needed to have ready for today and after lunch we caught a taxi to WaterBom. The big pool and slide park down in Kuta.

I am now home for a while. Little bits of work trickling through but nothing major. Our big news is that Gabi has rented the house next door for 4 years. It is about a quarter the size in terms of land but then again it is a fifth of the yearly rent. Do the math!

It is free from the 11th of May, actually it is free now! But we will just do some minor works on the entrance and render ne wall. Michelle, Louie and Mian will rent it from us until end December when we take it over. Gabi is signing all the papers today and will finally have her Bali house, at least until May 2011.

Me I am still looking for my chunk of land in the country to build my little dream house not far from the coast so i can wander down for morning surfs. Must get my lotto ticket in today to!

Gabi has signed me up for Indonesian lessons which start on Thursday morning. 4 days a week. I think there will be 3 others in the class with me. I am going to Sabatha's shop today to pick up a bag he has especially made for me. It will take my laptop and my books so I have a school bag. I have done a couple of advertisements for him now. Gabi loves his stuff so much she wants to become their business development manager and take it overseas. At the moment they sell to people who come here and take it home themselves. She would like them to step up to the next level. Would be good for all of them I am sure.

So there we are. All alive, all healthy. A lot more relaxed than we were in Sydney. Life is very good. We hope the worlld is good for you in and around your areas.

Apologies for not writing more and sooner but I shall try to do this at least once a month.


mikemcmach10 said...

Nice work Bro... good summary of a long time...miss the place lots.
A couple more pics is Fluff's recommendation.

Mike McInerheney said...

Very nice work Bro! Happy with that summary though a couple more pics would be nice.
Fluff is impressed.
We didn't get waves like those when I was there though. Will be ready for more at Christmas. Hanging out! Love to all.