The Airport

I was surprised to see this huge gate at the airport. It is seen from the area where you buy your ‘Visa on Arrival’. I was prevented from going out the door to try for another angle, but the smiling guard had no problem with me taking a photo just inside the door.

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Road to Kerobokan

These decorative creations were lining the streets along the road from the airport to my final destination in Kerobokan. I asked my cab driver about their purpose. Bali recently celebrated a holiday, which I believe was Galungan (had to Google that). My cab driver explained that these decorations are created by each and every house for the event. Other than Christmas trees, I can’t think of anything that is mass created by all households for an event in the US. (And in some cases those Christmas trees are off-the-shelf, lights and all.) I asked him if a family would be embarrassed if they didn’t make one. He seemed to think it would not be a problem. I found a bit more info about the holiday on someone else’s Bali blog from 2010:

  • Galungan is a holiday that celebrates the triumph of Dharma (good) over Adharma (evil.)
  • The holiday happens every 210 days.

For anyone noticing the surgical mask on the person riding the scooter, the masks show up on a lot of people. There was an entire family on the plane coming over who all wore masks, including their baby. By the way, these photos will open up larger if you click on them – I’ve imported them a bit bigger this time.

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My Hotel: Abian Biu Mansion

If you’d like to see some professional photos of this hotel, please check them out here: http://abianbiubali.com/  My photos were grabbed without much thought other than what I wanted to highlight.

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This first shot is from the front of the hotel, as much as I could fit in anyway. I am in the street to capture this much. The restaurant is to the left.

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The black and white checked cloth (called poleng) is represented here on the offering area outside the hotel. I found a more detailed explanation of it on http://www.murnis.com, a site dealing with Balinese dress and textiles.

Every visitor to Bali notices very quickly the black and white checked cloths, wrapped around guardian statues, pavilions, people, kulkul drums in temples and even trees and stones wherein a spirit dwells. It is dazzling and powerful and has a special meaning for the Balinese: it represents the cosmic duality.

The Balinese see the world in terms of opposites, good and bad, day and night, mountain and sea. This duality forms the whole: one cannot exist without the other. Poleng [fabric] is the perfect representation of this view. The squares are of equal size, black and white, and are not parallel. The grey squares contain strands of both and show that you cannot have one without the other. White represents good, the gods and health; black represents evil, the underworld and disease. Poleng comprises them both, and so the whole.

These photos below show an area that doesn’t yet seem ready for visitors. There is a pool and several buildings that are under construction. When I booked, I was believing it had been renovated, and in some ways it seems to have been. But, I think they are not done. It’s currently quite noisy during the day.

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This open-air gallery is on the interior of the hotel. These photos show opposite ends of the same area. In the first photo, my room is on the left, the second door in. It’s hard to see details here, but the far end is a wide, flat wooden bridge that crosses over some ponds with fish. In the second photo, I’m standing on the wooden area so my room is the first door on the right.

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The Road to Circle K

I flew carry on baggage only, so I arrived without razors or any liquids larger than 3 oz. I also read that the faucet water is not recommended for tourists. Additionally, I had 1 mosquito in my room last night so I knew mosquito repellent was going to be needed soon. All of these were reasons to seek out a grocery store. However, I had purposely chosen a hotel ‘out in the sticks’ for my first couple of days not realizing the only grocery store would be a Circle K about a kilometer away on narrow roads without sidewalks. So here are a few of the sites on my brief walk:

  • cows
  • a building that took real advantage of their rooftop
  • an example of a home’s temple area
  • a fancy residential gate

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This offering platform wearing poleng was at the Circle K! There was no residence here at all; the recycling you see against the wall was an area just outside of the store. You can see an offering at the base of the structure, and there was also an offering at the cash register inside the store.

Tomorrow I head to Sanur for 2 days, on the southeast coast. Thanks for following!

Jody