The internet has been very temperamental where I’m staying recently. Since I’m not sure when it will recover, I’ve wandered down the road to the hotel where I’ve taken cooking classes the last 2 days. For the sake of a quick post I’ve chosen some photos that highlight what seems to be ‘normal’ Balinese life.

Motorcycles are the major mode of transportation here. The unique aspects are:
1 – without helmets is the norm
2 – more than 2 people isn’t unreasonable. If you’re a woman, you commonly ride side-saddle
3 – if you can strap it on the motorcycle or someone can carry it, it’s fair game to transport.

I didn’t manage to get a lot of photos with children, but it’s very common to see. If they’re small they’re probably squished in between the mother & father. The day I shot a lot of these was a ceremonial day so a number of riders are dressed up in traditional clothing. Some of the women are carrying offering boxes. If you look in the 2nd photo, the woman in the gold shirt and red cumberbund has a little leg hanging behind her on the left: child sandwiched in the middle. In the last photo, you can see a man with a child coming toward the viewer on the right.

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Below are a bunch of photos of rooters under baskets. This caught my eye because we have a chicken issue in Key West and all I could think when I saw these was, “Is it really that easy to get a chicken under a basket?” In Key West, people pay a “chicken man” $20 per chicken. He sets traps that may, or may not catch chickens.

A little more inquiry was needed to understand the situation—although I think chickens may still be able to be captured under baskets.

These aren’t just any old chickens getting basket for cages … they’re fighting roosters, specifically for cock fighting. I can now verify that every ‘chicken’ under a basket has been a rooster. According to the Balinese driver that filled me in on the custom, putting the rooster under a basket helps the rooster to conserve energy and it also calms them. They become passive and more like a pet so the owner can handle them. Cock fighting is not actually a sport that is supported in Bali but for certain ceremonial situations, the offering of blood is necessary. The Balinese allow cock fighting for these particular ceremonies but the ‘fight to the finish’ process is sped up by attaching knives (somehow) to the roosters’ spurs. This is viewed as a compassionate custom as the fight could be long and drawn out were the knives not utilized.

The Balinese driver did admit that cock fighting as a sport is actually alive and well.

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Finally, taking off one’s shoes before entering a home, or almost any establishment (except for most restaurants) really is a normal tradition here. The following photos are taken:
1) Outside of a store along a main street in Ubud. The balinese let tourists leave their shoes on, but the Balinese take their shoes off while working in the store and even when they’re working at a hotel’s reception desk.
2) At Sari Organic, a restaurant situated out in the rice fields just outside of Ubud. Everyone removed their shoes prior to entering the restaurant. By the way, this place had excellent food!
3) Outside a childrens’ school.

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Hope to get my internet back soon. Thanks for following!