The local "doctor" was here today with a bill for yesterday's assistance and he suggested we be careful and stay away from crowded venues. State Dept. just upped the caution level for Bali, authorities caught some guys with a bomb in Ubud yesterday and warn of increased threat over the holidays. Meanwhile we went shopping for Xmas eve dinner with friends here.
There's a stray cat looking just like that photo of a Bali cat who's been hanging around here for a couple of years and who keeps getting pregnant. We don't see much of her litters. Stray dogs and cats regularly rotate in and out of these whereabouts as their generous contribution to the life and death cycle. But this grey cat has survived. Katrinka calls her Kucing (pronounced kuching) which means cat in Indonesian. For her Katrinka will break our rule not to feed strays. Kucing obviously has other humans she relates to because she just comes around now and then with long absences. She's pregnant again so she's been hungrier and coming around more and Katrinka has been most supportive. Kucing isn't wild about what she gets here because we don't have much animal food scraps at all. Mainly she'll get some bread or rice soaked in milk.
A Swiss woman staying next door for a month bought some cat food and offered it to me but I said we don't want to get her hopes up and anyway I'm against killing animals to feed pets. She understood.
So Kucing has been showing up early and sitting on the mat in front of our screen door and Katrinka's been holding her some and she eats a little and moves on. A few days ago she nipped at Katrinka's ankle, a sign of affection but Katrinka was not pleased. This morning Kucing nipped a little too hard and Katrinka's ankle was bleeding. Poor Kucing. I'm sure she won't understand it but she's out now, not only won't get fed, she'll get shoo'd away.
I tell people who come here to visit not to touch the dogs or cats because locals here don't do that and they're not used to it and can react defensively. In this case that wasn't the problem but the result is the same. You must get immediate radies shots. So I called Dr. Wayang who really isn't a doctor but he teaches at the medical college and is always helpful and he rode over on his motor scooter, talked to Katrinka, and a couple of hours later she met him in his little storefront office and got four shots and some antibiotics. One or more shots in a week and again in a month.
There was no rabies in Bali till 2008 and they blew it bad doing everything wrong. There have been a few hundred deaths since then - from people who thought it highly unlikely they were in any danger. A nearby landlord's dog bit a guest. He said there's no rabies around here, wouldn't help or pay for her shots. She flew back to Australia. Probably true there's no rabies around where we live but every place in Bali is on red alert with the most fertile conditions said by the local health people to be lving by fields with stray animals which is a good description of where we live.
We doubt that Kucing has rabies but one can't take a chance with it. It's the most lethal virus and it's too late to get shots once symptoms set in which can appear in seven days or seven years. Nobody survives - and it is a highly unpleasant way to go. Well, okay, one person, a woman, in the known radies history of the world has survived as the result of an experiment to put her in a coma and she had a long, difficult recovery. One would be more likely to win one of those giant lotteries twice in a row than to recover from rabies. If you ever have a choice between rabies and Ebola, choose the later. Meanwhile if in Bali don't mingle with the strays and if you get bit or scratched by one and the skin is broken - get the shots.
Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson
That's a sunrise a ten minute walk from where we live. It's already the 21st here. Forgot to post yesterday, working on a project to be announced soon. But it's still the 20th for folks in the US and even some of west west Europe. This is the longest day of the year for us. It's twelve hours thirty minutes long, one hour and one minute longer than the shortest day on the June Solstice. The 21st is the shortest day of the year in San Francisco. It's five hours and fourteen minutes shorter than the June Solstice. Foreigners here go to Singapore a lot, largely to get new visas. Singapore is right off the equator. Today is of course the longest day of the year there too, eight minutes and forty-nine seconds longer than the shortest day in June. - dc
Indonesia has the largest Islamic population. Is it becoming more narrowly funamentalist or is this the sign of another wave of anti Chinese sentiment which has caused great death and suffering in the past. Or what?
Australian 'thieves' paraded with signs on Indonesian streets (from the Guardian) - that's on one of the three Gili islands a couple of hours boat ride from here. There are no police there. This is done by the locals. I recall reading shaming is more effective than jailing. We love the Gilis - no cars, motorbikes, or dogs. What a relief. In the province of Lombok next to Bali.
I hear that in France people bring dogs into restaurants. Here in Bali stray dogs come in on their own and in many places we've been, they can stay as long as they behave which includes sitting next to you and staring at you. I saw a dog get kicked out for putting its front paws on a table and its snout in the dish of someone who'd excused themselves for a moment. Saw the same dog on another day get into a fight with the owner who tried to kick it out while it was on a bone it had found in the kitchen trash. The owner still didn't try to get rid of it from its haunt just outside on the sidewalk and street. - dc
Next door there are caged song birds that start before sunrise. There is also a rooster that starts about that time and keeps going a good deal of the day, also caged, in a bell-shaped basket. Those rooster baskets are everywhere all over Bali. Cock fighting is a big deal here and it's done in and around temples. When I'm on the phone to someone in the States, which isn't offen, I'm usually asked by the person at the other end, "Is that a rooster I hear?" Yes. And there's more than one. There's been a new one over there for a while and it's got a different sort of crew. It's called an Indonesian Laughing Rooster. It sounds just as much like someone sobbing. There are examples on YouTube but none quite as extreme as the one next door. So cool. Post script: Just learned from landlord David that Nyoman who has the warung (eating place) down the street spent a year in jail for ockfighting. He said that there are legal times in temples so he must have been involved with an unauthorized one. Lot of money exchanges hands at a cockfight. There aren't a lot of arrests for that. David said he was singled out to be an example, a sacrifice.
Just got a call from the woman in the Immigration department who's handling the extention of our Indonesian residence visas. Almost no foreigner I have met deals directly with the Immigration department. They wisely get an agent and communicate in English or Dutch or whatever and usually it all goes smoothly. But I like to try to do everything I can with locals in Indonesian. As a result it alls takes more time and is more complicated.
Last time we waited for seven months wondering what the heck was going on. It cost over $500 each and we did entertain doubts. Seven months she had our passports and we had no proof that we had visas and she and I had hundreds of comminications, mainly texting, and she almost always said it would be ready in a day or two and don't worry. She says that was the first time and this time it's just an extention for another year and it will be quick and easy. Someone listening to our phone conversation would be so impressed with my Indonesian. They'd say, "Oh my gosh you're fluent!" If they understood what I was saying though, they would say, "Why don't you get an agent?" So here's my end of the conversation in English.
Oh - good evening. How are you?
Fine thank you.
I'm sorry but I didn't understand all of that though I got a bunch of words like photos and telephone. Do you want us to get new photos?
Oh good. So we don't need to get new photos?
Wait. Excuse me. Could you repeat that slower?
Yes I understood some of it. I want to make something clear here. Is there anything we need to do?
Good. So you don't want anything from Katrinka or me?
You're just calling to say everything is okay because I asked you to keep in touch so we don't worry. Right?
Good. So all we have to do is wait?
Good. So we'll just wait and you'll call. Right?
Good. How long do you think it will take? A week more?
Yes I sort of understood. We'll wait and you'll call. Good. Thanks for communicating.
Yes I will say hi to her and please say hi to your kids for me.
Couldn't help but be a little worried because Elin's and my son Clay goes to clubs in Oakland now and then. He lives up in Mendocino county an hour and a half plus away. So I called him this morning his evening. Was glad when he answered. He's very sad about it, has gone there many times, says it was the coolest place on earth, full of pianos, wooden sculptures, paintings, hip artists who live there. He doesn't know of anyone who's died but he said he'll surely hear about at least friends of friends. He said he and his friends are shook up. He's not a news junkie so I updated him from the other side of the world - 33 dead at the time of the call, 36 the next day. He said there have been other disturbing deaths recently related to the pot business - in his hometown Sebastopol and Mendo, some overdoses he's heard of. Bummer days.