Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Cooler

It's cooled down here in Bali. These are the best months - May through September - but June through August is the best best and somewhere in July and Augest are the best of the best. Windy. Not too hot. It's getting dark earlier - sunset just after six. We're going to start playing tennis on the local Clay courts at four instead of five so we can play to six if we want like if there are more than four so that we have breaks in the rotation. In the hotest months five is best because it's cooler and shadier but now even four is okay. But it's still not as hot here as it gets in Fort Worth. Not so bad really. Hot is usually in the nineties. At least in Sanur. Sort of humid too. 

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Greetings

Here in Bali one is frequently greeted by locals one passes. Hello. Where you going? A Balinese woman who married an Aussie says that she hates being in Australia. It's too lonely. She has a toddler she'd take walking every day. Then and at other times she said that in the course of a month, not one person said hello to her. Aussie's seem friendly to me. Maybe she should have been the one to initiate it but anyway it's not what she's used to.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Local King to do time

The Sanur Weekly had an article on how the king of Denpasar is finally going to prison for fraud. Two and a half years. It was two but he's been hiding out since his sentence in 2012 and was caught trying to fly out so the judge added six months. His crime was defrauding Denpasar - selling them land he wasn't the only owner of. He should know to defraud foreigners and use local thugs to back him up. Then he'd be more likely to be enjoying that wealth.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Bali temple sign

These to any temples here though many there's no one there to remind one.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Got our KITAS!

After waiting for over six months, our KITAS visas have finally been processed and delivered and our passports returned. KITAS is a residence visa to Indonesia. It's renewable yearly. No need to leave the country. Local prices especially at hospitals. And it's not like we just waited. We were in constant touch with the person in charge of processing it who told us repeatedly that it would be ready in a week and for the last month or so, that it would be ready tomorrow or in two days or later today. It was an excellent test of patience and sanity. Often we doubted, feared it was all bogus and we'd face huge fines because the foreigner here is always wrong or held responsible. Anyway, all that has vanished. We've got our KITAS.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Bouquet of Weeds sprouts again

Compassion Crew Presents: Compassion Cuts, Tapes, and Acetates, a record album of obscure oldies which includes "Bouquet of Weeds" from Music for a Comic Book Video, a record album of bizarre sampled stuff I released in 1985 and which still I hear about from time to time. There's a link to a page for that album from the above link on my music site, Defuser Music dot com where all my music can be heard for free - "the mediocre, the bad, and the terrible." - dc

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Nasi Campur

Komang is a driver I know. He speaks pretty good English but sticks with Indonesian with me, always teaching me and helping me with it. He's also positive and a nice guy. He drove me and two others to the Vipassana retreat last month and when we stopped to eat he ordered nasi campur, rice with a mix of other food, a very common dish here and usually quite inexpensive. He said he eats that three times a day seven days a week. He's got a lot of company.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Sweeping

Here in Bali a common sight is to see people stooping and sweeping with their brooms made from coconut tree leaves. They don't seem to care about nearby trash strewn around though. Just the immediate area that's theirs to sweep.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Three Additions I must share

to the Bali Vipassana Retreat Report

That's the Lumbini Grove in the photo. Didn't have the name before. Just spent some time with Romo Handy, the Buddhist priest who married us, and he told me.

There are two idealized murals in the Dharmasala. The one that was straight in front from where I sat was of Buddha's parinirvana which to a casual observer would be called death. What got me about it is in this mural he looked like he was about twenty. Buddha is said to have died at eighty. I don't recall any art showing Buddha as an old man - or dark skinned or bald as some Buddhist historians have claimed would have been the case.

The mural on the other side had a baby Buddha with a halo and people swooning over him. Made me think of all the todo over the baby Jesus. This sort of mythical deification is inevitable I guess.

Photo to the left is the main altar in the Dhamasala and the two mural I mention are to the right and left but obscured.

***

We ate lunch and sat around. There was some discussion about how well the retreat's approach worked. Some accepted the instruction on how to do sitting and walking meditation and were planning to continue it. Others were eager to get back to different practices. One man from Java was more interested in concentration type mediation with the focus being on the heart chakra or third eye or the early Buddhist meditation technique of concentrating on the breath going in and out at the upper lip. He did not want to be stuck in the abdomen. Personally, I was comfortable with the focus on the breath at the belly going forward and inward labeling the movements with rising-falling, rising-falling. To me it was quite compatible and maybe indistinguishable from Zen's emphasis on the hara with the breathing.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Fave Fruit

We keep hard shell purple mangosteens and hairy red rambutans in bowls on the porch. They're both in season right now. Mangosteens or mangis to them is one good reason to be here and golf ball sized rambutans another to my taste.  Mangosteens can get four times bigger than that. They're opened by holding in both hands and pressing hard between the heal of the hand - pops em open and the succulent juicy white fruit is there. If it's too hard to open it's gone bad and don't bother. Rambutan can be opened with a knife or teeth - the inside comes right out and is like lychee. Lychee (lici here) looks just like it without the hair. If it's juicy, if any liquid comes out, it's going bad.

Friday, May 6, 2016

They is Right On!

‘They’: the singular pronoun that could solve sexism in English - from the Guardian
I posted this comment on this guardian article: Agreed. I've been using they this way in songs, books, articles for decades, on my web sites since 98 - to get rid of gender and because I preferred the sound (I disliked both he and she when we don't know). - dc (cuke dot com)

Free Dental Floss ad

Ran out. And I only want Glide because my teeth are so close together. Can't find it anywhere here. I blew it. Since Guardian in Kuala Lumpur has it I figured that Guardian here would. Someone's bringing me some in a couple of weeks. Found the type with a short stretch of floss between two forks at the end of a plastic toothpick and the toothpick is excellent in that it's fine and curved at the end, but the floss on it is too thick for me. Will go check one last time in my storage area.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Daydreaming myself in a spotlight

Hillary Clinton will be 69 this year. I'm two years older. She'll be asked obscure questions like how we should relate to the president of Turkey and she'll say that Recep Tayyip Erdo─čan is a good friend and so on. I imagine if I had to answer all those questions all the time like her that I'd go, "Uh... uh... his name's on the tip of my tongue..." and so on like that - and I mean even if he was a good friend. So I guess a requirement for running for office in the US is not to have that nominal aphasia problem or to have a press that will help you along like Reagan had - or a receiving box on your back and earpiece for help from Rove et al like the Shrub. - dc 

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Don't pet dogs or cats in Bali

That's right. Better not. They're not used to it here and might bite or scratch you and then you've got to get a rabies shot because there's rabies here and it's too late once there are symptoms and it's the most lethal virus there is. Almost no cases ever of recovery. But some dogs and cats are okay.