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second week in bali      
       
Wednesday  august 19
     
We rise together with the sun at six. After breakfast we walk along      
Uitzicht tijdens ontbijt. Ni-Polok legongdanseres

Ni Pollok
(photo:Tauchert)
 
 the beach to the north. First to the 'Major Museum'. Adrien Major, a Belgian citizen born in 1880, came here in 1932, married the Balinese legong dancer Ni Pollok and painted her for the rest of his life. In a lavishly decorated house, close to the sea, you can see his paintings. Some are nice. Johan Fabricius, who visited them regularly, wrote in 1941 inspired by Ni Pollok  the novel "Bali Island of demons." The garden is overgrown with plants and instead of a Balinese god you find a statue of Major in a temple. In front of the temple are standing their commemoration slabs.  
On we go. The white beach is turned black now. The dark sand is flushed from the volcano. Millions of shining stars glitter in the black caused by the bright sunshine. That's mica. The sea here has a strange, translucent, light green color. We pass a ritual in which children are held under water and reach the 'crocodile farm'. It appears to be a holiday resort. "Agung Taman Rekreasi.' It's grand scale. The lack of money in Indonesia causes that the park makes a strange impression. In opulent furnished rooms with massive restaurants you can see anybody. In a large dining room is a guide or guard. He is an reformed pastor who studied in Holland and complains about the low earnings and the bad state of the country. This park costed ten million dollars. Only a handful visitors can be seen. Clinton and Beatrix were here and they got a crocodile leather case from Soeharto. Crocodiles are here still nowadays, but there is no money for food. Visitors can feed the animals by buying some meat. There are snakes and a large aviary with tropical birds. For an hour we are the only attendees. There is a separate aviary with rare species. A carer, an ornithologist, apologizes that there are only two birds remaining.  
Back to Respati, under the shower and to the beach. I walk through the water to the reef. A boy takes fish from the sea and packs them carefully in plastic bags. Beautiful shapes and splendid colors. They are offered to overseas aquariums. When I return my foot sprains by unequal coral. Suddenly I felt a sharp pain. Back at the beach I see blue spots and black spots on my ankle. A masseuse examines it. A German woman says tactfully : "Mein Sohn hatte das auch in Amerika. Er war lange und schwer krank."  Other bathers look worried too. zee-egel

black sea-(eagel)urchin
It appears to be a sea urchin. The water shoes were to low to protect my ankle. The needles who still are in my foot are pulverized by beating with a smooth round stone. A dark blue liquid is pushed out. The white juice of the 'netru', a herb that grows in the neighborhood, is rubbed into my ankle. All quite painful.
We pick up the wedding pictures. The photos are coming out well. But those of the rain forest are blurred by the condensation in the camera.

     
Thirsday August 20      
Because several people kept asking, "Have you seen the Doctor?", I wanted to see the doctor. "But the Doctor wanted to see me." At ten o'clock he arrives with his assistant. Both in white. Because I've talked about a 'sea eagel " ('zeeëgel' in Dutch; Now I know it is called 'sea urchin' in Englisch) they expected that I'm attacked by a bald eagle. They are a bit disappointed.      
Anyway ... He taps on my ankle with a spoon and smears an ointment on my foot. He prescribes a three days antibiotic cure and an anti-allergic cure of the same lengths. The German Lady promises she will me 'die Daumen drücken'.      

Today we'll take it easy. First to the beach. To hot there.
     
ontspannen tussen zwembad en zee      
So we shelter under a parasol by the pool. The masseuse inquires about the ankle. She suggests to massage Marianne. She does it very expertly and thoroughly. It takes more than a hour and it's so nice relaxing that we ask her to come back next week. On our water shoes we make a walk in the sea. We see beautiful fish and colorful shells. Some black sea urchin too. We do a few groceries, and it is not very late when we disappear under the klamboe (mosquito net). Tomorrow we go to Kuta. To see the high waves.

     
Friday August 21 strandhuis in kuta

beach guards

 
Whether it comes from the herb, or from the antibiotics or from 'das Daumhalten'  I don 't know. Nothing is bothering me anymore. We are now in Kuta. There is a beautiful sandy beach. Softer than the coral granules in Sanur. In sea the surfers are standing besides their surfboard waiting for "the big wave." Suddenly everyone crawls on his board. Most of them are back in the water after a few seconds.  
It is very touristy. We do not stay that long. The bus back is pretty shaky. There is something wrong with the shock absorbers, if they exist at least. It's like sitting in a boat. We keep motionless on opposite sides to prevent we are capsizing. The driver talks about the situation in Indonesia. He thinks that Habibi is a twaddler. All hat no cattle. He, our driver, gets money from friends in Australia so his children can study.  
Back at the hotel we become real tourists. Near the sea, beside the pool, under palm trees and bougainvillea. On the table nearby a glass of fruit juice, little pieces pisang goreng (fried bananas), easy reading matter and a booklet with Swedish crossword puzzles. Blue sky with unknown birds and butterflies. Massage ladies in gesture distance and there-is-nothing-wrong-music on the Walkman.

 
Saturday August 22    
 
We're going to the capital Denpassar. We want to buy some books about the nature in Bali. Additionally we try to find a photo shop, because the camera no longer functions properly. We first must explain the guy at the hotel lobby that we don't need his proposals. Every time we pass he ask what we are planning to do and tries to arrange something for us. He constantly proposes us to make excursions. Outside the hotel the drivers are waiting with their "Transport ? Transport ?" We say "Jalan! Jalan". That means we'll walk. Little later however we are in a car direction Denpassar.    
 
It's a big city with many poor people. It is difficult to just walk past without giving something. They have no money for food, education or doctor. They are very thin and some people suffer from skin rashes.   
Later on we visit a market. It is covered and there's lots for sale. Textiles, vegetables, herbs, fish and fruit. In large quantities. Often artfully stacked in a pyramid shape. What a contrast with the poverty outside. Everyone invites you to his table or booth. Scents are everywhere. In Denpassar is also the Mata Hari. It is a huge department store with air conditioning and luxury. A few tourists are the only people walking around. Perhaps to get out to the heat. We are at least. There are no books about nature. Nor is there anyone who can check the camera.  

     
Sunday August 23      
A trip by bus with the travel association today. It is an air-conditioned bus with Dutch passengers and a native Dutch speaking guide. We go over the mountains of central Bali. It's foggy and raining regularly. On a market we buy seeds of bamboo and bamboo plants. "They can appeal against the frost," says the saleswoman. Would she ever experienced frost? oogst

rice threshing
 
We visit a temple on a lake, a waterfall and finally we reach the Java Sea with its black sand beach. On our way back we pass fields where women are threshing rice. They are hitting hard with a bunch rice on a sieve. They earn an euro in a days work. Marianne tries to thresh too. It works, but it is quite tiring with this high temperature. All around women are hitting the stalks with a machete to take the remaining rice along. Therefore the others thresh slightly less careful. I regret to note that most Dutch people behave as bumpkins. Little interest in the environment. Nasty remarks about the natives and their customs. But on the way back overly noisy and exchanging platitudes with the guide, which is popular with Dutch clichés and silly comments. One organized trip is enough.

 
Mondag  August 24      
After breakfast we go to the reef with a glass boat. The reef is in the transition between light and dark blue water on the picture below. Between richly colored and baroque coral large and small colorful fish whirl in a quiet, emerald-green world. There are rays, damsels, cat, moon and goat fish and queen, bat, needle, surgeon, cardinal, banner and butterfly fish. They swim alone or in wavy schools. The driver of the boat said that also the deadly blue bottle jellyfish is spotted. He is like a mollusk called 'The Portuguese Warship'. Against his poison is no cure and only healthy people will survive.      
Bij zwembad van Respati      
Later at the pool an English Adonis ceaseless tries, to the chagrin of his girlfriend, to make eyes at an Italian girl. When he notices his lady's displeasure, he hugs her exuberantly, what the Italian can not appreciate. The glance the two women threw at each other shows that you don't need to speak the same language to understand each other.      
We see a butterfly that is as orange as the bourgainvillea above us. Sometimes it feels like a flower petal flying back to the  plant.      
When we return from a trip to Denpasar we have an animated discussion with Wayan Cikra on Indonesia and the Netherlands.
     
With a tasty rice table we remember we are married twenty five years ago and we finish the day with a bottle of Balinese wine.


     
dinsdag 25 augustus      
At nine we leave for Ubud, the picturesque town in the center of the island. We drive on a quiet road between rice fields and beautiful nature. Arrived in Ubud we go to the World Bamboo Center. We pass the 'Monkey Forest' with many pampered macaques. If I eat one of the peanuts I brought with me, two monkeys climb on me and try to snatch the bag. So I eat the peanuts myself, while I temporary change the macaques in spider monkeys . The 'Bamboo Center', 'Mick Jagger was here! ", is located on a dirt road in a small village outside Ubud. There are a dozen species of bamboo grown and there are all kinds of bamboo products to see. Furniture, utensils and boxes from New Guinea for example. Nature around is beautiful and bamboo is everything what the bell beats. Like the bamboo bridge over a river far below us, which Marianne together with her vertigo bravely en quickly crosses.      
bamboe
   
Het huis met de meubels is helemaal van bamboe.      
Here is also a house made entirely of bamboo. Our guide, see above, sings a song about bamboo.The purpose of the center is to promote and protect this plant and the Indonesian rain forest.      
Then we visited a gallery with traditional and quasi-modern paintings. Not very special. Some with images from the life in Bali are lovely but pricey.      
Our diner in the evening nearby the beach is accompanied by the sounds of reggae music. The music sounds solid. The singer sings with a sweet voice 'No woman, no cry." Yet it appears he also shot a sheriff "but he did not shoot no deputy.' TERUG  
DERDE WEEK