Morning offerings in the garden of the hotel Sorga. (Kuta, Bali)
Morning offerings in the garden of the hotel Sorga. (Kuta, Bali)

The little things I love in Bali

  Indonesia: Bali - July 2008

Dear English-speaking readers, this page is an automatic translation made from a post originally written in French. My apologies for any strange sentences and funny mistakes that may have been generated during the process. If you are reading French, click on the French flag below to access the original and correct text: 

I had not been back in Bali for a few years. And here there are a lot of little details that I have great pleasure to find.

For starters, many houses and hotels look like temples, with their portals slotted and adorned with sculptures. Besides, there are temples everywhere.

And there are altars guarded by mythical creatures of stone, more or less monstrous, even in the gardens of small family hotels, type losmen or guesthouse. It is always very pleasant to sleep surrounded by gods and demons.

Morning offerings in the garden of the hotel Sorga. (Kuta, Bali)
Morning offerings in the garden of the hotel Sorga. (Kuta, Bali)

And then, every morning, fresh offerings are deposited in their small plant basket: flowers, rice, incense stick... All accompanied by a delicate gesture of the hand, to spread a few drops of water, a flower stuck between two fingers.

I love this little morning ritual, it has something reassuring. The gods, the spirits are everywhere, so we seek to conciliate the good and appease the bad. On the doorstep, at the crossroads, the small baskets of offerings strew the ground.

Small basket of offerings in front of the entrance of a warung (restaurant) in Petitenget (Bali).
Small basket of offerings in front of the entrance of a warung (restaurant) in Petitenget (Bali).

Another thing I like about this place: Even the trees wear sarongs. Finally, the trees considered sacred, those that are inhabited by a spirit.

A black and white checkered sarong girdles the trunk of this sacred tree in Bali.
A black and white checkered sarong girdles the trunk of this sacred tree in Bali.

The black and white checkered sarong also encircles the loins of the statues guarding the temple entrances. This black and white chessboard symbolizes what we know best as yin and yang: it is about maintaining the balance between the two forces, positive and negative, that govern the world.

One thing I had forgotten, too, that I observed, yesterday in Kuta, and today on the road to Lovina: kites. On the beach and in the rice fields, children and even grown-ups play kite flying. There are kites of all sizes, some very simple, made out of an ordinary plastic bag, others huge and very sophisticated, with a long tail waving in the wind.

Kite game on Petitenget beach, north of Kuta Beach (Bali).
Kite game on Petitenget beach, north of Kuta Beach (Bali).

Finally, I'm happy to find these various little things that I don't pay much attention to anymore, so much I'm used to them, but I like them a lot in Asia: greeting people with a big smile becomes again the most natural thing in the world, riding up to four or even five passengers on a motorbike too (well, not for me!), the possibility to be able to snack at any time thanks to the small street vendors installed along the roads with their carts of skewers, soup or fruits...

I arrived in the North, in Lovina Beach, today... Here no rollers and no surfers. Less flashy and more relaxed atmosphere. I'll tell you all about it tomorrow!

  Indonesia: Bali - July 2008

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