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  • Writer's pictureCassie Stockamp

Bali.... it’s the small things.

Updated: Jan 25, 2020

So I was awakened one morning by the 4:30am call of the rooster and rolled over to find a dead snake lying next to my bed. That was the second time the cats brought a gift of this kind to my Bali bedroom. The first time the poor snake was barely alive and when they tossed it into my dirty clothes basket, it was game over! I found the courage to grab it by the tail and toss it from my open air shower over the wall that separated me from the cow pen behind! The thought of the cat bringing a snake onto my bed in the middle of the night was a wee bit alarming... I slept with my door wide open to pull in the cool night air, so I knew I was asking for it - a bit... LOL.

And the warm ocean waves.... I found myself snorkeling 2-3 times a day to combat the heat and was amazed - every time - by what I saw when I put my mask in the water. The corral was healthy and full of unusually large brain like corral bulbs that were home to an incredible array of colorful fish that left me - well - literally full of gratitude and wonder for all that is below...

It was the day to day stuff that brought me smiles and joy while in Bali. Petrol for the scooter was found at tiny local “stores” in front of rows of veggies, shampoo and candy. The gas was stored in a contraption that reminded me of a cotton candy machine complete with a hand pump. You pulled your scooter up to the stand, waited several minutes for someone to emerge from their home to pump one liter of petrol, and the transaction was completed when you handed them RP10,000 - 70 cents.

The Balinese people rode their scooters covered in long sleeves, hoods and gloves as the sun was incredibly intense making it HOT and dry in Amed. I checked out several of the local “stores” for moisturizer as my feet were cracking and found a shop keeper that pantomimed that he had coconut oil. He pulled out a repurposed water bottle from under the counter half full of fresh coconut oil. I asked how much... RP20,000 = $1.50. It’s the little things...

Indonesia is the 4th most populated country in the world.
Has the largest Muslim population in the world.
Is comprised of over 17,000 islands.
Who knew?

The fishermen left the beach around 4am six days a week and returned at 8amish which turned the beach into a hub of activity. The women helped unload the catch and carried tubs full of fish on their heads into the village, where the fish were distributed around the island.

And I watched the fish unloading and the daily religious daily rituals with wonder. I visited a family where 50 small offerings were placed around their home DAILY. And EVERY Hindu home and most businesses had their own ornate temple which was used for prayer and offerings. I’ve been told that the Balinese people spend 30% of their income and 30% of their time on religious ceremonies. The symbolism and metaphors are fascinating and far reaching.The large arcing bamboo poles which line the streets are called penjors, and I learned that they represent our internal dragons we need to face and, more than likely, slay...

And the people... And relationships. It’s complicated. The expats bring money into the country though, unless you are a citizen, you are unable to own property outright as an individual and the corporate requirements are, well, messy. A friend I made (lovely, smart woman) married a Balinese man; she sold her house in the US 15 years ago and brought her assets to the marriage. They built a successful business together (7 retail stores around Bali) and then she found that he had another family on the side.... What complicates matters is that she has no legal assets. No money. No property. Stuck? I would say not, but..... it’s complicated.

Bali has two major lay lines that cross through six sacred sites which are thought to cleanse the major elements - Earth, Fire, Air, Water, Wind and Ether making it one of the major purification centers of the world. Spiritual place.....? Yup.

The sound of geckos through the thatch roof lulled me to sleep every night. I went to Bali to heal and the day before I left, my bulge was barely distinguishable...

What a beautiful piece of paradise.

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