Nyepi - Silence

Trip Start Feb 12, 2011
Trip End Nov 19, 2011

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Where I stayed

Flag of Indonesia  , Bali,
Saturday, March 5, 2011

Our hosts were gracious enough to provide breakfast which included scrambled eggs, terribly made toast, bad coffee, and fruit.   I happily ate all of it knowing I wouldn't be getting much to eat for the rest of the day.  By the time we lazily finished our pot of coffee the staff was gone and we sat on our porch and watched a few older new-age looking Europeans slowly walk back and forth from the pool to their room in what appeared to be some type of meditative contemplation and introspection in honor of the Nyepi Holiday.

We sat on our porch most of the afternoon and read until hunger got the best of us and we were forced to prepare our instant noodles we bought from the mini-mart the day before.  I had scoped out the kitchen to find it unlocked and Erica was adventurous enough to figure out the burners and put a kettle of water on.  Apparently she met a Brit who was thankful she figured it out and warned not to leave the compound.  He had ventured out before noon and found the streets deserted save a few kids who within minutes were chased home by the cops with batons.

I distinctly remember discussing with Erica how well she boiled the water, not knowing it’s source, as I prepared a complicated version of cup-o-noodle.  However, this operation was much more complex and included numerous unknown packets of oils and spices likely to be administered judiciously and under strict order of application.  This of course was all written in some other language so everything got mixed together and I enjoyed my noodles with an ingenious folding spork.  This meal was accompanied by a strange knock-off of lay’s potato chips, crackers, and cheese and was able to satiate us both.

The rest of the afternoon was spent by the pool under a slight drizzle and we did a really good job of doing nothing, although we did sneak in some bookwork on the laptop.  Having experienced it, this Nyepi thing is a good idea and I see no reason why a day where everything in the U.S. gets turned off wouldn’t be a good thing.  It’s much like the idea of diving; when you are freaking out or a bit out of sorts, simply stop, breath, and think.  Allow yourself to collect your thoughts, catch your breath and continue at a more reasonable pace.  This concept is more powerful on the national level, as everyone must stop to catch their breath.  It’s not like a vacation where you stop and everything around you keeps going at 100 miles per hour.  Often, at the end of a vacation, your impending return to work robs you of your last days of freedom by reminding you that your colleagues are still cranking away full speed at the pumps.

Anyway, had we not been halfway celebrating Nyepi by relaxing at the Conrad this holiday would have been even more enjoyable just as my dinner of a cheese sandwich would have been more enjoyable had the sardines I purchased not tasted like what I imagine sardines taste like to those who don’t like sardines.  And so it is, some cat had a wonderful holiday as well and we continued our relaxation into slumber for the night fooling the evil spirits into thinking Bali had been abandoned.

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