11 December 2013 - yes, that's 11-12-13 to those of you who put the date before the month.
We enjoyed our last few days in Ubud, where it seems that there's some new festival or religious celebration. We found these huge statues on the main road into/out of Ubud - the statues seem to look quite surprised to find themselves out on the road, saying hello (or goodbye) to everyone.
And there are new road decorations going up - new cut paper lantern like things, and it was interesting watching people put the various leaves and grasses all over the bent bamboo stick.
There were also people dressed up the past few days, with the special clothes people wear to temple festivals and celebrations - a sarong, a nice top, something on the head, and a sash. Plus the telltale rice design on the forehead and the base of the neck.
But my favourite sign of something special were the school kids firing off different firecrackers after school, gathering in the neighbourhood football field and shooting these smoking whistling popping things. Especially the little things that they'd light, throw some distance while running in the opposite direction - then the thing would start smoking in bright pink or fuchsia and then start popping and exploding. Who knew there was pink smoke?
Of course, there are the usual holiday decorations, like the chrysanthemum Christmas tree. Yup, a Balinese original - an orange Christmas tree covered in mums, with fuchsia paper floral decorations, and the mandatory star on top. I could enjoy a Christmas tree like that.
I also liked the garbage truck painted with lotus blossoms. Who says a garbage truck should be ugly?
We left today (Wednesday) for Seminyak, although there's some question whether our hotel is really in Seminyak or in Kuta - Kuta being the major touristy center that we were hoping to avoid. But we're south, near the coast, and ready for some more touristy, city time. Plus some dental work, some shopping, and hopefully some diving before we head north.
Being rainy season, we hit a point where traffic came to a standstill - the road had turned into a river - and we barely crept along, trying to see where the road began and the sidewalk ended and hopefully there wasn't a ditch in there somewhere. It was dramatic!! (And reminiscent of a certain November week in St. Thomas.)
We're in a cozy bungalow in Seminyak (or Kuta) - a big room with a king bed, nothing special but definitely roomy, with a dressing room, huge bathroom, and lovely windows in the bathroom. (They're my favourite part!) Plus a very large front porch with seating and space to hang up your wetsuit, or whatever. But I love the windows.
And yes, we drove past all sorts of beautiful arts and crafts - and amazing quilts, just gorgeous.
I might have to come back to Bali and learn how to make all these fabulous arts!!!!
Anyway, we've found a club with a Beatles tribute band who are quite good. We even got up to dance to "She Loves You Yeah Yeah Yeah" - a twist and a frug, or something - great fun!!!!
We'll see what other touristy things we can do while we're here!