Thursday, December 19, 2013

The Holidays in Bali

19 December 2013

Things are filling up quickly with tourists - more and more families, couples, singles - mostly Australians but tourists from all around the Pacific and beyond.  Our favourite little Italian restaurant which used to be a quiet little spot is now bustling and full each evening.  Roads are crowded, sidewalks are crowded, and there are Christmas decorations everywhere!  

We went to a mall today, just to do something different, and I had a bite at Starbucks.  (I know, but it's Seattle comfort food.)  The air was full of Christmas music.  I asked the guy behind the counter if he celebrates Christmas.  He laughed and said no, he's Balinese.  I asked if anyone working in the store celebrates Christmas.  He laughed harder and said no.  I leaned in confidentially and told him that not all of the tourists have Christmas either - he was surprised and I told him that we, my husband and I, don't have Christmas.  That was new for him, but, well, tourism expands the horizons of both the tourists and the host country.

Anyway, I enjoyed the center of the mall which was a huge Balinese knicknack market - just chock full of carvings, masks, puppets, fabrics, everything a tourist could want.  Including luwak coffee.

I really liked the puppets lined up like some girl band, all ready to break into a song and dance number!

I also had a funny discussion with the lady at our hotel who goes around doing the shrine offerings - we said hello this morning, and she told me that she liked my dress.  (It was just a simple long swingy tank over a short pencil skirt, all in black, with my red Birks.)  So we had a little discussion about clothes, where I bought this, comfort, etc.  One of those women bonding moments.  (Or maybe a fashionista moment!)

Okay, last little thing - except it isn't - it's rainy season here, and we are now seeing these MONSTER snails every night!  HUGE!  I had to photograph one next to my foot so you could see how gigantic these snails are - like the banana slugs of the Pacific Northwest, but with a shell on the back.  Mutant snails!  Probably radioactive!  I was afraid to put my foot any closer, they look like they might take a toe off!

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