Tuesday, March 28, 2017


Although the place we ate dinner left everything to be desired (really, how bland can veg curry and nasi goreng be?! We found out....), it was in a great location for the Ngrupuk parade. This link explains the ogoh-ogoh. An American woman who is staying at our hotel said that she kept expecting to see a Trump ogoh-ogoh in the parade -- a sentiment we of course agree with.

Most of the ogoh-ogoh were waiting in the big soccer field. Nothing happened until dark.

this one had blue and red lights in its eyes and mouth

never did figure out how this one held that position

this one was scary -- and note, they all have belly buttons which means they are born creatures

parasols waiting too.
So once it got dark, the big parade started. Each ogoh-ogoh is on a large bamboo framework that's held up by a dozen or more people. Some are held entirely by kids. Some of the ogoh-ogoh were short, but some were so tall that men ran ahead with very long bamboo poles and lifted the power lines away so the ogoh-ogoh could pass underneath them.

The whole crowd on the street stopped and kind of held its breath as the power line was lifted
out of the way. Sometimes the ogoh-ogoh would inch forward and tug against the line anyway.
Often the people carrying the ogoh-ogoh would move in a coordinated way, side to side, forward and backward, a kind of circle, to make the ogoh-ogoh seem alive and more menacing. Between the movement, the loud drums and the gamelan, and the torches, it was perfectly alive and we felt thrilled to see it.

And the ones carried by little kids were adorable, for any of a dozen reasons:

Little girls with pretend headdresses

really little ones getting an assist from the dads.....

or stopping for a little break, or.....
pausing for juice

We walked back in the dark, with flashlights the hotel had given us, and when we got to our little village the ogoh-ogoh ceremony was just getting underway. It was actually much more fun than the one in Ubud.

village girls carrying the torches....
The village men carried this enormous ogoh-ogoh.....

and the young men, who decorated their bodies with paint in so many ways, carried this scary red-eyed monster.

We're still in the severe jetlag phase, so we got back to our room and crashed hard. We have a large gecko in our room (good luck, apparently), but the thing did its barking noise all night, and combined with the frog symphony in the rice field, I was awake and not all that happy to be surrounded by quite so much nature.

Today is Silent Day, so we hung out at the pool, ate a variety of unsatisfactory mini-meals, and I got caught up on pictures and posts.

our day's food came in these woven baskets......

...containing random packets of various cold and unappealing foods

surprise salad delivered, plus an unpleasant tea (which was coffee, strangely, and a cold dense cake)
Tomorrow morning we fly to Lombok, so this little mini-Ubud trip is short but potent. We really loved the ogoh-ogoh parade, and all the noise and light and excitement of it. Bali is magical and for me especially, it exerts a powerful tug on my heart. If you could only use one word to describe Bali I would have to pick fecund, all lush and moist and bursting and tropical, and lingams and penises and blossoming women at every stage of life. Art everywhere, decorations everywhere, decorations on top of decorations on the art, and smiling people. I'd come back here in a heartbeat.

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