These are my children. I would not be the man I am today without them. They have immeasurably changed my world.
They are my truest companions.
She’s weaving a scarf. It will take her about four weeks to weave that scarf. If you visit Lombok, visit the Sukarara village, wherein all of the women weave. They learn to weave at 10 years old, and cannot marry until they can weave all manner of weavings by hand.
Don’t worry, the men have to build a house by hand before they can marry. It sort of evens out.
A tip for all of you newly married (and maybe old-married) people out there: find out what your significant other’s favorite flower is and bring it home every once in a while. Just because.
I spent last week in Lombok with my family. There were a few moments of total relaxation and calm, and all of them were directly associated with being in the ocean. Well, the Lombok Strait in the Bali Sea, which is an extension of the Indian Ocean. I love the feeling of standing in wet sand while the waves attempt to bury me.
This is the gate to Pura Meru, a nearly 300 year old Hindu temple in the city of Mataram, Lombok.
I’m not Hindu, but I am a big fan of their architecture.
Summer holidays have begun and I’ve had time to get my camera out and take some photos again.
This was taken a couple of nights ago while on holiday in Lombok. We stayed in Batu Bolong in Lombok Barat (West Lombok, just south of Senggigi).
Ooh…so tired. Parent-teacher conferences tomorrow. A two-day school week with students. Some kind of Indonesian religious observance this weekend. It’s only Tuesday night, but I’m tired like it’s Friday.
Good night. Sleep well.
I love seeing other people taking photographs. I don’t know what I look like when I take photos, but I hope I look sophisticated, elegant even. I’m sure I don’t, but I like to think that I look like I know what I’m doing.
…for the end of the first day back to school after the Christmas holiday.
That’s all. Just a sunset.
We’ve been in Bali for a week now, and it’s been a beautiful Christmas holiday. We stayed in a number of places, but our friend who did much of our bookings knew we wanted to stay in places that captured what Bali used to be like. We’ve stayed in two different Taman Sari villas, one near to Ubud called Puri Taman Sari, and another along the north coast called Taman Sari Bali. The owner of these resorts has worked hard, and succeeded, at making them resemble a Bali that doesn’t really exist anymore. He is working at recreating the Bali village community. Check them out, if you’re in Bali.
This flower was growing in the water at Puri Taman Sari. Does anyone know what kind it is?
Actually, I was told by one of the surfers/workers on the beach that this beach, Seminyak Beach, is a great place for beginners. It is not, however, where they like to surf. They like bigger waves. They all thought that this would be a good place for me to start surfing…if only I would pay them to teach me.
Still, the waves were pretty impressive.
This is where we stayed for our first two nights in Seminyak, Bali, Indonesia during our Christmas holidays. There are villas listed from A through O, and each one has its own pool, separate bedrooms, and living space. It’s beautiful. I don’t know how we ended up in this spot, but I’m pretty amazed.
It’s been a pretty nice way to start Christmas holidays in Bali.
The hardest part of enjoying time on the beach is entertaining the many sellers that walk up and down trying to sell their stuff to the tourists. Well, actually, the hardest part is saying, “No,” to most every one of them. They like to look at me like they don’t understand English, as if waiting in front of me will make me say, “Yes.” I don’t, but I just love feeling awkward…that was sarcasm.
I am impressed by their ability to balance their wares on their heads, though. Seriously. That’s amazing.
I saw these two on the beach and they were so cute together. He would clumsily go out into the water with his surf board and do amazingly awkward things, and she would stand on the beach taking pictures.
Later, when I was eating lunch, they were sitting and chatting, so I snapped this photo. I wish them a great future together.
I don’t know which Hindu god this is, but he might be battling a dragon for better deals for Christmas Eve shopping.
This is one of many gods we saw on our way into the city of Kuta, Bali. The fact that the “late night shopping” sign is in the background just adds a post-modern materialistic context to a very old religion. Hmm…I wonder what the rest of our trip will be like?
I’m on my way to Sulawesi, but I’m posting photos from my last trip to the Yogyakarta area. I think this is the last rice field photo I’ll post for a while, but I hope you don’t mind. I find them so beautiful.
What I also find beautiful is the very traditional way so many Indonesian farmers work their fields. Giant fields are worked with small shovels and hoes. Pretty amazing.
…to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness. “
So said Mark Twain, and I agree. I think that there are other agents for the fatality of negative human attributes, like education and education. And I should be clear – some people can travel the world looking for McDonald’s restaurants and Macy’s stores and Holiday Inn hotels. They can avoid all the culture and ethnicity and find North America everywhere they go, complaining that no one speaks English. Sadly, I’ve been around some of those people as I’ve traveled around South Asia.
I’ve also had the pleasure of traveling with and around people who are looking for a better understanding of the world and its people. It may be, though, that it’s the attitude of the traveler that will determine whether prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness are fatally eradicated. Mark Twain, from what I’ve read, seemed to be the kind of man who was willing to challenge himself as well as others. Some people, sad people, do not have any desire to upend their tiny understanding of the world.
I wondered, when everyone told me, “You wait for the Lebaran holiday…just wait for Idul Fitri. The city empties,” what they were talking about. How can traffic differ so much because of a holiday in a city of 28 million?
Then, this morning. I noticed that there was no noise at all as I walked back to my apartment from the pool. No traffic. No background hum. No Jakarta. It was as though the city was shut down. Everyone had gone home. No one was stirring.
I snapped the bottom photo a little over a month ago. I snapped the top photo about two hours ago. I’d say that I get what everyone was talking about.
I don’t know if those masks are for Idul Fitri or not, but Jakarta is really changing right now. The end of Ramadan coincides with Independence Day here and the city is turning Red and White (the national flag colors) and really devoutly Islamic right now. If I wasn’t suffering culture shock already, I’d be feeling it now.
I went back to work, officially, today. I’ve been in the school (I’m a teacher, btw) a few times already this year, for a 9th grade orientation that I run and to put some things together for the year, but today was the first day that all the students were in the school and classes kicked into gear.
So…I’m thinking of the beach. And how much I wish I was there.
It’s not that I don’t love my job. I do. I feel that teaching is my calling – it chose me as much as I chose it. It is an incredible profession and most days I can’t believe that I get paid to have this much fun. I do, however, wish that I was still on holidays, lazily enjoying the ocean breeze, desperately avoiding real life.
To that end, I present to you…driftwood. A friendly reminder that only seven hours away from work is a beach. A happy place, as it were.
My daughter, above, and I have had some fun during this holiday. She is certainly becoming a big girl and I’m a lucky dad. I just hope that, years from now, we’re still best friends like we were this last week.
The shot above was taken at Cannon Beach, Oregon – Haystack Rock is in the background.
Pentax K20D; Pentax DA 18-55mm AL II; f11; ISO 100; 1/320 sec.