A few days ago who would have known that I’m on my bike on Bali, a tropical island filled with gods, dashing from one fabulous Hindu temple to another. A week ago who would have known that we’re tracking Shiva and Vishnu or measure the transformation of Batur volcano with a local vulcanologist.The timing of this trip was set by Merapi that was spilling heat clouds and ash bombs, the company of this trip thus was put together absolutely plan free. It all happened just like the mad situation in ash grey friday decided to direct us.
In Bali people pray more, make sacrifices in a form of flowery baskets to natural powers and gods at their every step, and always organize different ceremonies either for freeing the soul of a grandfather who’s died years ago, or for a birthday of some temple or for purifying the people of Bali. This is what our local religion men say – local volcanos are at peace with the locals, it’s safe here.
But neither Vincent nor me were the only refugees from Yogyakarta who’d travelled to a safer ground. For example, a half of the inhabitants of our hippie castle had come to Bali, the other half had gone to Australia. Võsa and Ethel came here too. Exactly a week after the enormous eruption of Merapi the paths of the refugees crossed at a white sandy beach on Bali. We aimed to sit around fire and take the most of the local rice booze araki and then catch the fire tail of a comet and fly into the universe where everything’s possible, and then rub our sandy eyes in the morning and to swim towards the sunrise and then just to delve into water and have a silent conversation with the orange and black striped Nemos.
When at the first night we’d been the only squatters at the beach, then the next morning a whole scene of Russian Ubudi goa-trance had arrived and for the name of the half moon a mind-blowing trance party was set up. We danced in the psychedelia of the white sand tickling our toes and under the setting sun, we danced with the neon coloured nozzle of Ganeshi and in the creative-demolishing power of Shiva.
Until the roaring sky opened and suddenly heavy liquid drops started to fall. We lied in the torch light under a sparse roof and the local village men tried to refresh our senses offering us different versions of araki each being more horrible than the other. Vincent was playing Velvet Underground on the guitar. I sang about Thor, the god of the heaven.
I assume the latter heard us. Or was it the dance eager Shiva. But the rain stopped soon and the trance of Bali Russians took us over.
Until the sun arose again on the horizon, until we could again throw ourselves into the waves, until together with a local friend Wyn we could for hours look for a turtle in the sea bed, until we could grill fish on the fire, until we could afford the luxury of drinking real red wine, which our senses hadn’t tasted for four months and what our local friends had never tasted. They simply don’t have money for “real” red wine (the cheapest in Indonesia costs about 15 euros). They also cannot afford going to school. Or any other stupid luxury things or many vital things. We can share a bottle of red wine with them, but I can’t afford to sent Wyn to school.
On the very last night at the beach temple I donated my last fruits – a banana and a mango, to Shiva. They shall now represent the balance of Yin-Yang, feminine-masculine balance or symbiosis, or shall they simply be the two best tropical sweets to symbolize the wonderland-weekend we’d had.