Every cloud has a silver lining - August 4th 2015

Eldest son with scary mask

Eldest son with scary mask

After living inside this Family Compound for a week we feel qualified to describe it to you. It is a typical Balinese compound with a small entry door and its own Temple to the right of the door. This one differs from most in that it does not have a barrier directly inside the front gate to deflect evil spirits that may wish to enter (these spirits can only travel in straight lines). Inside the compound is a central pavilion used by the family for things like watching TV. In this particular compound there are apart from the family quarters 8 guest pavilions/rooms all with terraces. These would have been used for guests and extended family members under normal circumstances.

The Family quarters are in this case through another door next to our pavilion. All these doors have steps up into them and steps down inside.  The first thing inside the family quarters is an open kitchen. In this particular compound we have living four generations of this family. These are Great Grandma, Grandma, Mother and two male children. On the male side we have Grandpa and Father of the two boys.  This makes a total of seven persons. There may be others that we have seen coming and going but we are not sure.

Offerings arrive

Offerings arrive

In many compounds there can be up to forty family members living in them. Apparently the numbers do not reach plague proportions as nearly as many die as are born. Our observations so far are that apart from the odd raised voice there is harmony amongst family members. It appears to be a patriarchal society with the male the protector.

On our trip yesterday we passed thousands of compound lining the roads, all with their own temples for worship and ceremonial purposes. This is in complete contrast to Malaysia where most people live in a row of attached houses even in remote villages where space is not an issue.

We feel we are really enmeshed in Balinese culture now. Each morning Madi, the daughter in law comes around and places an offering on our terrace and performs a brief ceremony with another larger offering at the Temple that adorns our pavilion. She was kind enough this morning to allow us to take a pic so you can see for yourselves.

We plant to go to the 3rd Ubud Jazz Festival on Friday but are concerned that “Some events are age restricted”. We are hoping we are still young enough to get in!

Dinner last night cost A$12 and was taken at a little place around the corner on a busy street. The food was average but we sat at an open bar section facing the street and we spent most of our time watching the passing parade. Anecdotally we think that the majority of visitors here are European with very few Australians. Not sure yet where we will spend the rest of our time here after Sunday but it won’t be at Kuta!

They say that “Life is a rich learning experience” and one of the things we have learnt on this jaunt is that whilst having money was great, it tended to have the effect of insulating us entirely from the ordinary people that inhabit this planet. Losing our money has given us a window into a different world that we might otherwise have not experienced. Just shows that “Every cloud has a silver lining”.

Off to buy another book and explore a likely dinner venue.