Dec 22, 2022
Final stop of the year before heading back for a Stateside intermission.
My stories from Bali are all aggressively banal:
Fruitlessly attempting another nonfiction on the Kindle, I listen to the reddening 50-something couple settled by me in the beach as they make small talk with the roving beach masseuse woman meticulously cleaning sand off the man’s feet before she would oil and rub them.
I watch from the hotel as trash collecting machinery combs the beaches in front of the hotels. It gets a good haul.
We hike down to one of the must see waterfalls on the island, passing by several Instagram-ready props and displays, made of the same kind of plastic and sub-Ikea material that seems standard worldwide, their flimsy ubiquity surpassing perhaps even Live Laugh Love posters in AirBnbs. Top-40 pop dance music erupts cloyingly from the nearby restaurant, letting everyone know this is a fun time.
The Jordanian guy behind me in the white water rafting kayak keeps yelling SNAKE to try to get a rise out of every other raft we pass. I desperately want him to even attempt to paddle in sync with the rest of us, though I couldn’t tell you why.
Heavy, heavy traffic
I feel, at nearly all times, that every kind local (most are quite kind) is performing a heroic feat in the face of their home having irreversibly become another Disneyland
This leg is basically a vacation. So risking vacation photos, here’s a brief montage.