BALI  SUMMER 2019 FULL IMMERSON


RIVER AYUNG BREAK TIME


Just went to the river and the neighborhood outdoor temple. A young man, Dwika Putra, was taking a cold coffee and smoke break above the roaring Ayung. He works as a debt collector--today. His worn white scooter showing its many miles traveled, he spoke of his 2-hour-away fiancé. "We marry in 1 year or so." He prefers his debt collector job over his job as a waiter. "Waiter--stay in one place: BORING. Debt collector—I travel, talk with many people, see friends, meet people." The debt collector role is not like in the USA. "Payment for scooters bought. Take from person at home." He points to the hand rolled cigarettes strewn about the temple area, having spilled out of their ceremony offering box containing items of value or beauty: food, flowers. "Too harsh. Only for God." He uses his last wooden match and excuses himself to the mart for a lighter. Back in a flash from up the steep grade, he reappears. With a serious gaze, his first query, "what do you think of Bali?" He waits for the review of his island home, the only place he knows. "It is very different," I offer. He throws his head back and howls, continuing: "the people?" "Ah," I said, "the people are gentle. Sweet. Good." "Yes," he nods and smiles in humble acknowledgement.


#bali #travel #ayung #story #soul #spirit #ceremony #life #reality