Today I went for a breakfast cake at Cafe Moka with Ron and Tina and helped them return their motorbike to the shop on Jalan Dhyana Pura which Mick had suggested.
This is their last day here and they are swimming in the pool at Bali Mystic hotel in Seminyak. My friend Yumi is taking them to Denpasar to buy sarongs for friends.
Tomorrow is the Ogah Ogah festival where all villages of Bali make a huge monster which they wheel round the village to scare away evil spirits. The biggest parade is in Denpasar and the Kuta one is big too. I will check out the Kuta one with Yumi. Tina and Ron will be gone by then and it will be start of an enforced break for me.
The day after Ogah Ogah is called Nyepi Day and is the Balinese day of silence in which the whole island comes to a standstill. Nyepi day is a day of introspection where everyone is required to keep noise to a minimun, keep lights off, tv’s off. No shops or businesses are open, no work can be done and you are not allowed out of your house / hotel. All flights from the airport are blocked for 24 hours, Bali really comes to a standstill.
Most foreigners either go to a big hotel ( they can operate as normal inside the building ) or leave the island for a while. Mick is leaving for Japan today. I think I’ll stay at home and read some books. Have to remember to stock up with some food and do my first cooking since I came over.
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What happens if you go out? The local banjar ( local residents association who marshall religious events ) will come and round you up. Same for noise or lights.
I think it’s cool that the Balinese are so into their customs that nothing stands in the way. However, I wonder how much money this little day off costs, with tourists avoiding Bali for this period.
Someone was telling me that after Ogah Ogah the evil spirits get scared away and then return. Since everyone is quiet and no lights are on the evil spirits pass by. Not sure whether this is true or not.
During Nyepi, observant Balinese cannot eat for 24 hours, though a lot do, and sex is banned. All in all not a very fun time if you’re a tourist.
The Hard Rock Hotel in Kuta offering a Nyepi package (Food, drink deals and room) with the tagline ‘Celebrate The Silence’.
I’ll do my celebrating the night before.