At Seminyak, I quietly observed a Balinese family make their morning offerings to the sea. They were really close to where I was happily seated on my deck chair. Without knowing context, I surmise that it must have been an extra special sort of ritual because their eldest daughter seemed to be the focus of prayers, which is a little different from the usual.
Then the irony struck. Here we have the Balinese people going about their morning prayers in traditional garb. Then there are the tourists in their skimpy bikinis lounging around. Maybe the Balinese are used to it. But I'm not!!! I wasn't in a bikini. I was in a sports top and a bikini bottom. Still I felt damn self-conscious and kept the very decent ankle-length beach dress tightly on till the prayers were done and the people had left.
This entire island, is so touristy. My memories of Bali then and current impressions rather contrasting. I still like this island, but now that my head isn't stuck in the ground oohing and ahhing over resorts and fabulous service, I've come to be rather disappointed in the traditional Balinese food, culture and all. They've eroded, like the way their brilliant corals are fading. I had hoped for something more, but it is what it is- an artificially created economy based on tourism revenue through its sprawling resorts, architectural accolades and legendary service industry.
I was very interested in the odalans happening all over the island at any given time. We came across so many. Some lasted till the wee hours of the morning. What little traditional moments of the culture on this island I witness, I hold dear because this is the Bali I used to know.