Breakfast and heaven

Porridge is my breakfast every day. A friend said he feels sick if he had it, like a patient swallows porridge in hospital. But i like it. Every six thirty or seven o’clock in the morning I will drag my body to wake up and forget to wash my face and brush my teeth.

I ride my scooter to market in the morning breeze to mingle with others who i bet not brush their teeth and wash their face either. It is gross but that is life of people here i guess. I park my scooter along with the snaking  motorbikes with parking men hanging around.

I am heading to the mother who sells the porridge. She is busy with customers already. I take photo and she looks at me. Her daughter is there to help her. She prepares porridge for me.  She knows how to make my porridge since i come here every day.

This porridge is wrapped in banana leaves, assorted vegetables, grated grilled coconut on top and no chili. No spicy for my delicate tummy. This traditional delicacy is takeaway only since no place to eat either.

The daughter is often here to help her mother to serve customer quicker. She is friendly just like her mother, chatting away with customer who is mostly  knowing each other.

Next to this mother there is a grandmother sells Balinese cake. She is even friendlier, greeting me with smile, she calls me bagus means handsome young man. Who doesn’t like compliment, right?

I love Balinese cake since i was little. I like traditional food, they are tasty along with memory of my childhood. Look those cake’s colors, they are natural and healthy. The sprinkle of coconut grate and liquid of palm sugar leaking all over them, it makes my mouth watery already.

I also buy some corn cake and tofu with sauce but not pungent. Those are for my meal for the day. I cook rice at home with rice cooker. Thanks to technology that helps single man like me so much.

I can’t imagine have to cook like my late mother when there was no electricity back then. She had to ignite firewood, it was worse on rainy day because all things was wet. It burned  patience instead the firewood.

Now technology is rapid and amazing that obviously advances quality of our life. But it brings new problem it is called laziness. Like me, i don’t like cooking even though i cook it is tasteless. Beside buying food is cheaper than cooking for a person living alone.

I know how to eat my breakfast in good way. By sitting on the beach and unwrapping the porridge, eat it while looking at the little waves watching me. The sea might think this little guy knows how to enjoy himself.

Beach is better in the morning, it is quiet, no heat and cool breeze. What perfect way to start my day. My porridge always tastes great, so yummy and soft.

Finished with the porridge i sweeten my morning with colorful Balinese cake. The palm sugar syrup sweetens my tongue and heart, flies me high to blue sky. I close my eyes when the palm sugar floods my all corners of mouth. It is happiness and cheap, i call it heaven on earth.

Single night

For being single is awkward sometimes.  Like last night i went to find a nice place to relax and have a drink. I saw this place beforehand but i am reluctant to come in since mostly couples visiting here.

It is cozy and i am glad the menu is friendly for local pocket, not like pricey restaurant in Ubud center. The place is quite beautiful.  Nowadays it is more and more eatery spot like this emerges since pandemic. Perhaps mass lay-offs opens people’s mind to start their own business.

The waitress was very friendly. I picked the corner near the street so i could see the vehicles mobiling on the street. I had eaten already but my tummy craved for snack after big digestion. Maybe a few sushi and a glass of avocado juice would be great.

A young family accompanied their daughter at the slide. Cleverly the owner aims for family customer too, so stuff for kid to play is set up here. The joy resonated on the faces of this happy family. Chuckling of the daughter melt the heart of father and mother.

Although i am not a father i know that there is nothing in this world that make a father happy than the joy of screaming from his daughter. I am happy to see happy people.

My wandering thought returned when a waitress came to bring my order. I found the juice was so cold. I forgot to tell her to put less ice and no chocolate milk in it. But that was okay, my delicate tummy would be just fine this time.

A young couple appeared, i tried to guess their ages probably early twenty or even younger, you know kids now are growing so fast. They chose the spot inside with the old bicycle hanging on the white brick painted wall. Of course they did, it is a great spot to take photo and post it right away on social media. You know millennial can’t be separated from social media and smartphone of course.

I sipped my avocado juice, it stung my teeth, it was North Pole drink. No problemo i would wait till its temperature suited my teeth. Meanwhile i could have more time to enjoy this beautiful place anyway. I think i went there at the right time. Evening looks better than afternoon i guess. I had lovely evening last night, my soul thanked me for giving him a treat.

King of Bali

At school history was a sleepy subject for me. I wish someone telling me history for napping that will be a potent pill to sleep. In the class when my teacher was telling history my eye lids were like rolling door pulling down slowly but sure. My eyes probably needed stick matches to keep them open.

But reading this novel about history of Bali in 1900 was totally different and amazing. It is like watching white and black movie. This novel opens my mind to the life of Balinese people in old age. The old tradition that now seems thoughtless and inhuman.

I can’t believe that the king could have over twenty-six wives. How can he handle so many women? A beautiful young woman had to tear her ears to make king not to marry her. The lord could marry every beautiful woman in the village. But if he found a man had affair with his wife that man was killed.

The unbelievable terrifying thing is when the king was cremated the wife would jump into the fire and burnt with her noble husband. What a scary scene but i guess it was normal back then. Tradition can be awful and frightening.

The village man who had nurture little chicken to be fine cock to become a great fighter for cock fighting, alas he had to let the king to fetch the rooster. No one could refuse the king. The king had the power to take anything he wanted from his people.

I learn a lot about history of this island from this novel and it is much more interesting than reading history book. If someone had leprosy, it meant a terrible curse not only for that person who had the ill but a whole village. People believed that he or she brought bad luck for harvest and people, impure for temple and entire village. This outcast was unclean and evicted away from the village.

The other tradition was a man could marry another woman if his first wife could not bear son whom continue the family lineage. At that era Dutch colonized this this country and overpowered all the kings on this island. The Ducth was treated as noble.

The ending of this novel is mass suicide of Balinese royalty. The cause was the king of Badung had failed to meet the Dutch request to compensate the Chinese boat’s valuable belonging that local people looted. The Dutch troops traversed from Java to Bali to invade the palace of the king in 1906. The king’s dignity was priceless. Paying means confession of being thief.

Balinese people who were loyal to their king gathered in the palace. Men, women, young, old, and kids flocked in the crowd. They were wrapped in white clothes to fight with daggers in hands over Dutch troops. Many of them were died penetrated bullets. Mothers killed their children before stabbing themselves.

Some white men vomited witnessing the unpredictable scene. They believed that Balinese people on suicide mass were under trance as the Kris dance performance they had watched. History novel is a great way to study and entertaining at the same time.

Kid’s pleasure.

Kids cannot stop when they play. Their power is endless. These two kids are floating on the water for so long they forget the time. I feel almost tired just by watching them but they don’t.

Like i was kid running my kite in the rice field at the midday till 5 pm. I was tireless, energized, and excited. I forgot to eat till i was home. The excitement was all over me. Seeing my kite flying well and high was a satisfaction.

People when they do what they love they absorb in that activity and time seems standstill. They become one with the act and focus solely on one thing. Can i say this meditation? Well we must select merely on good and productive activity that give us pleasure, since scrolling on social media could give the same effect too.

My brother like fishing. He feels peaceful when he is holding his fishing tool patiently waiting the fish come. Some say fishing could train you to be calm. My brother goes fishing when he has a lot in mind. It eases him. But i am not into fishing because i feel disturbed when the mouth of the fish painfully hooked.

Sometimes i miss my childhood’s excitement, free and joy. Happiness was easy. There was nothing to worry about. Everything was in the present moment. There was no feeling of insecure for future nor regret of the past either. The wise man said live  now right this second if you want to be  less stress.

Lidah Mertua

I like this plant, my friend says it protects me from black magic spell. I think Balinese people will grow it everywhere in their house if they know the benefit. My older brother does not have it in his house. He seems he has no clue.

Actually the reason i put this in my bedroom is because i want my room a little aesthetic. I like plant and flower but as a admirer not nurturer.

This snake plant has unique name here. Lidah Mertua means mother-in-law’s tongue. I wonder why they call it that. Did the daughter-in-law name it? Since many of my female coworkers talk badly about their mother-in-law. They are bossy, snobby, sharp-tongue,freak controller, lazy, or this and that which is mostly about negativity.

Well as its name, the figure remind us with a snake and it is sword-like and the color is green snake with vivid hue. Knowing this so the daughters-in-law have an idea to name it Lidah Mertua or Mother in law’s tongue. Of course not lol.

For me it is beautiful. It has important benefit too. This snake plant could purify the air in my room. Altering carbon dioxide into oxygen. It absorbs the pollutant in the air and black magic repellant.

This Lidah Mertua is very useful for my small room. it is easy to grow too and no need to much water, water it when the soil is almost dry. It suits me since i am lazy man. This snake plant has also bad effect anyway. I should not eat it if i want still alive. It is poison.

I bought the pot yesterday for my plant. I like white color instead of black, it costs a little more but it is okay. I picked up some gravels the beach this morning to cover the soil, it gives a little extra look. I am glad my room looks better now.

Hello Gods

My head told me to go to the temple this morning. It has been for ages i hardly visit the Gods. They are on Their big days for eleven days now. Hello Gods i am coming, i am sorry i have been away for a while i hope you don’t get mad at me. You know You are in my heart always.

My sister-in-law asked me to wait my nephew returning from school but it would have been hot by then. So i decided to go by myself. I thought i would buy canang around the temple there. Oh gosh there was no a single canang vendor yet.

Well i have flowers and incense with me to pray. I hope you don’t mind God no canang on your altar from me but other certainly do. This is my favorite temple. It is big and sits by the river and huge banyan tree shading everyone.

I prefer going in the morning because people are not so many. In the night they packed like sardine. It would be so dense and hot although in open space at night. There are some temples in this compound. I went to Beji temple first to meet and pray for Vishnu God. I love this one small but nice temple. It is the edge of the river.

Some people were placing canangs on the altar. Priest rang his bell. I took my place to pray, lighted the incence and followed the man who guided our payer.

A young man in white outfits from top to bottom sprinkled holy water on my head. He did it on my cupped hands and drank it three times, rubbed it on my face and hair as well. Hoping God Vishnu blessed me. The holy liquid tasted so fresh and good in my throat. I hope it heals my dyspepsia.

Then i continued to go to temple Rambut Sidana, the God for prosperity. There is special ceremony day for this everybody favorite God. When that day comes people will not pay their debt. My ex-boss smiled to postpone my payday for a day.

People believe it is not good doing payment on prosperity God’s birthday. Some people are already there. Scented incense was lingering around, caressing noses and relieving minds.

I sit next to a big man with face mask on. He was taking picture of the temple. Oh ya that is good idea. I must do it too. The priest chanted the mantra and swayed the bell in smooth rhythm. We did the same thing as we did in the Beji temple.

Then i paced to the last temple. The God Shiva and Buddha temple. This the most beautiful one. I see the beautiful satay arranged gracefully, I am so glad that i went here today. To meet and praise the Gods here.

Every time i come here i feel a peace here. Perhaps this holy site had an important event hundreds years ago that brought harmony here. The priests and sects had a conference here that benefited for us all here on this island.

It shaped the life of people here. In the ten century Bali had nine sects. They claimed themselves better than the other. King and queen saw a potential conflict among the sects. So the king and queen brought the wise priests to solve the this clash.

The priests and the nine sects agreed to worship three Gods in every village, Brahma, Vishnu,and Shiva God. So then our island lives harmony till today.

I took some more photos after praying. Some young boys and girls in the bale in charged for donation, i rendered some money and heading to my motorbike. I bought pork and fish satay for my family.

Beji temple
Rambut Sidana temple
Shiva and Buddha temple

Everybody loves Putu Sudani

She asks me to take her to school

She is Putu Sudani, four years old. She is my sister-in-law’s niece. Everybody loves her, my family, my sisters, the builder, the vendor at the beach, the stranger, everybody is happy talking to her. She talks a lot that’s why people like her.

Her parents go to work so she and her little sister Tara stay with us. Her father will pick them up after work. I am grumpy with myself when i get annoyed by Putu. Everybody likes her. It must be something wrong with me.

Every morning at 8 i see her head moving at the window then she appears at my door, “Pakyun”, she calls me, “i have showered, i want to watch movie, with the ghost ones.” Her tone is smooth but it irks my ears. I am silent but i do what she wants. as if she were my boss that i could not refuse her.

She sits at the edge of my bed, i turn on my computer to play her favorite animations. She likes Scooby Doo, Hotel Transylvania 3 Summer Vacation, and Adam Family, the hounted movies. Sometimes she screams or sings imitating the movie. It bothers my ears.

She likes dress up too, she takes the lotion, she asks my permission first. She applies on her legs and hands, sometimes face too. She caresses her hair facing the fan, flags her soft black hair like shampoo ads on tv. The other time she sits on my bed backing with pillows, she grabs my book, opens it and pretends to read it. Then five minutes later i look at her she is sleeping.

She invades my room, she acts really feel like home. I try to focus on myself, restrain, keep cool, be patient like a monk. While she is watching movie, i clean the house, when i go back she is munching my biscuit. She did not close the jar of the snack properly.

Of course she cannot, she is too young to do it. When i was kid my mother and father got mad every time i did a mistake. I cannot go mad at her. She is not my child, i have no right to do it. See, she is always winning from any perspectives.

My friend told me to say nicely if i want to ask her something. I guess i cannot do that, i believe my voice will rise to the roof. I am not a patient person to kid. I mean i like kid but the sweet one, like Tara.

The sweet Tara

Not hyperactive and annoying one like Putu. Sometimes my teenage nephew knew when i upset. He will ask Putu to behave. So most of the time i just stay quiet holding my grudge. But everybody adores her. She is confident girl, she likes talking, she talks with herself too.

She always speaks up and answers whenever people asking her. Mostly kid i know being quiet and shy with stranger. She remembers people’s name. Once she knows someone she will call her or him by name. That’s why people like her.

She likes new stuff too, one day she boasted that she wore new a pair of sandal, her mother bought her in the market. Every morning her father drop her and her little sister Tara at our house. She brings a bag of snack, she eats those sweets and cookies first before she doing anything else.

She ignores me when i am passing before her. My sister is busy at the kitchen while taking care of Tara. She likes her hair being braided, it must be tight and good with many colorful rubber bans. If it does not look good to her my sister-in-law must redo it. Her father does it really good.

She likes being smelled good, when she comes to my room she scents like incense. She is not schooling yet but she really wants to go school. Her father got her school bag, book, tie, anything she sees student wears. She is happy girl and everybody loves Putu Sudani

Hey amigo

This little lizard has been playing around in my books next to my bed. I ignored it and thought it will go anyway. But a few days later when i took a book to read this little guy was still there.

Why this little amigo seems so happy here in my room. Don’t you want to hang out in the bush? This fella is really small actually maybe it is like size of straw. I reach out this cute guy, it seems not afraid of me.

It stays on my fingers and stares at me. Look at the eye! it is so intense. Does it look afraid? angery? or loving? It is hard to read. Do you want to talk with me my friend? Brainstorming maybe? I have a lot in my head to talk about.

Being a human is so stressful and hard you know. Do you have problem my friend? I do. Do you have friend? A lot of them? Really? Lucky you. I only have one, my best friend. Well i don’t have many friends, i am a weirdo that’s why people prefer away from me.

You know what little guy, i have been doing drastic change in my life lately. I do detox social media for 19 days already. And i am planing to keep doing it because i get positive impact on me. I don’t open facebook and instagram or read news. I think that those are the triggers that spark restlessness and anxiety in my head.

I replace the scrolling social media into meditation, yoga, and read book. I meditate in the morning afternoon and night for fifteen to twenty minutes every day. You know what my little friend, I feel better now.

Google says meditation and yoga have tremendous benefit for body, mind, soul. So i practice them every day. Previously I usually glue to my phone all day. Now i switch it into good things.

Before i do this new habit. I always have nightmare and lucid dream.  I felt a little afraid every time i went to sleep, knowing that nightmare was there waiting for me every night.

Now i don’t have lucid dream and nightmare anymore. Last night i dreamt about my ex-coworkers, they were very nice to me. I will keep this new habit for my health physically and mentally.

Anyway my little amigo thank you so much for listening my story. You are such a great listener. You know nowadays it is difficult to find people who want to listen. No wonder some folks choose pet to be companion.

Well I think it is the time for you to go my little friend. I don’t want to waste your time anymore. I will release you in my little garden. I think you prefer there to my room, right? You will meet many new friends there. Like ant, spider, bee, butterfly, snail and many more. I bet you are an extroverted guy, who love to be surrounded by many friends. Have a wonderful day my amigo.


Before project

I am waiting the worker to cement this sideways. But he is still busy building a house in other place, and don’t know when he will do my project. I see it every day and keep thinking about it.

I know it is not urgent or something that i will die if i don’t get it soon. But my head bothers me with this thing day and night. Perhaps I have nothing to care about so it fills my head all the time.

You know i am such an idiot playing my phone all day, i even bring it to the toilet. Yes i am a weirdo. My addiction to checking all the social medias and news is worse. My favorite one is Youtube, at least here i can find something useful.

As i scrolled down my stupid head catches something. A young girl who builds a path for her house. Wow she is so good at it and looks so easy. I can do it too. I feel shame if i don’t try it. Yeah why not. Although the result might be terrible, who care it is mine, the good side is i don’t need to pay the worker.

So yesterday morning i started my project. I gathered all the equipments i require, wheelbarrow to make dough of cement and sand, mattock, punch, bucket, and other things. The hard part was to take the sand. I had to go back and fort on the high steps. My breath was in my throat and heart was burnt. But i had no choice.

I collected the broken tiles to give a little accent to sideways. Well it looks not too beautiful. I kept telling myself i could do this. I mixed the dough of cement and sand. I tried to place it evenly and laid the broken tiles on it. I did not use thread like builder do because i have no idea how.

At the midday it was done half way. My head was dizzy. I realized it was the time for lunch. The food was tasteless. I continued after quick lunch, no break at all. At 3 pm my head was spinning, i needed to stop this or i would faint. Oh no my dyspepsia, not now. I lied down on the floor for a moment to collect myself.  I felt better after fifteen minutes.

I mixed the dough again. My big brother got home from work he was surprised. He saw me with big  bucket of sand over my head. He asked you do it alone? He checked my work he said not bad. Finally i did finish my project.

After project

I proudly sent a video to my best friend. He was startled. He could not believe it. The little guy with weak physical can do this. Well i think every man can do it. If he wants it. I know it is not as perfect as the real builder’s work. But i am quite happy with it. Well i don’t like physical activity, but for this one i do it.

Basically i am idle person. I hate sport at school, i was grumpy helping my father in rice field, i never help my big brother to maintain our family temple. I don’t like weeding. To be honest that is the reason i cement this sideways, i am lazy to weed. I prefer laying on my bed all day doing nothing. Yeah it sound a loser. Now i am glad i have done it

Majapahit and Bali

Tutur Tinular

I really like history of kingdom in this country. When I was eleven years old i stuck my ears to a magic box called radio to listen to a legendary play titled Tutur Tinular.

The story is about a young beautiful soldier of Mongol who came to Java. She met handsome man on this island and they got married. For sure with drama that came along with it. It was the first time I knew the story about kingdom. The setting was at the early Majapahit emperor. Why is this interesting to me now?

Because Majapahit had shaped Bali as it is today. Such as tradition of Balinese people, myriad elaborate ceremonies, thausands temples, and caste system in Bali are derived from this dynasty. How the story goes? Here we go.

Raden Wijaya

Majapahit was built by Raden Wijaya. He is son-in-law of Kertanagara king from Singasari kingdom in East Java. Raden Wijaya escaped when Jayakatwang, a regent of Gelang-Gelang rebelled toward Kertanagara king and defeated Singasari kingdom in 1292. Then Jayakatwang built Kediri kingdom.

Raden Wijaya hid in a forest near Brantas river. He opened the forest and built a village there. He found the fruit called maja, it burnt his tongue, it horribly tasted pahit means bitter. So he named the place Majapahit. He recruited villagers and trained them to become soldier. He was waiting the right time to attack Jayakatwang, and the time was about to come.

The troops of Mongol from Khubilai Khan emperor came to Java to punish Kertanegara. Why? Here is the reason. Previously in 1289 the king Khubilai Khan from China had sent a messenger named Meng Khi to Java. This soldier brought a mandate stated that Kertanegara had to comply toward Khubilai Khan emperor. But instead Kertanagara sent the messenger back to China with an ear missing. How terrifying!

Khubilai Khan got rage. Years later he sent his troops crossing the ocean to punish Kertanagara. So this opportunity was smartly used by Raden Wijaya, to collaborate with Mongol soldiers to invade Jayakatwang in Kediri. Raden Wijaya told the soldiers that Kertanagara, his father-in-law was killed by Jayakatwang. Then he convinced the Mongol troops to attack Jayakatwang. What a sharp slicky man!

The aggression was successful. Raden Wijaya feted mongol troops for their victory. When Khubilai Khan’s troops got drunk, he asked majapahit’s soldiers to assault and expell them from Java. So finally in 1293 Raden Wijaya could build Majapahit empire for the first time. His dream came true eventually.

Gajah Mada

The golden era of majapahit empire was ruled by Hayam Wuruk king. He is grandson of Raden Wijaya, he was only 16 years old when he had the crown on his head. He was a young brave and intelligent man, good in governance and politic.

He managed his kingdom well, he preserved Hindu religion, art, culture, and literature as well. He built a lot of temples. The book of Negarakertagama by priest Prapanca and book of Sutasoma by priest Tantular were written during his reign. He turned The Hindu epic of Ramayana and Maha Barata into art performance of puppet shadow.

He did a good job for his kingdom and people. He had motto for his empire said Bhineka Tunggal Ika tan hana Dharma Mangruwa, roughly means unity in diversity. Now it is Indonesia slogan.

Brahu temple in Mojokerto East Java

The well-known and powerful man behind Hayam Wuruk era was Gajah Mada, the prime minister. He was the man who brought Majapahit successfully broadened its territorties to Java, Bali, Sumatra, Borneo, Sulawesi, and eastern Indonesia. Majapahit reached its pinnacle in 1350 till 1389 under Hayam Wuruk and Gajah Mada period. So what is it for Bali? wait for it…

In 1343 Gajah mada brought his soldier crossing Bali strait to assault Bali kingdom with the king Asta Asura Ratna Bumi Banten in Bedahulu Gianyar. Bali Soldiers held massive resistance against majahapit troops. Finally Gajah mada defeated Bali the first island to conquer outside of java.

Royal Ubud Palace

In 1352 The king Sri Kresna Kepakisan from Majapahit was appointed in Samprangan Gianyar to rule this island. Priests and people were sent to Bali, they brought traditon of majapahit here. They taught people to farming, planting paddy, subak the irrigation system, Hindu religion, art, and culture. They built palaces with Majapahit style like we see in Ubud palace and other sites today.

They introduced desa pekraman, Balinese social system in every village. Temples for Hindu Gods like Brahma, Wisnu, Shiva were erected in villages. Cremation ceremony originally was from Majapahit tradition, meanwhile native Balinese they bury the corpse.

The king Sri Kresna Kepakisan tried to hold noble and leader of this island to build Bali together. He let the local people to continue the tradition ceremony to worship their ancestors.

Majapahit flag

The king created caste system to distinguish people of Majapahit and local. The caste system is similar to India but mild. It is called catur wangsa, four categories. They are brahmana is for priest who conduct ceremony. Ksatria is for king, noble, and soldier who operate the governance for kingdom and people. Waisya is for trader and smith, the sudra embeds for farmer and low class villager.

The funny thing is Javanese never knew about this caste system, apparently this is just way of Majapahit to praise themselves in Bali.

I hope one day i can go to Java to admire the archeological reminds of Majapahit empire.