Curses, claws and newborn babies…

22 Jun

I’m in Seminyak… though I kind of wish I wasn’t. I’ve had a bit of a moany day today, you know when you just whinge that life is shit? Ugh. And then I had to shake myself. I realised that this is a totally ungrateful way to behave and I should just shut the hell up and get on with it. Jeeesus! I’m still in Bali! And Bali as a whole is fast becoming my favourite place in the whole wide world.

I will always remember the café I was in today as being the place where I first heard about my good friend Zoe’s baby being born, and that totally made my day! A healthy baby boy with the incredibly awesome, movie star name of Harrison De Ville. If he’s not on X Factor by the time he’s nine there’s something wrong.

I want to introduce Bali to everyone, maybe even Harrison one day, especially now that I’m a self-appointed travelling auntie, who’ll probably be the mental one who sends tie dye babygrows and wooden spears and kangaroo claws in the post for his every birthday, even though he’s never met me. I thought about what to get him from Bali, but then I found myself wandering though streets filled with wooden chairs shaped like kneeling horses and decided that at one-day-of-age, he’s probably not at the home-furnishing appreciation stage just yet. I’ll have to keep looking.

I think everyone would like Bali. I can’t think of a reason why any sane person would fail to like Ubud at least. It’s a completely different world to here, further south. Which reminds me, I went to another literary event before I left Ubud and there was an American author called Rose B giving a talk about her work. She mentioned that Bali doesn’t speak to her. She made a big thing of saying how everyone else seems to say “Bali really spoke to me”, and how she can’t hear anything at all.

I wanted to laugh at this, but I actually found it rather a shame. A shame because I hate to conform to a stereotype, clearly, (I hear voices, dammit, I do!) but a shame because she obviously can’t feel whatever it is that seems to affect those who care to listen. The guys here say the River Ayung has a voice. When I was taken to my room by a staff member at The Hanging Gardens the other day, he said “You’ll like this room ‘cause you can hear the voice of the river while you go to sleep.” I thought that was lovely. Even if he doesn’t mean that the river tells jokes and sings songs… even if he just means it murmers and swirls and gurgles and reminds you of its part in the Baliverse, I like the way he put it. I’ve been thinking about it a lot. I think all the voices are louder here.

I guess I’ve been feeling more energised here, aside from the two-day arak hangover last week, of course. That made me want to die in a pool of my own vomit.

My new friend, an author called Cat, told me Bali has a very feminine energy, and she’s a reiki teacher so she definitely should know. I believe that, not least because I’ve been hearing all about the curse.

Ah the curse, the curse. This truly fascinates me! Apparently, years ago a princess was spurned by her husband on the island, when he ran off with another lover. In a fit of hurt and rage she placed a curse on Bali and swore that no unmarried man and woman would ever come to Bali without suffering the consequences!

This is scary enough as it is, but the more people I talk to about it, the more stories I hear to confirm that this curse is still very much in effect. I’ve had loads of people tell me tales of how they, or their friends, or just people they know, have broken up after coming to Bali with their boyfriend or girlfriend. Some of them have been in really tight, long term relationships, too. How spooky is that? Of course, it doesn’t affect the honeymooners, who are still out in force, even in Seminyak. I’d curse them myself but I doubt it would have much effect and maybe one day I’ll be one of them. I’ll definitely be coming back here. I miss it already and I haven’t even left yet. 

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