Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Silent Shrew and the Starving Child

Today my wife is angry at me. I am not sure exactly why. It could be any number of things, but must remain a mystery until she decides to speak again. She has refused to speak since about 2 in the morning, this now being 9:22 a.m. the next day. If she has a question, request, or demand, she communicates through Sasha. I in turn have decided not to eat until she speaks. We are a childish couple, you see. This tactic so far has had no effect on her silence, although it has made me very hungry.

I think we are to move out of our hotel today, but of course I don't know so for sure. Perhaps the move will be accomplished while I am out shopping, and I will find myself suddenly in the role of a street person, lugging my laptop up and down the beach, rummaging through garbage cans, bumming cigarettes. The big Kahuna.

It's another new life.

Yesterday Sasha and I walked down to Sanur beach and waded about. It's a rocky sort of beach with very shallow water, 3 feet at most, which made swimming quite the challenge. I had fun, but Sasha hated the place with a passion and insists he will never again set foot thereon.

Bought the wide brimmed hat I have been coveting and got a bollocking (Victor-the-Brit speak for cussing out) for spending 250 thousand rupiah on the same, but I like it nonetheless and my head is enjoying its presence immensely.

My body soaks up Bali like a perfumed balm, frankincense and myrrh. The jar of sweet oil is broken and lavished upon my feet, a treasure which might have fed the poor, and the purse is emptied--not 30 pieces but 30 million. I feel the guilt of extravagance, the guilt of money, the guilt of white skin, the guilt of all the riches of the Western World.

The taxi cab driver hales from the street, he tries to drive alongside, oblivious to the horns of the scooters and cars--Taxi, Mister--Where you need--Taxi ya, Mister, cheap, cheap. Another man wants to rent out his motorcycle, Cheap, murah, you enjoy. What do I need? Anything, everything--a shirt, a massage, a beer, a mango, a car, a bike, a chicken, a belt buckle, a statue, an authentic god of Bali. What do I need? They have it, they have it. Dan murah juga, murah sekali.

Everything is money, money is all--we must survive in order to struggle through another day, and sleep the lush nights dry.

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