Friday, December 31, 2010

Christmas in Sanur

The first thing to remember about Christmas on the island of Bali is that there is none to speak of. There does exist in general among the local folks an appreciation that a time of year has come upon them wherein Western folks are wont to celebrate, but the exact nature of what these folks are celebrating remains a point of but sparse knowledge and even sparser interest. Ideologically, I mean. There is much already about the Westerner that is unusual, deviant, and this strange parade of colored lights, pointy hats, flying reindeer, and a fat man in a red suit is just one further facet to the mystery, glittering and winking in so many directions that the center of the subject remains enigmatic.

It is, however, at the least common denominator, an opportunity to sell, and so new booths spring up on the beach front, warungs are strung with lights, hung with gold and silver garland, and young girls don red hats with white fleece, and call out with renewed expectation Shopping? Shopping? Come looking at my shop, just looking Mister, yes?
The sensibilities of the West, no matter now unsearchable, all smell of money, an extravagant penchant toward purchasing the most extravagantly worthless items and carrying these away to their own countries for storage in closets or sale in garages.

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