As October approaches, Bali is once again gearing up for a hopeful reopening to foreign tourism, at least at some level. Under the best of circumstances, tourists will be able to enter if fully vaccinated. They must, however, undergo a week of quarantine at a designated quarantine hotel at their own cost. Not a very exciting vacation feature, as it would seem to me. Better than nothing? That remains to be seen.
In the meantime, domestic tourist visits to Bali are increasing beyond earlier expectations. So there's that.
In other news, 25 unclaimed bodies stored at Sanglah General Hospital have been cremated without being claimed. The bodies have been at Sanglah for up to two years. It is assumed that family members have not claimed the bodies because they have no money to cover the open hospital bills.
This week's stupid criminal award goes to two men who tried to steal from a construction site worker while he slept. The victim woke up during the theft and the two men fled on foot, forgetting that they left their motorbike behind. When they returned shortly to get their bike, they were taken into custody by police on the scene. Both are now facing up to five years in jail.
On my own street, there is a large boy who shows up daily at my house, usually along with the dogs or in search of the dogs. This boy, perhaps 12 years of age, is either deaf or retarded or both. Louis tells me that he is merely deaf, and I suppose that could be so. The boy does not speak other than to make noises. He has kind of taken it upon himself to arrange various things in my house for me. For instance, he opens both leaves of my gate in the morning. When he enters the house, which happens as soon as I get out of bed, he opens the sliding back door for me and draws the curtains. When I get my morning tea, he presses the hot water button on the water dispenser.
This boy is particularly interested in grooming the dogs, by which I mean that he likes to hunt through their fur and remove fleas and ticks. Who needs a flea collar, right? This actually has always seemed kind of gross to me, but Louis used to like to do the same thing, plucking off fleas and other bugs in a way that seemed nearly obsessive. The dogs don't mind, by the way.
And speaking of grooming, Otis, the one dog among the pack who is less aggressive and rough than the others, enjoys nothing more than grooming his siblings, especially when they are napping and not up to resisting his efforts. He will lick the inside of their ears tirelessly, then nibble into their fur from head to toe. So if the big deaf boy is not around, there is still Otis to get the job done. Better them than me.
You may have seen from time to time an endearing story on Facebook or whatever about an animal of one kind taking care of an animal of another--a dog with a raccoon, for instance, or a cat with a duck. Well, there is a little poodle-like dog named Lolli who lives just around the corner from me, and Lolli, at some point recently, brought home a very tiny kitten from who knows where. The kitten has one blue eye and one gray eye and has decided that Lolli is her (or his) mother. The amazing part is that Lolli, who has no offspring of her own, has actually managed to produce milk for this tiny kitten. You know, I really ought to get a video of this. Post it on Facebook or something.