On my way down to Sanur for coffee this evening I suddenly found myself in the middle of some kind of motorbike gang or motorbike club--all young men, rank upon rank, all wearing black, all riding customized bikes, which means, here, that the mufflers had been removed and the handlebars raised, thin, be-jeaned young woman clinging to waists, flying banners of long black hair in their wake, roaring down the street behind a huge white flag, and me in the midst on my little red scooter. It was jarring, discomfiting, and hilarious as hell all at the same time.
The house next to mine, long under construction, is finally 'constructed' and it appears I will have new neighbors in the next few days. This is a Balinese man and Russian woman, whom I met briefly at the house blessing ceremony yesterday. The builder, you see, must have his or her house and property blessed. I think it's actually a rule, akin to having the required construction parameters satisfied. A rather long prayer ceremony is involved and many baskets of food and grass and flowers and incense are offered to 'the house gods' (I guess). The neighbors seemed like pleasant people, but I doubt actually that I will see much of them as the door on my street front opens directly into a bathroom (which seems an odd design idea) and the other door is around the corner from my house (as the new house is L-shaped).