Bali is just 8 degrees south of the equator. The sun rises and sets every day of the year at about 6:30. Life here generally follows the sun -at least for the locals. Early to bed and early to rise. We are 15 hours ahead of San Francisco time.

Most of the Balinese people that we’ve met are named the same 4 names. Regardless of gender, the first born is named Wayan. The second is named Made. The third Nyoman (or Komang), and the 4th born is named Ketut. There are a lot of Wyan and Mades here!

Walk past an open rice field or lily pond at night and you are in for a treat! A jazz symphony of insects and amphibians, birds and roosters. Solo performances and call-and-response duets and trios abound. For days we kept hearing what sounded like goats somewhere off in the dark, yet in the daytime we never say any. Then one night, with flashlight in hand, we found the source of this loud goat mimic, sitting on a lily pad near us: a TINY frog! Larger, hopping ones cross our path at night. They seem to think that we can’t see them as long as they sit still.

But our favorite sound comes from -it turns out- the largest type of gecko. There’s one hidden somewhere in our open air bathroom (they’re harmless). At night, every 20 minutes or so, his mating call begins, gently at first: knock knock knock knock…, (a little louder) knock knock knock knock…, (louder) knock knock knoCK KNOCK…, then once more, with feeling: KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK! Then after a brief pause there follows the funniest squeeze toy sound that explodes in reverse order of loudness: GE-CKO…, GE-Cko…, ge-ckoo…, gee-ckoooooooo (out of gas at the end). We’ve heard it a hundred times, and it still makes us laugh. The sound it makes is my guess for where it got its name.

One day at dusk we saw an old man emerging from a shin-deep lily pond -where the goat frog was. He was carrying a small, round, basket, and sat it down to show us his catch. He lifted the lid to reveal a dozen foot-long, slimy “eels” of light blue, pink, and grey.

On the other side of the path, lies another field of harvested rice. It is usually where the roosters like to hang out. Every couple of days they are joined by a pair of beautiful light brown cows, who are moved around the varied fields nearby to eat the grasses. We’ve also seen water buffalo being used to plow the fields.

The mosquitoes have not been the problem that we expected. They are mostly a mild nuisance at dusk and dawn. We don’t use deet or even the bed nets at night. Though we’ve noticed that different locations around Ubud are more mosquito-friendly.

I read the last 3rd (Bali) section of Eat Pray Love, and really liked it. The book is largely blamed for encouraging the onslaught of tourists since its publication. (She just wrote her story, IMO. How others respond is beyond her control). I’ve seen 2 memorable references to EPL here, that made me smile. First, at the animal care shelter: Pet, Spay, Love. And then posted on a pole: Eat, Pay, Leave.


Matt's iphone 5-10-13 018

jens's iphone 5-10=13 007

5-12-13 m camera, g gado 047

5-12 matt iphone 008


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Bob Kauser
    May 14, 2013 @ 19:42:07

    Wow. You two have already had a lot of interesting experiences and it’s only been two weeks! I do admire your spirit of adventure. Keep the blogs coming!


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