More Questions, More Curiosity

Today, I had two more dreamy scuba dives. I saw two large sea turtles, schools of fish, and best of all, brightly-colored living coral in many configurations—despite what I expected, not all coral is dead and bleached after all.

When you scuba dive, you have to clock in “surface time” between your dives, at least an hour depending on the depth and length of your previous time underwater. While rocking on the boat to the gentle current during this interval, I came up with a whole other set of questions about Bali:

  • Why are there chickens—or are they roosters—in upside wicker baskets by the side of the road?
  • How is it possible that the 20 crates of eggs stacked and bungeed on the back of that scooter don’t break?
  • What is that giant tanker-like boat parked out past Lotus Bungalows—and why does it keep slowly rotating in different directions?
  • Why do shrines have stiff black thatch that looks like bristly black hair on their roofs rather than typical tiles?
  • Why did the middle of that rice field look like it was on fire?
  • Most of Indonesia is Muslim, but Bali is not. What religion do most Balinese practice and what are its basic precepts? (This is one of the themes of our trip—we’ll be studying this)
  • How do the Balinese, a very family-centered culture, feel about homosexuality? Has their point of view shifted in recent years? Can queer people in Bali be out?
  • Is there a place for trans people in Balinese culture?
  • What goods can you bargain for, and when you should you pay full price? What’s the best way to bargain?
  • What gestures are considered offensive to the Balinese?
  • What can be done about the plastic garbage littering in so many beautiful places in Bali?
  • There’s a white statue in Candidasa of a woman with children crawling all over her body. Who is she and what does she signify?
  • Although cars and scooters are continually honking, I’ve never heard an angry slamming honk. It’s more like music. I’m wondering if there’s a special honking language drivers use to navigate the endless flow of vehicles.
  • Why are French fries ubiquitous everywhere in the world?

Those are today’s questions. I hope as time goes on, I’ll be able to post some of the answers on this Virtual Vacation blog.

Now I’ve got to go. I’m getting ready to get picked up for a spa treatment called the Aromatic Flower Bath. It lasts two and a half hours and costs about $35.00. It’s a gift to me from my tour partners, Judy and Surya. I’m sure while I’m soaking in a bathtub surrounded by flowers, I’ll come up with some more questions.

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