Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Reading list

For those with a further interest in the region, I usually recommend two authors:

1. Elizabeth Pisani's "Indonesia Etc." and its corresponding blog. My sister Beatrix got me a copy for Christmas and the hardback is gorgeous, if somewhat impractical....

2. Farish A. Noor's "Qur'an and Cricket". A historian's travelogue. Prepare for some flowery prose.

I've just watched Pete Teo's Malaysia Day videos from 2013, with some really nice old shots of what Malaysia was like around the time of independence (the end of colonialism and the ideological struggles of emerging nation states at the time, both in this region and outside, really capture my imagination). He has the Malay version, and the English version.

For those who didn't pick up - the red shirt yesterday was in (ironic!) reference to the fact that yesterday, Malaysia Day, was when people who were pro-Malay rights went out onto the streets of KL to show their views. Red t-shirts were worn to contrast again the Bersih yellow shirts. (Bersih stands for free and fair elections.) Yellow shirts and red shirts... turning into another regional neighbour - Thailand?

Along the same theme, I am coincidentally doing some work transcribing interviews about the future of Singapore from the average Singaporean. (I don't think that is confidential.) It's interesting to get some deeper insights into the Singaporean mentality and worldview.

I wonder if Singaporeans ever get asked if they speak Singaporean (as I sometimes get asked if I speak Malaysian).

First night in Denpasar!

So happy to be here! Haha - this is what life should be like.

Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end! ;-)

Being in Denpasar feels more like being in the Indonesia I know. I kind of had the feeling I was in California or something, after spending too much time at Hubud and the Yoga Barn.....

Went straight to training with Noko and again reconnected with the capoeira community, which is always good. And obviously far more local than the Ubud crowd!

Professor Caca will be back in Indonesia in the next few weeks, giving workshops and inspiring all.

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Last night in Ubud

It's actually my last night in Ubud (for a bit) and I've been feeling a little down about it all day. Just a week ago, I was totally over Ubud and looking forward to moving on. (Isn't that always the way.) So what's changed?

Well, a week ago, my partner in crime drinking Bintangs until we got chucked out of bars, Indy, left town. At the same time, I hadn't really worked out a good work-life balance and there didn't really seem to be anyone friendly at Hubud.

Indy's inadvertent parting gift was to use up the rest of his pre-paid classes at the Yoga Barn, so I was able to attend capoeira and reunite with the lovely folk of the Ubud capoeira community (and some surprise guests from Jakarta!) I've also been attending various yoga classes, including Yin Yoga (as recommended by capoeira and yoga instructor Madeira to help with my injuries) and Restorative Yoga. All pretty good fun. Thanks Indy, it's a great gift! :)

Aside from Yoga and capoeira (best for life balancing), I've also discovered a whole bunch of cafes and bars and hang out places that I'd like to check out or work out of! And haven't really gotten round to doing!

On top of that, I've just met a couple of new people at Hubud who seem interesting AND interested, i.e. willing to share their time with me for me to learn more. Just hasn't been enough time to interrogate them!

The good news is that when I return to Ubud in a couple of weeks, Charlotte will be here (YAY!) so we can check out some of these cool hang out places together. :)

For those of you who miss my face (and even those who don't), below is what I look like wearing a red t-shirt immediately after devouring a Ubud raw chocolate mint and goji berry chocolate bar.