Electricity, Elections, and Executions
I am sitting in another power outage in the Legion/Padma region, waiting in anticipation of the news from the freeworld. I cast my vote, now I wait. Children are laughing in the distance, surely enthralled by the change of electricity in their homes and in the air. Cigarettes, incense, and angered hands replace multiple fans in keeping skin absent of mosquitos. Candles are lit on front porches and the locals just wait. Westerners on the other hand grow impatient in the lack of all that is western. I run to Bintang supermarket, kept on life support by a series of generators, to grab some antacid and a croissant. The streets are bustling. I park my motorbike next the ATM's and a heavily built, security guard, armed with an AK-47. I try to look as least intimidating as possibly, pretty easy task when you are maneuvering a flower stickered scooter while wearing a pair of yellow mid-length boardshorts. At least I know my bike is being looked after quite adequately.
As of late, I have been trying to be, not do. Usually wakened by the increase in temperature or sun shining through the lace curtains that dress my windows, I rely on an alarm that is not consistent by any means, but quite pleasant. Books serve as my morning coffee, now that I have no hot water. I ration my refrigerators contents and have some bread, a little milk, a carrot and some raisins for breakfast before heading to the ocean. The parking attendants at the beach know me, do not expect me to pay to park, but I go through the ritual and spend to ten cents to say hello and start my day off with some regularity. Most days I will visit with my friends and linger around their work before and after surfing. Dedik and I agreed that is good to have a westerner around to help attract others to take surf lessons. In return, I get to see my friends and leave my boards at the school. Post surf meals are delicious, cheap, and easy access seeing that all of it is catered around on the back of motorbikes. We stay until dusk, sometimes surfing more, other times just being and enjoying the company of each other.
The mood here is different. The execution of the main "bali bomber" was supposed to be this week, with threats of retaliation made. My news has been given second hand, but supposedly they have intercepted bombs and bombs have gone off. As of my knowledge, no one was hurt yet. The newest "ticker", my friend Ketut, tells me that the execution could be postponed until after the new year. Aussies are in a tizzy, not going out at night, but daily activities seem normal.
The Balinese love Obama. They call me Barack Obama in the lineup, rolling the "r" heavily, always asking who is ahead, not quite realizing the brevity of the actual election. We hope to celebrate by having a barbeque of mahimahi, sambal, vegetables, and rice, followed by the usual drink of local spirit and soda. The guys can tell I am anxious, I feel anxious. I will likely wake up at dawn to check election coverage.
I only have a few more days here, but I am loving it.