LOW FLYING ANGELS
American tourist cocked a critical eye at the lamplight t putting
a match to a kerosene lantern:
"Why the heck doesn't the hotel have electricity when it g
right past the door"
Listen carefully and I'll tell you. The spirits wouldn't like
would you Put yourself in their place. Picture floating fancy-free
for centuries around the grounds and buildings - a firefly lighting
your path here - a few stars to help you on your way there and a
sprinkling of moonbeams thrown in for good measure.
what I mean All soft and cosy like. Then, suddenly Kerput Finish
The harsh beam of neon glares down on your eve move - and every
self-respecting spirit packs it in and shoo through to a rival hotel.
So what are you left with A load of old neon - that's what you're
left with. And try making offerings to a neon light and see it can
make rain or attract new tourists
What, you don't believe in spirits
You can go to Rome and say there are no fountains - you go to Bali
and say there are no gods or demons. Few will believe you.
stately home of England worth a hoot is without a couple of resident
ghosts, and every home in Bali has its quota of demons angels, spirits
- call them what you will.
Tjampuhan, perched high on the bank of a very sacred river, is no
exception. Offerings are made on all the prescribe', days for both
good and evil spirits and little palm leaf trays' packed with flowers,
incense and small portions of food, are continually popping up without
warning in every corner of the garden - on special occasions, even
in the guest bungalows. And while many hotels seek to woo custom
by western-style gimmicks, this little hotel steadfastly turns its
back on such innovations and offers visitors a slice of old Bali
-warts and all
a result, a tiny squirrel flashes from branch to branch in the frangipanni
an arm's length from where I write. I pause to watch his antics
and two minute gold-and-brown honeyeaters dart into a neighboring
tree and hover - wings frantically beating - over a bunch of ripe
berries. Now a slim, sleek black and white bird zooms into the frangipanni
and starts wagging its tail like a metronome. Another diversion
as a kingfisher - a flash of blue feathers, scarlet beak - skims
along the river bank, below the sacred banyan tree.
such rustic harmony cannot be lightly achieved. A hotel which has
no electricity also has no automatic laundry. In place of