Bali Page Four
Island of Contrasts

All the info here was gleaned from several sources. Any mistakes are mine.

The original text of this page was written in November 1998 and has been edited once or twice since. Photos were updated in 2002.

All photos here have been color corrected. Photos whose names end in "a" have been cropped.

The Balinese treasure contrasts. Very much like the idea Westerners know as Yin & Yang, the balance of necessary opposites. This idea permeates their food (they delight in sweet/spicy combinations,) their sense of humor, even the landscape. The Balinese version of Yin & Yang is the checkerboard design.

Everywhere one will find the beautiful sitting next to the ugly. The useful built into the absurd. The mundane showcasing the heavenly.

Here are a few examples, along with some simply beautiful scenes.

Here is an obvious example of the idea discussed above. A Coca Cola delivery truck sitting right in front of a beautiful temple. Not just an East/West culture juxtaposition but also an example of the mundane sitting right next to the sacred. Now I suppose this sort of thing could happen anywhere in the world, but I don't think it could ever be as picturesque.

We finally get to the statue my friends called my "girlfriend." An example of East assimilates West.

Someone took an art deco body and stuck an Asian face on it. (For an extra shock, click here to compare this statue to the statue at the bottom of my Bali page 1.)

The clingy material, the cock of the hips, the bizarre paint job!

Don't say you weren't warned! Imagine taking a world famous symbol of technological achievement and putting it on the most profane object you could conceive of. The irony has another level: Toilet paper is pretty much for Westerners only.

(People throughout Asia use their left hand for the purpose, which is why you never touch someone, offer money, etc. with your left hand.)

One thing which always delighted me during my visit is how the most mundane, obvious things will often be found arranged in such a plainly attractive manner.

The is a feature along a back street in Pengosian. A rare piece of beauty created for the sole purpose of providing a spigot.

For sheer lack of anything else to call it, I dubbed this plant the "YaYa plant." Viewed from a distance it looks like just another plant, with quite the "Yang" personality.

Hidden in the spiky leaves, however, is a "Yin" display to make any orchid feel neutered. Bright, beautiful, three-petaled flowers bursting from suggestively lipped cups.

Dew-speckled Yin & Yang, sitting there unobtrusively.

As in the market photo above, this picture showcases the splendor accidentally generated by utility. The feeling of the photo makes it one of my favorites.

Another photo I like simply because of the feeling, but which also has two ladies in their finest temple dress, speeding by on a motorcycle.

More photos from Bali!
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