Tuesday, November 16, 2004

A cool Bali evening yawns its way across our balcony at the Oka Wati Hotel in Ubud. Sips of hot tea punctuate thoughts of our walk in the Monkey Forrest and the intentionally pitiful woman selling flutes at the entrance. My dark feelings of foreboading apparently from being so near the various Hindu temples keep giving way to thoughts of this inconvenient, annoying woman and how would Jesus handle the confrontation of a desperate person seeking a bit of his position of advantage.

I suppose Peter and John did it their way. And I worship the same living God but I hardly feel at liberty to say “rise up and check your bank account, I think you’ll find it full.”

All the other people going into the forest to worship carried stacks of fruit half their height towering above their heads, some with chickens strapped to the front. I wonder what she will bring to the temple. Tonight’s the last night for this festival and prayers end at 10:00 PM.
-Matt

1 comment:

Viator said...

My own experience has led me to wonder whether it was to the traveller in particular that Christ said "The poor you will always have with you." You never see these people in the postcards, somehow. Bump the camera just a few degrees over and it might revolutionize the vacation industry.

But what to do? Part of me (the part that remembers encountering no fewer than 50 souvenier vender tents lined up in a gauntlet before the entrance to the Ba Da Ling section of the Great Wall of China) is tempted to reply, "Y'mean there was just ONE lousy peddler at the entrance to Monkey Forest? And you're complaining!? Send a friggin' flute home to your mother, you rich white guy, you!"

But that strategy works well for about, oh, the first day or so, until you've run entirely out of patience, self respect, and backpack flute space. Oh, and money.

Hmm . . .
Ever considered handing out TicTacs?

Thanks for the update.
Wish I were there.