Yesterday we were extremely lucky and were able to attend a Balinese mass cremation. Even though we are in Nusa Lembongan, and island Southeast of Bali, people here follow Bali customs and religion. Seeing a cremation was on our wish-list, so we were stoked. It being in a place we really like was the proverbial icing on the cake.
If a tourist goes to a cremation, its usually only for the parade which lasts about two hours. We were the only tourists that were there for the entire ten-hour day.
We woke up early and headed to the staging area, about a ten-minute walk from our guest house. We got there at 9:30 a.m. There was no sun, which sounds good theoretically, but here it means that it was very humid, and being in the narrow streets, it meant no breeze. The sun came out after a hour of overcast. It was a hot day with precious little shade. Lucky for us, we have already developed quite the tans, so we didn't get burned. Had this been a month ago, we would have been burned to a crisp. No pun intended.
We had a blast watching all the people and the crazy parade with one "float" so big that the crowd had to squeeze as far back as possible on the narrow steets. It was so tight that my camera almost brained someone carrying the float, and I was as far back as I could go!
There are no sidewalks, save for storefront steps and one-foot-wide raised "medians" between the street and the cement block "fences" (walls, really). It was a ton of fun, and I was alternating between taking photos with my camera and videos with Tadashi's iPod.
Around 2:30 p.m., there seemed to be a lull in the event, so we decided to take a lunch break. We had just gotten our drinks when Tadashi asked for his iPod. It was nowhere to be found. Oh no! I had lost it!
We gulped down our drinks, cancelled our food order, and hustled back to the field where the cremation events were happening. Luckily, a lot of locals were taking a lunch break too, so looking for the iPod was easier. Thank goodness someone we had met earlier asked what I was looking for. It turned out that her cousin had found an "iPhone"! She called her cousin, confirmed the color--red--and we waited fifteen minutes for it to be returned. What a relief! And what a super awesome family!!!
It seemed like the event was gearing back up by the time we got the iPod back, so we stayed to watch. It was about 3:30 p.m., and we had breakfast at 8 a.m. Luckily, I bought some banana bread as a back-up snack, so I wolfed that down. It was delicious: not too sweet, with just a hint of cinnamon.
It was a good thing we stayed, because they lit everything on fire shortly thereafter.
By 5:30 p.m. I was getting light-headed and in dire need of some real food. Tadashi wanted to stay, so I went to a nearby warung (cafe) that I had seen the previous day. I placed my order (banana juice and banana pancake) and sat down (plopped down is probably more accurate).
I could see the sunset from my seat, and it was really pretty. The beach was only 100 feet away, so I ran out to take a couple photos. This is what I got.
I went back to the warung and my drink was ready. I sensed that this would be a great sunset and paid my bill. By the time I finished my drink, the sunset had changed.
After taking a bunch of photos, I went back to finish eating, My pancake was ready right after I got back, and as I was cramming that into my mouth, (remember, I was really hungry. it was not pretty. I rarely am able to eat that quickly!), when I noticed that the light was still changing--and quickly!
After I finished gulping down the pancake, I ran back out to beach to find this:
A few minutes after, it turned to this:
Ridiculous! I could not believe how much this sunset had changed. It was a stunning evening, and I was sorry that Tadashi had missed it.
To add the icing on the sunset cake, when I turned around, the cremation event had found its way to me.
Right after I took this photo, I realized that Tadashi is just off camera on the right. Too funny.
I'll write more about that ten-hour cremation in my next blog, which will be coming soon.