Friday, August 19, 2005

Father Time

Every time I am in Bali I find my self back at the bars I vowed never to revisit. It is just that after a certain time they are the only places that are open and I am usually taking some tourist friend out who really wants to see these places. The main vortex is 66 which is known as Double Six. It was a big open air bar with a large pool that hosts AJ Hackett bungee jumping. Now it is pretty much the same except that they have tried to posh it up a by closing off some areas and throwing in air-conditioning. The place is full of people looking to get laid, worn out Indo hookers, and kids strung out on E. Not really the island atmosphere I look for. Next to Double Six is Paparazzi. It is a fairly new club and it hosts more of a local expat crowd and sometimes can be a lot of fun. But usually after 3am the party has to flow into 66.

These bars are located at the end of a long road, across the street from a long sandy beach. Parking as you can imagine is quite a shag. About 100 meters or so from the bars there is a clearing in between a bunch of trees. The area has been fashioned into a parking lot of sorts. As with most parking lots in Indonesia, it is attended to by men with whistles that seem to come around only when you don’t need them and just in time to take some money off you. The area is studded with trees and can prove to be quite an obstacle course when you are trying to go home at 5 or 6 in the morning. Last week as I was walking to the clubs I see some dude in an SUV tag a large tree and he totally shattered his rear window. It was a crying shame.

All the years that I have visited the clubs here there has been one permanent fixture that I pay attention to… He must be the oldest man on Bali but he is the most fit and able parking attendant on the lot. I always tell him that he is older that time itself! Usually when I visit I bring him a snack or a drink and have a small talk with him before hitting the clubs. He does not know exactly how old he is but the man sure does have some stories. He has told me of Bali before any tourists came there and they would have only the occasional wealthy explorers come by on yachts or anthropologists coming to study them. Balinese women walked around wearing only sarongs. Locals stayed clear of the beaches fearing the demons living in the dark depths. Surfing was unheard of. He has seen the wars go by overhead and around him and he has seen the island change over the decades. When he talks of the old island you can actually see images of how it used to be in his eyes.



I took this picture when I was in Bali last June so unworry, the beard is long gone. The old man has some freaky stories too. He told me that Bali is home to many spirits. Some good and some bad of course. Numerous people on Bali are aware of this, even my immigrant friends. There are spots on the island that are known to be haunted or that are just freaky. My buddy is a villa agent and he was saying he has one villa that every one of his guests has claimed is haunted. Father time told me that when people first come to Bali they always have strange and vivid dreams. I can testify to this and so can a lot of people I know. This is not really a bad thing but some nights can be a little disturbing. It is a common known fact on the island that I find interesting. Maybe it’s the water. So you guys at the Dream Blog can come over here for some serious stories, amongst other things…

8 comments:

IndCoup said...

great photo - the old man looks a real character.

i had a very strange experience once in Bali. Stayed in this modest hotel in Ubud, and for some reason I just couldn't sleep the whole night. And I usually sleep very easily. It was really weird.

Stange thing was the next day a Brazilian girl staying a few room away also couldn't sleep. Later when someone told us the hotel was plagued by lost spirits I nearly freaked out!

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AmitD said...

damn spammers

rishtafari said...

yes i often have trouble using spanners too

AmitD said...

just use your hand dawg...:) your cottee can't be that hard...

Avi said...

Indcoup - Thanks mate. I have a lot more but this uploader takes forwever.

Rish and Amit - Time De.

Spammer - Thanks.

Shan said...

Hi avi - yes a few friends have also told me that they've felt some creepy stuff going around esp at night. But i guess with that much religious festivals, prayers and such - there has to be more to it.
Maybe creepy is the wrong word - i think that they were just scared by things that they didn't understand is all.

Avi said...

I hear you Shan. Although I found the experiences freaky I was never really scared. One friend told me a story where ghost children crossing a street forced him to slow down on a tight curve. He would have gone straight off otherwise. He was riding a moterbike. The villagers in the area told him they had seen the kids before as well.