Monday, 29 June 2009


Pan-Pacific letch Leonard Lueras recently asked me to write the foreword for his coming book on Mertasari (the southern tip of Sanur before it turns into mangrove swamp).

I called the piece “A New Place for Old People.”

This morning I went to Mertasari Beach to photograph the Bali Trailblazer’s Mountain Bike Holiday Team for the coming Bali Triathlon (Four Seasons Jimbaran, 29 June 2009) and discovered a whole new scene down there by the temple and Lover’s Corner! (See photos).

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Lovely English lass Claire Price has been training the team (see photos) for the relay event (there’s an Ozzie ring-in in the swimming section) and also five long-distance runners from Timor and Timor Leste (the Ethiopia of South-East Asia, runners-wise, it seems).


Friday, 26 June 2009

Bungklang Bungkling: BALINESE CAKES

Taken from ‘Bungklang Bungkling’, ‘Klepon’, featured in Bali Post, Sunday, 201st June 2009,
a column by I Wayan Juniartha

Translated by Putu Semiada

Balinese Cakes

We have a question here: Why are Balinese cakes less popular than western ones?

“Please don’t compare Balinese cakes with western ones. They are even nothing compared to Javanese cakes,” I Made Kliad Kliud says.

Since the arak oplosan case, the members of the local drinking club now prefer having coffee. As coffee only matches with cakes, instead of baked spiced meat (pesan), steamed chopped meat (tum), they are all talking about traditional cakes.

Why do you think Balinese cakes are less popular than Javanese ones, ? I Wayan Ajeg Bali asks.

When talking about Bali, he becomes a fanatic one. Wayan always assume that everything Balinese is the best. Things not Balinese are considered as inferior. That’s why we call them ‘dauh tukad’ (lit: west of river, meaning outside Bali), instead of ‘duur langit’ (above the sky).

Why did you pretend you know nothing? Don’t you know about laklak masebun Banyuwangi ane nyangluh muduhin (lit: delicious Balinese cake with Banyuwangi flavour, meaning young ‘Banyuwangi chicks’),” I Made asks.

Everybody is laughing loudly. They know that I Made has dirty mind. Every time he talks something, he will relate it to something porn.

“It is common, you know, that Balinese cakes are related to something porn. Haven’t you heard the song ‘jaja uli, jaja gina satuh-satuh’ (meaning ‘a pussy is supposed to be f-cked),” I Made keeps talking.

The conversation is getting exciting. It looks like presidential political debate; they are just talking one to another, but not debating. They just agree what the other says. Not exciting at all.

“Balinese cakes need diversification,” I Made further says.

The flavours are very limited because of the ingredients: sticky rice, rice, Balinese sugar, coconut, bananas, jackfruit and artificial colours. If the person is creative, he or she will add something different.

“Look at western food, say, donut. You know, it even can have 50 different flavours! Chocolate, cheese, green tea, strawberry, blueberry, etc. Too many that I can’t mention all one by one. My tongue stuck having said too many English words.

And look also their colours. Many different colours. Very beautiful. And look also how beautiful their packs.

“But klepon… know, it you don’t eat it in one day……….it will be sour. Also, donut can stand for weeks if you put in the fridge, and it’s still okay. That’s why when you buy something for gift, you buy Roti Boy, Dunkin Donut, and J.Co,” I Made keeps talking.

The Balinese cakes are placed at the corners and used only for offerings and to be eaten when you drink coffee at home. But please don’t ask for klepon when you are having coffee at malls, restaurants or cafés.

“The Balinese cakes are like our wives at home, they don’t like ‘dress up’, and rarely take a bath properly, not fashionable. So let them just stay home.

“You need to look attractive, fashionable and clean when you go out that people will adore you.

“I can say that western cakes are like prostitutes; they look attractive, modern and up to date.”

However when you are sick of modern things, tired of style, you will return home to your wife and eat traditional Balinese cakes (klepon, laklak, iwel and satuh).


I Made Kliad Kliud: always stretch his body slowly

I Wayan Ajeg Bali: love Balinese culture.

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Burial Ceremony of Muhammad Dahmun, Kampung Bugis, Serangan - Denpasar Selatan, 23 June 2009.

Photos by Ida Bagus Gede Surya

Corpse of Mohammad Dahmun (traditional leader of Kampung Bugis)

The corpse is being blessed at Mesjid Assyuhadha mosque

Chidren and grandchildren ae joining the procession from the mosque to the graveyard.

The corpse is being carried to the graveyard.

Burial procession

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Left: Sawal, the late's son
Right: the late's daughter

Adam, grandson of the late

Left: Artists at the ceremony
Right: Ida Tjokorda Istri Pemecutan (A.A. Ayu Suryaningsih, SH.)

Muslims and Hindus are side by side during the ceremony

Killing time

Fisherman statue at Serangan Island

Bugis Muslim ancient graveyard with typical architecture

Friday, 19 June 2009

INCREDIBLE INDIA : Bombay, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, June 2009