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Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Bungklang Bungkling: CHILDREN (RARÉ) by I Wayan Juniartha.

Taken from ‘Bungklang Bungkling’, ‘Raré’, a column by I Wayan Juniartha, published in Bali Post, Sunday 25th July 2010.
Translated by Putu Semiada.







Children (Raré)

According to Miss No Kené No Keto (Miss Don’t Do This Don’t Do That), employing children as workers or labours is totally forbidden. “No way,” she says. Miss No Kené No Keto is a tourist who has been living in Bali for years.

She has been considered as Bulé Aga*, that is a westerner who thinks that he or she knows more about Bali than the Balinese do. Today, many tourists have become Bulé Aga. As they love Bali very much they think that they deserve to deal with all the problems in Bali, from protection of puppies, cats and other animals, to children protection in Bali.

“It is obviously indicated in the UN charters, ILO’s, Children Protection Convention, Indonesian 1945 Constitution, Pancasila (the Five Principles), the local regulations, traditional laws as well that employing children are against human rights,” she adds.

Nobody dares to argue with her, because (1) she provides them with rice wine (arak), peanuts, steamed pork (tum) and rental chairs for the children protection workshop, (2) Balinese don’t dare to argue with tourists. Balinese promote Cultural Tourism where tourists are king. Whatever the tourists say, the Balinese will nod. Whatever the tourists ask for, the Balinese will always try to provide them with, from ‘rice field’, ‘land’, mountain, to ‘lake’. When the tourists don’t ask for anything, the Balinese approach them, and offer something.

“So, you Balinese should stop asking your children to help you working or to be labourers. Let them enjoy their childhood, play and study with their friends,” says Miss No Kené No Keto.

Everyone nods. There has been no question. They give applause when the workshop finishes and compliment her accordingly. But once she’s gone, they talk to one another. That’s typical Balinese behaviour; they don’t dare to argue but prefer talking behind someone’s back instead. After that hatred usually spreads among them. Eventually, they will have a falling out, then finally find powerful healers and ask them to send black magic to hurt each other.

“Oh My God, if I ask my son to stop my other son I Putu Unyil (Tiny Putu) to help me look after my warung in the morning, who else will help then? You know, I’m always busy in the fields, my wife must feed the pigs, and our grandparents have been suffering rheumatic,” says I Made Lacur Babak Belur (I Made Poor and Down Trodden).

His friends just nod. In Bali, it is common that when one tells one’s friends about problems, they will just nod but do not give any solution, let alone help.

“I don’t think it will ruin his childhood: He still can play with his friends and he still can practice gamelan in the evening. He goes to school in the afternoon,” says I Made. He doesn’t like people accuse him of being a father who ruins his son’s childhood.

They nod again.

“I know I don’t pay him, but I don’t feel like employing him: He is my son, and I think it is still okay for me to ask him for help to look after the warung in the morning.”

Having heard this, everyone laughs.

“Don’t panic, Made, our culture is not the same as theirs. Nobody will accuse you of employing your children.

In our culture, we teach our children the values of hard-working so that they will not be ‘spoiled’ and can be ‘strong’ when they are grown up. The most important thing is that you send him to school and let him play with his friends,” saya I Pekak Pocol Ongol-Ongol (I Pekak Nod-off).

____________________________
Note from our editor: “I invented the term ‘Bule Aga” in 1985 to describe Diana Darling who was becoming extreme, fundamentally, in her Hindu-Balinese way of life.”


Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Bungklang Bungkling: Backyard (Teba)

Taken from ‘Bungklang Bungkling’, ‘Teba’, a column by I Wayan Juniartha, published in Bali Post, Sunday 18th July 2010. Translated by Putu Semiada.




Backyard (Teba)

The older the earth, the more natural disasters happen.

“Global warming has caused many problems. The obvious one is extreme climate change. As we can see recently, it keeps raining heavily all the time in spite of dry season. It seems it never stop raining,” says I Made Aktivis Pesan Klengis (I Made An Amateur Activist).

Everyone nods. They listen to I Made very seriously. They’ve never heard about the global warming.

“I haven’t heard about global warming. But the climate seems unpredictable. Any crops you plant on the field will not do any good,” replies I Wayan Belog Megandong (I Wayan Stupid Idiot).

Everyone laughs. They all understand that I Wayan never talks seriously. He is less sociable so he doesn’t know how to talk properly.

The earth is getting hotter and hotter. The ice at Pole keeps melting, which makes sea water level higher and higher. In the long run, our small island Bali might sink.

Everyone looks surprised. They think that they still can make jokes of other problems; such as heavy pouring, your laundry which takes time to dry due to rainy or cloudy weather, rheumatism they suffer which get stronger during the rainy season, etc., but Bali sinks? This is a serious problem. In fact, they all can not swim.

“I think we should ban the ice vendors, no matter what of kind of ice they sell. After that, we go to North Pole and try to stop the ice from melting,” I Wayan comments further.

They have no comments. They have no idea where North Pole is, let alone South Pole. How come they know about them while they’ve never been to Kintamani?

“You know, global warming is mainly due to pollution from fuelled vehicles and machines. The carbon dioxide blocks the heat from the sun and prevents it go through to the earth. That’s why we feel like being ‘steamed’.”

I Wayan has no comment. He is confused as he keeps thinking how the earth will look like being kept ‘steamed’. Will it become something like a cake?

“Only plants can absorb the carbon dioxide. That’s why it’s important for us to preserve the forests. And you also have to preserve your own house backyard (teba).”

They can’t believe what they hear as this is the first time someone asks them to preserve their backyards. They are usually asked to preserve their religion, culture, traditions, cock-fighting, fund-raise (bazar), black magic (leak) and kites.

“Are you serious? Isn’t that our back yard just for doing things that others shouldn’t know, such as defecating, throwing rubbish, having sex or practising leak?” asks I Wayan.

‘Well, I’ve leased my backyard to westerners (bule). The trees are gone. Now what you can see are bungalows and villas,” says I Wayan further

Everyone laugh. Now they understand that back yard has important functions.

I think I can not join the movement in decreasing global warming. I think I have a more urgent problem; I’m broke,” says I Wayan.

When you are broke, you will have headache and you won’t really care if global warming has affected the earth; you won’t care if the island will sink either as your life is already hard. So ‘Global’ Warming seems less important than ‘Global Crisis’.


Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Bungklang Bungkling: A Thousand (Siu) 


Taken from ‘Bungklang Bungkling’, ‘Siu’, a column by I Wayan Juniartha, published in Bali Post,
Sunday 11
th July 2010. Translated by Putu Semiada.




A Thousand (Siu)

The palm toddy warung is full of sekaa tuak (palm toddy association members). No seat available. They all sit ‘packed’. The situation is like people suffering from dengue having medical treatment along the hospital corridor as no more rooms available.

“It’s good time for us to get drunk,” says I Made Gentong Berondong (I Made Young at Heart).

He says that because his wife and his friends’ are at the meeting hall at the moment discussing about pornography. Hence the husbands have time to hang around at the palm toddy warung. At the meeting hall, their wives are suggested to turn their mobiles off when they make love. If necessary, all lights in the room should be turned off so nobody can’t see and record. However, when you get caught, what you need is just make a press conference and tell people that you are sorry without needing to admit what you did.

“From my point of view, Ariel, Luna Maya and Cut Tari are victims of what we call briuk siu (a thousand voices (lit.) – the majority wins). I mean, when many people ask the police to arrest them, they are soon to become ‘suspect’.”

Nobody really cares what I Made says. It seems they get bored of news about the porn video case. They think that it’s Ariel, Luna Maya and Cut Tari’s business as it’s them who enjoyed the ‘pleasure’ before’

“Why is it called briuk siu instead of briuk satak (two hundred voices), briuk samas (four hundred voices) or briuk satus tali (a hundred thousand voices)?” interrupts I Putu Asal Bunyi (I Putu Big Mouth But No Brain).

Everyone laughs. They are sure that I Putu will not be able to answer.

“You are such an idiot, Putu. Briuk siu means that the ‘majority oppresses the minority’. It always refers to negative meaning, as it is often the majority is wrong; where some people do not understand the situation but talk as if they do and act arrogantly.”

I Putu listens to I Made quietly.

“I do understand now what you say. I know that briuk siu similar to democracy,” says I Putu.

The standard practice of democracy is free general election. The winner is the one who gets the most votes. Given this, it happens that smart and honest contestant often loses against the one who have more friends, no matter how stupid and bad he is.

“Now I understand why a professor ‘loses’ against a criminal (in an election), and why a stupid regent remains in his power; why a corrupt high ranking officials are highly respected. That’s all because of our democracy is a procedural one, that is depend mainly on the majority votes.”

Now, it’s I Made who turns to be surprised. How come discussion about Cut Tari change to democracy?

“You both talk too much. You see, your tuak and brengkes were taken by other members while you were talking,” says the head of palm toddy association. He laughs loudly.

I Putu and I Made don’t dare to protest because they themselves are only two while the rest members are many. They are afraid of briuk siu which means that they have to ‘respect’ democracy.


Friday, 9 July 2010

Bungklang Bungkling: Temporary Vegetarian (Vegetarian Kejep-Kejep).

Taken from ‘Bungklang Bungkling’, ‘Vegetarian Kejep-Kejep’, a column by I Wayan Juniartha, published in Bali Post, Sunday 4th July 2010. Translated by Putu Semiada.





Temporary Vegetarian (Vegetarian Kejep-Kejep)

Everyone is surprised with I Made Tahu Tempe (I Made Tofu and Soy Bean Curd)’s behaviour. He just shakes his head when he is offered tuak and brengkes (steamed pork wrapped in banana leaf). He usually just grabs anything available in the warung, from crackers to his friends’ cigarettes.

‘Are you ok, ? Why do you look so tired?” asks I Wayan Alkohol Metanol (I Wayan Bootleg).

I Wayan is a bit worried due to the epidemic of some diseases, such as Rabies, Dengue, and HIV/AIDS which means that there are many ways to die. In fact, in old times, most Balinese died due to black magic.

I Made shakes his head. Suddenly he speaks, very loudly.

“I’m a vegetarian now.”

Now it’s his friends who shake their heads. They don’t understand what a vegetarian is. They are villagers, so the words familiar with them are ‘Ariel, Luna Maya, Cut Tari and Waka waka Samina mina.’

“Vegetarian is one who doesn’t eat meat,” says I Made.

They are all very surprised. They know that I Made likes meat very much, especially suckling pig (be guling) but now he is a vegetarian. What a big change, they think.

“You must join one of sects from India. But you know, by joining a sect, it doesn’t guarantee one to be spiritual,” says I Putu India Nehi-Nehi (I Putu Say No to Anything Indian).

I Putu hates anything Indian. He once had a bad experience with an Indian who claimed himself as yoga guru. What happened to him was that he was cheated — his money was gone and his wife was seduced by the Indian. Since then, he always tells his friends that “never trust Maha Rsi from India, but trust local priest instead.

“You know, when you just take a breath, it kills ‘innocent’ bacteria. When you walk, you ‘kill’ a lot of ants. You stop eating meat but you make food that looks like and tastes like lamb satay, beefsteak, etc. Doesn’t it mean that you still think of meat. Do you think it is spiritual?”

I Made shakes his head. “I don’t follow any strange sect. How come I join a sect when nobody trusts me to be a ‘cooperative’ member?”

“So, it is health reason behind all this? Are you afraid of too much cholesterol in your body or afraid of getting stroke? You do want to live longer, don’t you?” asks I Wayan.

I Made just shakes his head. “As a real Balinese, I don’t want to live long, I’d better die soon because of having too much cholesterol than living longer without eating pork crackling (kulit guling), pork fat soup (be genyol), Balinese vegetable with bee (lawar nyawan), smoked duck (bebek betutu), sausage (oret, urutan).”

Everyone claps their hands. Everyone is proud of I Made. He dares to sacrifice himself to maintain the tradition, including food that contains fat, blood and fried food.

“You know, most Balinese don’t live long. Whether he is a vegetarian, they live for 60 years maximum. There are some ways of how they die such as, through black magic, poisoned by greedy brothers who want to share ‘inheritance’ from their parents. Otherwise, they get stroke, or being too tired and not much sleep because of ‘ngayah’ (preparing offerings in temples).”

“So what makes you to be a vegetarian?”

“I become a vegetarian not because of spiritual reason nor health.”

“I become vegetarian because of the World Cup.”

The fact is that I Made bets on Italy. He lost Rp. 2 million. He even can not afford to buy rice and meat. He’s been starved, no money at all, and his wife expels him from their house. That’s why he is at the warung now.

“Many of our brothers become vegetarian because of economic reason: they don’t eat meat because they cannot afford to buy it. So they become vegetarian not by choice,” says I Made.

Everyone agrees with I Made. Finally, each of them gives him some money which means that he is no longer a vegetarian. He then starts to grab the steamed pork (brengkes), meat crackers (krupuk be), steamed chopped eel (pesan lindung) and palm toddy available in the warung.


STRANGER IN PARADISE: A Dalang’s Daughter Returns



Dalang Wija’s three daughters.

Once upon a time in sleepy Sanur there was a very naughty little girl called Tantri Wija. Her Balinese father, Nyoman Wija, was a dalang (puppet-master), and her American mother, Kristina Melcher was the U.S. consular agent and a gender wayang musician.

Amazingly, Tantri was born on the holy day for puppets, Tumpek Wayang, a birth date considered ‘difficult’ for any child but particularly ‘difficult’ for the daughter of a dalang.oton (Balinese birthday), but nothing really worked she needed a small country to terrorize and torment but only had us — that is, her small family, which included a saintly Nanny, called Desak Putu Gabrig and her mother’s small circle of expatriate friends.

In 1993, Wija and Kristina parted ways: there has been only sporadic communication between this column and both parties in the years since. I knew both had remarried and assumed Tantri had outgrown her ‘Medusa’ phase but I was not prepared for the shock I got when arriving at the family house in Sukawati for Tantri’s tooth-filing late last month.
Now read on:

27th June 2010: Tantri finally comes of age
I arrive at 8.30 a
.m. at Wija’s house. The compound is bedecked with offerings and decorations ― it is obviously going to be a serious affair — and find my ‘god-daughter’ in a sea of kissing cousins in a back room. She is big and beautiful — approximately three times the size of her cousins — and twice the size of her pretty Italo-Balinese sisters-in-law who, together with their Italian mother Antonella De Santis (of Ubud’s “Black Beach” Italian Restaurant), were also to have their teeth filed today.

It is very moving to meet the fine woman the terror-tot from hell had grown into — Tantri now produces films in Albuquerque (and why not?) — and has all the charm and grace of her mother, and a good dose of ‘sazzy’ too, being a star dalang’s daughter.

Wija, still a babe-magnet, wonders amongst his flock benignly.

The boy cousins are all artists and the girls cousins all dancers.


Kristina Melcher in 1979 playing the gender wayang

• • •

The exhaustive dressing phase finishes by 10. a.m. and the six teenage cousins — all in gold and yellow and white ceremonial dress — sit on the floor. The most handsome plays the guitar. Together they sing a soft ballad from local band SUPERMAN IS DEAD. It is way too beautiful — I weep tears of joy.





* * *

The ceremony starts. Present in the courtyard are the crème de la crème of Ubud expat working womanhood — dancer and anthropologist (Jero) Rucina Ballinger and writers’ festival Queen Janet DeNeefe — and a team of Italian supporters toting have-a-sacks and video cameras. They scrambled up onto the ceremonial pavilion as the first tooth-filing starts — flailing limbs and scattering cake trays — and I have to throw myself between the mob and the officiating Brahmans.

During Tantri’s dental work I hold her legs lovingly, as I have watched Balinese mums do, to assuage her fears — Americans are fussy about their pearly whites!!!...

At one point I take her hand and lay it gently on the crotch of the boy cousin who shares her pavilion ‘bed (in a nice not a nasty way) so that she will be ‘enteng jodoh’ or easily-mated.



The Seminyak contingent arrives in old Kutai


15th June, 2010: A beautiful “Hindu on the High Seas — Bali Goes to Borneo” tale comes to light.
I visit my friend fashion-designer Milo in his Dyana Pura dream house – it is his Mama’s 88th birthday! – and hear of further pilgrimages of Milo and his Seminyak ‘disciples’ to Kutai, in East Kalimantan, where Hindu first came to Indonesia in the 5th Century A.D. (see Stranger in Paradise, ‘Change in Bali’, March 2008).

A contingent of Seminyak priests and devotees — lead by the irrepressible high priest Pedanda Gunung — travelled the eight hours by road from Banjarmasin airport into the wilds of the Upper Mahakam river, to cleanse the base of an ancient stone stele whose top bit — inscribed with a Pali text that recounts the arrival of Indian Hindu priests in ancient times — is in the National Museum in Jakarta.

Milo shows me photos of the 50 strong contingents – I mean who would imagine that trendy Seminyak is also home to Bali’s most progressive crusaders!!—and describes the ceremonies that surrounded the consecration of the stele base as a holy relic by Balinese high priests.



LEFT: Pedanda Gunung and his wife
RIGHT: The bottom of the 6th century stela in its enclosure



LEFT: Milo and two angels
RIGHT: Newly sanctified stele (stele-devotion in progress)


Another great story of restoration then came to light, again involving Pedanda Gunung. This time in his home village of Blahbatuh. I showed Milo some Hindu ceremony photos I had to swap (this is what expat designers do in their twilight years) of the first appearance of the Gajah Mada mask in 500 odd years, at a big temple festival, officiated by Pedanda Gunung, at Pura Durga Kutri in Buruan Village near Blahbatuh on 26th June. Gajah Mada was the legendary prime minister of the Golden Majapahit Empire (East Java 13th – 16th century) who first united all of the Indonesian islands and much of present day Malaysia, Thailand and Cambodia too.

The mask was worn as part of the Topeng Sidakarya mask dance ritual that concludes any major temple festival in Bali.


The Gajah Mada mask is danced at the Pura Durga Kutri Temple.

• • •

Back in Sanur I have dinner with gay icon Peter Muller ― architect of the Bali Oberoi and builder of the Kayu Aya Road (a.k.a. Jalan Oberoi a.k.a. Jalur Gaza (Gaza Strip/Gay Ghetto)) ― and his Woolite heiress wife Carole. I recount how my friend Milo does extensive offerings three times a day in his Seminyak garden home oblivious to the fact that, metres away, Balinese Go-Go Boys in white vinyl harnesses are writhing on the bar counter at Bali Joe.

“Is the same Milo who used to burn up the dance floor at Gado-Gado in the 1980s?” asks Carole, the former Miss Coolangatta Water Ski 1963.

“Times have changed, Nyonya,” I gently remind her as we flick through the programme of rare Bali films from the 1930s being shown at the Amandari tonight. The film festival is courtesy of La Cinémathèque de la Danse. Incredibly rare footage of Indonesia dancers in the 1930s made by of Rolf de Maré, founder of Ballet Suédois, will be shown.

One of the films “Goona-Goona” (1938) inspired the Frank Sinatra song “Old Black Magic”; and the term “goona-goona” which remains in the New York inner city parlance for sexual favours.

“Things have not changed that much,” chimes in Carole, the last of the red hot Nyonyas!


Monday, 5 July 2010

TRAVEL DIARIES: KUPANG, BALI



Published in Now! Jakarta, August 2010

==============================================================




A toddy (lontar) palm grove west of Kupang.

The last time I was in Kupang, Timor, was in 1983, when there was gang warfare on every corner.

Last month I took an 80 minute Garuda flight from Denpasar to a new Kupang, a Kupang replete with McMansions for Korean industrialists and sportsbar enthusiasts drinking Fanta. The airport is a wonder, the roads are great; only in the hotels does one find remnants of the Soviet era, and in the country side a lot of the workers remain sloshed on sopi (the local palm today. Ed.)

• • •


A Bugis sailor paints his boat on Tenai Beach, Kupang.


Fish for sale at a roadside ‘stall’, Tenai Beach, Kupang.


I stay the first night at the basic Kupang Beach Hotel on magical Tenai Beach on the Western outskirts of the capital. The beach is home to scores of fishing vessels — beautiful Bugis phinisi included — being repaired or rebuilt on the foreshores. The villages of native huts that line the shores are packed with happy people selling fish and playing soccer (not at the same time) – all idyllic and heart-warming. On my first night I discover the Lavalon Bar on the beach in the ‘tourist strip’ near the Eastern end of town: this is ground zero for any visiting anthropologist, trekker, budget traveler or ethnophile, and the world centre of Captain Bligh worship (Bligh having navigated, miraculously, the 4000 nautical miles from Tahiti to Kupang in a long boat with no sail in 1789!!).

The owner of the Lavalon Bar and keeper of the website is a scholarly local of Kisari descent named Edwin Lerrick. His bar serves the best nasi goreng in East Indonesia and makes great drinks. Groovy music plays from speakers placed on the beach, which is a godsend in terminally ‘The Carpenters’ Kupang. Across the road from Lavalon is an excellent eatery called ‘Se’i Babi’ which serves all sorts of pork dishes and an amazing kidney bean soup.


Lithograph of Captain Bligh and his shipmates arriving at Kupang Harbour,
from Tahiti, in 1790 (courtesy of Lavalon Bar, Kupang).



LEFT: Edwin Lerrick proprietor of Lavalon Bar and Cyber Café, Kupang.
RIGHT: A barbequed pork dish at Se’i Babi Café opposite Lavalon Bar, Kupang.



Rhythm and Blues Singer at the Sports Bar, Kupang, the night of the Brazil-Portugal match.


25th June 2010: A trip to the interior

On a three hour drive to So’e, the capital of Central Timor, I see village after village of charming cottages with pretty gardens — the Timorese are very house-proud. I also see gang after gang of young men with extreme hairstyles: Timorese men are nothing if not fashion-conscious.

The So’e Valley on the plateau is to die for: like Happy Valley for Sopi fanatics.

It is raining and cool in So’e. At a shop I hear of a nearby waterfall with local huts, a sopi stall, and a BBQ Park Café nearby. We make the detour.

The seven cascades Oehalla water fall is set in the most romantic setting — with big-leafed, wild foliage and jungle mist — and there is not a soul in sight, save a dirty bemo driver with a drunk school girl in the front seat at the waterfall carpark.

Just near the waterfall I visit one of the famed Timorese traditional circular houses inside which three generations of sopi-soaks inhale smoke under a false ceiling of dried corn.

A neighbour arrives who speaks excellent English: she is just back from four years working as a maid in Malaysia and Singapore. She says that most NTT workers abroad return home and blow their money in a death spiral of excess, but that she had bought two cows and has opened a sopi-stall


LEFT: The exquisite Oehalla cascades, 5 km outside So’e, Central Timor.
RIGHT: Dreamy lopo pavilionscape at the Oehalla cascade recreation grounds simulate
a traditional Eastern Indonesian mountain village.


• • •

Back in town I move to the infinitely more Soviet-era Pantai Timur where the guest rooms don’t even have windows or plugs (I even search behind the wardrobe). After my search I tell the houseman to sweep behind my bedside table as there are old, dry condoms there and he reaches round and squeezes my bottoms and looks deeply into my eyes in an alarming way.

• • •

The only virtue of the Pantai Timur Hotel is that it is only a stone’s throw from the Lavalon from where one can be easily escorted to the downtown, harbourside Sports Bar to watch Brazil play Portugal. As Timor was once a Portuguese stronghold the locals are all rooting for Portugal: many sport the ‘Jabrix’ hair-do popularised by ‘mega-spunk of this millennium’ Christiano Ronaldo.

I have the most delicious grilled fish and enjoy the three-screen World Sport entertainment as a local band belts out international pop songs.

Kupang has become a joyous destination for the world weary.

• • •

(If one wishes to visit ancient villages like Tamkesi in the interior one needs to allow two or three days on the road, to do it comfortably. These villages have accommodation available (not budget) and are most picturesque. Visit www.lavalontouristinfo.com).

• • •

On the way to the airport I visit the fabulous Kupang Museum, with its well-displayed collection of ceremonial art and textiles and models of the pavilion architecture of East Indonesia.

Later, in the quiet airport lounge (NOW JAKARTA are very generous and fly me Business Class) I sink into my padded armchair, exhausted from the two days of gonzo sight-seeing. As I exhale, a phalanx of local Chinese merchants bursts in and heads straight for the box of free ‘Pop Mie’ cups (‘Pop Mie’ obviously, a local delicacy). The chemical concoction is devour, as if it’s their last meal. There is much shouting and flailing of plastic handbags.

Next, two Carmelite nuns come in and follow suit.

The din is unbearable.

“Don’t you people have food at home,” I quip as I head for my waiting Garuda.


Timorese nun attacks ‘Pop Mie’ in Business Class lounge, Kupang Airport.


4th July 2010: God Bless America

Back in Bali I visit Bali Joe the fabulously happening new gay bar. On separate screens, I watch the Serena Williams at Wimbledon and Argentina play a World Cup quarter final while Prince Alan, the human gyroscope Go-Go Boy, and team writhe in white vinyl harnesses on the bar (in a nice not a nasty way).

“Jai Ho” from Slum Dog Millionaire plays on the gay ghetto blasters. I suffer a bit of culture shock (after a weekend in Kupang) but quickly settle down in jock bar/jockstrap heaven in a sea of lithe revelers making the most “of the last days of the Wayan Republic” as one local pundit put it.

“Jai Ho!”


Komang Alan, star Go-Go Boy at BaliJoe’s, Jalan Dyana Pura (a.k.a. Jalur Gaza, Seminyak, Bali.