Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Bungklang Bungkling: Yeh (Water) by Wayan Juniartha

Taken from ‘Bungklang Bungkling’, ‘Yeh’, a column by I Wayan Juniartha, published in Bali Post, Sunday 9th October 2011. Translated by Putu Semiada.

Yeh (Water)

It is said that water has been a big problem in Bali; a lot of rivers run out of water, lakes are getting shallow and ground wells are dry. In 2012 Bali will have water crisis.

“2012? Please don’t talk about 2012! I haven’t taken a bath for a week as the city water has been off, says I Made Engkah Naga (I Made Full of Bullshit).

Everyone understands well when I Made says that. Made is known for his habit of rarely taking a bath in spite of the city water supply. That’s why his friends call him cockcrow.

“Crisis is not really a problem. The most important thing is that how we can use the water wisely,” comments I Putu Tenggek Puyung (I Putu No Brain).

I Putu is a non-government organization activist who works hard in preserving the Bali environment. He ‘fights’ against high ranking officials and investors, but he never wins.

“First, you only need to take a bath once a day, only in the morning. Don’t worry if your body stinks. You’ll be able to sleep, at the end.”

His friends shake their heads. But they can understand as I Putu has never been in love yet with a girl. He might understand when he has a wife. When he does, he has to take a bath at least twice a day otherwise his wife will not sleep with him.

“Secondly, we must make our head bald so that you don’t need to wash your hair anymore. Washing hair takes much water, let alone using shampoo. A bucket of water is not enough.”

“Thirdly, change your clothes once a week. You will have only a few clothes to wash then. It saves lots of water. Or you can bring clothes to a laundry service that they can wash your clothes at the same time.”

Fourthly, do not pee too often so you won’t feel thirsty. And don’t spit too often either. If you feel thirsty, just swallow your saliva.”

They all think what crazy ideas I Putu have.

“Fifthly, Do not defecate in a toilet because it takes a lot of water to clean the toilet. Just find a bush. After you are done, clean it in on a tree trunk.” Adds I Putu.

They are a bit surprised. How can they find trees to clean after defecating? Bushes have gone; what’s left are electrical poles and house columns.

Sixthly, the most important thing, is to stop drinking water. Drink palm toddy or palm wine instead. It will save lots of water.

They all clap. They all agree on this one.

“This will become the most important contribution from the palm toddy association members for Bali on environmental preservation and water saving. So just let’s drink palm toddy and palm wine from now on.