Tuesday, August 17, 2010


Just north of Ubud the volcano rises from the crusted ooze of it's most recent eruption. The village of Kintamani is on the neighbouring ridge, its main road lined with tarnished monoliths, the crumbling dreams of the view stealers and pushers of over priced smorgasbords dressed up in silver tureens. The town feels desolate, more third world than anywhere else I've seen on the island. Hoards of tourists packed in endless buses snake their way up to take their happy snaps of the volcano and the lake below. The hawkers here are loaded with sarongs and carvings and amongst the most persistent of any in Bali. They literally climb into the car after you when you try to leave. I was driving and had a key to the safety of  the car, but whilst recovering from their assault I neglected to open the door for my friend. Engulfed by a press of  bodies, and too bound by western politeness, compassion or first world shame to use the rudeness required to claim her personal space, she was locked outside, wondering why I had not leapt to her aid. Once I realised and let her in we both laughed, but desperation stayed begging at the window.

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