A special club event of Harley Davidson members crowded the new semi-circular structure at Pantai Pererenan. The event is a celebration of the Pererenan side of the beach project, as the walking bridge connection to Echo Beach is not yet completed.
The surprise was how many Harleys are in Bali:
As a USA citizen I am very familiar with Harleys, and I also know of their universal appeal, but for some reason I didn’t associate Harley Davidson ownership with the spirit of the Balinese. But it’s ok to be surprised! While the Balinese show their spiritual side as truly peace-loving people, there are fierce demons to keep at bay. And perhaps the roar of the Harley engine will chase those demons away! Or, more likely, it’s simply a status symbol. The truth is that it’s yet another mystery, and living in Bali comes with a large bundle of mysteries.
Another aspect of the beach development is the increase in the building of more accommodations for newcomers.
Follow this blog for the latest developments in this up and coming area.
Plans are made, adjusted and negotiated, and then finally the workers are called so that something real comes of the plans. In this case its a lovely walking trail and bridge that connects two beaches.
The first of two bridge support runs are in place. The view across to Echo Beach.
Up close and personal with half of the bridge support. The view across to Pererenan Beach.
On the Echo Beach side there’s a lovely, curving path that leads to local food vendors, the famed La Brisa restaurant, and seafood grill operators.
Back at Pererenan Beach, only 800 meters from Ohana, workers are finishing up the concrete tile floor for a semi-circular welcome area. This entire project is shaping up nicely.
“Remember there’s no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end.” — Scott Adams
I’m becoming more convinced each day that the real benefit of travel, or expat living, or even tourism (although it’s a challenge to slow down enough as a tourist) — is the small everyday kindnesses shared among people who essentially are strangers.
In the following example, we have recently become friends (but only days ago — strangers) with our housekeeper. Kadeh is a young Balinese woman who cleans the four rooms where we rent. She is diligent and friendly and a genuinely lovely person. She also gets paid below the standard wage, from a Balinese owner, and her husband has to work in a town that’s too far away from their home. Fortunately her two kids are taken care of by her extended family and village and so Kadeh can see her children at the end of each day. She also, like many workers in Bali, works six days a week.
Photo: the author, his wife Shelly, and Kadeh, our new friend
One day Kadeh was talking with Shelly and somehow during the conversation Kadeh mentioned that she hasn’t gone shopping in ages. She neither has the extra time nor the money. And so I asked Shelly if she would take Kadeh shopping. After she chose one item (a blouse) for about 55,000 rupiah ($3.78 USD) Kadeh said she was done. Shelly said to pick another item. Then Shelly, with some convincing, helped Kadeh pick a third item (a total for the three items of $10 or $11 USD). At that point Kadeh became emotional and said it was too much. We were being too generous.
Those who make compassion an essential part of their lives find the joy of life. Kindness deepens the spirit and produces rewards that cannot be completely explained in words. It is an experience more powerful than words. To become acquainted with kindness one must be prepared to learn new things and feel new feelings. Kindness is more than a philosophy of the mind. It is a philosophy of the spirit. — Robert J. Furey
The next morning Kadeh thanked me and cried. We hugged and I mentioned that I was happy to help out.
Shelly and I have done some other, modest giving to the workers on our building project and the reaction is the same: a tremendous amount of gratitude for what, to most foreigners, is a very small amount of money.
The reality is that when you spend time in a developing country you realize that the majority of the world lives very modestly, and for the most part, happily. To participate in it, to get some joy from it, to change yourself a bit, reach out with a warm smile. See the other as an equal, in the sense that we are on the same planet, orbiting a blazingly hot sun in a terrifyingly cold universe. The stranger handing you your lovely beverage at the boutique cafe most likely cannot buy one for herself.
You don’t have to do much. Just be a small drop and let the ripple flow.