© David E. Moon, 2014  All rights reserved
Sant Mary's Cathedral, Tortosa, Tarragona, Catalonia, Spain Bali and Java, Indonesia
Bali and Java I made two trips to Indonesia, one in 1988 and a second in 1992. The first trip was amazing. Travelling alone, I did virtually no advanced planning, had no guide book, and each day picked a destination from my rather inadequate map and found my way, often by dead reckoning. Having no foreknowledge, everything was new, having no expectations, I was never disappointed, and I was frequently wonder struck by chance encounters. The people were warm, open, friendly, and hospitable. I had picked up a little Bahasa while working in Malaysia. My attempts at conversation were the source of much amusement for the locals, but it was good natured and a marvellous ice-breaker. Not once was I made to feel uncomfortable or unwelcome. I visited the islands of Bali and Java and while both were warm, friendly, and hospitable, the dominant religion on each island profoundly influenced the character of each. I travelled first in Bali where the dominant religion is a form of Hinduism and is visible everywhere, in its innumerable temples and shrines, festivals, ubiquitous religious offerings, and wood and stone carvings. Java is dominantly Muslim, and while not as pervasive, the mosques and calls to prayer create a distinctive character. Interestingly, two of its major tourist attractions are Hindu and Buddhist temples and Yogyacarta’s famous batiks often use Hindu iconography from the Ramayana. My second trip was with my future wife. This trip was better planned and the lack of spontaneity was more than made up for by the pleasure of sharing the experience and seeing much that I had missed on my first trip. Sadly, in the four years since my first visit tourism had metastacized and was spreading across Bali. A village where I had spent the night and then breakfasted with a local family for a nominal fee was now gated and we were asked for a fee to pass. The terraced rice paddies in front of a bungalow I had rented in Obud were now covered by tourist accommodations and elsewhere by massive expatriate homes. That was 27 years ago. I cannot imagine how it has changed since then, but I suspect that I would be disappointed to find that what had been as close to a paradise as I had ever experienced, not longer exists.
1988-92 Tap/Click to enter
Sant Mary's Cathedral, Tortosa, Tarragona, Catalonia, Spain
Bali and Java I made two trips to Indonesia, one in 1988 and a second in 1992. The first trip was amazing. Travelling alone, I did virtually no advanced planning, had no guide book, and each day picked a destination from my rather inadequate map and found my way, often by dead reckoning. Having no foreknowledge, everything was new, having no expectations, I was never disappointed, and I was frequently wonder struck by chance encounters. The people were warm, open, friendly, and hospitable. I had picked up a little Bahasa while working in Malaysia. My attempts at conversation were the source of much amusement for the locals, but it was good natured and a marvellous ice-breaker. Not once was I made to feel uncomfortable or unwelcome. I visited the islands of Bali and Java and while both were warm, friendly, and hospitable, the dominant religion on each island profoundly influenced the character of each. I travelled first in Bali where the dominant religion is a form of Hinduism and is visible everywhere, in its innumerable temples and shrines, festivals, ubiquitous religious offerings, and wood and stone carvings. Java is dominantly Muslim, and while not as pervasive, the mosques and calls to prayer create a distinctive character. Interestingly, two of its major tourist attractions are Hindu and Buddhist temples and Yogyacarta’s famous batiks often use Hindu iconography from the Ramayana. My second trip was with my future wife. This trip was better planned and the lack of spontaneity was more than made up for by the pleasure of sharing the experience and seeing much that I had missed on my first trip. Sadly, in the four years since my first visit tourism had metastacized and was spreading across Bali. A village where I had spent the night and then breakfasted with a local family for a nominal fee was now gated and we were asked for a fee to pass. The terraced rice paddies in front of a bungalow I had rented in Obud were now covered by tourist accommodations and elsewhere by massive expatriate homes. That was 27 years ago. I cannot imagine how it has changed since then, but I suspect that I would be disappointed to find that what had been as close to a paradise as I had ever experienced, not longer exists.
Tap/Click to enter Bali and Java
© David E. Moon, 2014  All rights reserved