Today is the eve of Nyepi, the Balinese Day of Silence, so I'm posting early as tomorrow we'll be, well, silent. We expect the internet to be turned off during the night. We just hope they don't go full blackout and turn off the hydro.
Tomorrow the roads, usually full of motorbikes, will be deserted; the temples will go quiet; cellphones will be stowed away; and homes will go dark and silent. It will all happen suddenly, as if a light switch has been flicked off. Participation is not voluntary. The only exceptions are for medical emergencies.
This morning I watched from my door as an elderly woman made an elaborate series of offerings. She placed offerings on a platform, along the path, in the trees, and on our doorsill. An odd scent filled the air as each offering has a burning stick of incense.
We then walked to the grocery store. The celebratory mood is palpable. The streets are more chaotic than usual as some are blocked for tonight's ogoh-ogoh parade and people are stocking up for tomorrow when all the stores and restaurants and everything else, even the airport, will close. There is also the fun of watching the occasional ogoh-ogoh (pronounced a-go-go) being readied for tonight's festivities and maneuvered through the narrow streets.
I'm listening to Nina Simone, I put a spell on you.