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August 03, 2004

The Dance and Real Monkeys!!

We've discovered that Bali is chock full of culture. There is no way in the world we could see all the dances and ceremonies in a lifetime. They have a few special dances and performances set up for the tourists though and we decided to catch one. We'd heard that people here perform trance dances and proceed to poke themselves with shape objects but feel no pain or hide it extremely well. When we saw Kecak Fire and Trance Dance we were stoked! Amanda, I think, likes the whole idea of someone else suffering while she pays to watch! And only pays a measley 5 bucks or less at that! Although we were sincerely concerned that somehow someonw might be set on fire in this special trance it did not occur. Thus relieved of that nervous tension we really enjoyed the show. The stage was across town at some kind of converted meeting complex. The Kecak (pronounced Kay-chak) refers to the 50 or so guys who come out and act as vocal orchestra. That was really the best part for me. All at the same time they'd switch from "click-click-clack" at a very fast pace to "dah-duh-dah" at the very same time. All this while they would sway or move about as a group. it was like they were a school of fish and somehow acted as one being! Once they set the mood the dancers come out in their ornate costumes and perform the story. I forget the actual name of what story they were performing but it was very interesting all the same. They had godesses captured by gods and the battle to save them. It was some kind of Hindu scripture about good triumphs over evil. After that was over they started the fire trance dance. This was actually ver similar to a firewalk type of thing. They brought a huge bag of coconut husks and lit it all up. Surrounded by the Kecak choir the performer in the trance would come and walk through or kick the burning pile till it was all spread out and burned up. That was a nice ending to a cool evening!

The next morning we decided to stay cloer to our bungalow since I was in the middle of having acute "Bali Belly". Too mcu hgood food and I felt crappy-pu intended! Our short walk down the street led us over to the Monkey Forest Sanctuary. We figured we might get lucky and see a few monkey hiding in the trees or something. Little did we know that they'd be everywhere! And they were mean, greedy little bastards! Amanda was chased and attacked over a little banana! (That was absolutely hilarious). We had to make a run for it at one point and finally got to a place where the monkeys were a little more calm. At least at first. Then they decided to put on a show! I guess thats why there were lots of these guys running around! They were pretty cute and fun if they were chilled out. They would sit around and groom each other if they weren't running after you for food. Heck, we barely got to see any actually up in a tree where they belong! The sanctuary itself was a gem as well. As seems to be the theme there was a big river running through the middle and tons of carvings. It was like a scene out of Indian Jones...with tourists walking around!

Posted by Josh on August 3, 2004 04:13 PM
Category: Where are we?

WOW! A monkey chasing Amanda's banana...what a switch!

Posted by: Steven Saul on August 4, 2004 04:57 PM

I just wanted to say that you two monkeys need to hang out with your kind more often :).....

Posted by: Heather Saul on August 9, 2004 08:43 PM

How is that scratch on you leg?

Posted by: Grandma on August 15, 2004 01:09 AM
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