I received bit more money from the inheritance of my mother and I decided to have the paths in my garden, till now plain, mossy, slippery concrete, cladded with little pebbles. Batu sikat it’s called, combed pebbles. A nice solution, not too expensive, the money was just enough. Wayan, Frans’ help, would come with a number of friends, they would bring the little pebbles, I had to arrange sand and cement. That arrives on the main road and has to be carried up to the house. Normally there is a number of ladies doing that job; doesn’t feel that well but that’s’ how it’s done here. This time the ladies were not available and Pak Par arranged something else. A lady who lives close by would carry the whole lot. That lady is 75 or older! I don’t think she could’ve been my mother but it’s close. There she went. Bucket with sand after bucket with sand, on her head, up the stairs, through the long alley and drop it in the back of the garden. Bags with cement, 40 kilo’s each, on her head, same way. And no opening to arrange it differently, she was happy to have work. The solution I thought of; ‘Maybe you can do the garden a bit, no heavy work, just clean a little, for the sand and cement I’ll find someone else then.’ Oh, she was willing to do the garden all right, tomorrow! First she wanted to carry the stuff. The worst part is that I’ve been hoping for most of the day that she would do it quicker, so that I wouldn’t have to watch it anymore. No Frank, that doesn’t go very quick, she’s over seventy, remember?
A bit different from the five months I have to work longer after my 65th birthday to get my pension. Yes, I know, for (even) younger people it’s even worse, up to two years, terrible….
There was (another) ceremony. I wrote it earlier, a neighbour died and the place wasn’t clean anymore. For a long day offerings were made, incense burned and prayers uttered and now it’s all okay again. Specially for me because my family grew a bit, at least ten bats are living in the top of my roof. In the daytime they hang like dark coloured rags, at night, when decent people sleep, they’re on the road. Well, that’s luck. Every Balinese would like to have them, I do. And also thirty goldfish but it’s unknown if they bring luck as well.
Last night I had dinner at Ibu Putu. She was glad that the people down the road were sent away. Muslims; made noise every Friday. In fact she would appreciate it if the tourists that were showering the place with music last night would be evacuated as well but, well, tourist… that’s not so easy. I’m not a Balinese so what can I say? But while I was writing this blog it was another night in a long row, with drums and singing from the temple nearby, I couldn’t hear the frogs anymore.
I admit, there are things that are not my forte. But, creative thinking, man, I’m a master in it. This week I had to go the a clinic, an X-ray of my lungs had to be made. I’ve been coughing for weeks now and wise friends advised me to have it checked. First I went to a clinic close by but that was no success. ‘You’ll have to go to Denpasar then.’ ‘But it says X-ray on the sign outside.’ ‘That machine is broken’ and the tone made it clear I should’ve known. And I could pay for the visit at the counter in the hall. Well, I didn’t think so. In a hospital in Mas it was no problem, had to come back the next day for the result. The night before – the time that less great minds are sleeping – I’ve been thinking what could be wrong. A lot I can tell you, creative you know. By five in the morning it was time to consider if I should put the really bad news in my blog or better not. It turns out to be an (ordinary) bronchitis, for the rest all is fine. But still, how creative I am. And it makes so very happy…
Winner WorldPressPhoto John Stanmeyer
As if there is not enough to be angry or sad about. Uganda’s president, Museveni, signed a new law that will make the life of gays impossible. American ‘Christians’ pressed an African country to make existing colonial rules even more draconian. And then that country does so in order to preserve ‘African values’. Museveni based his decision also on a ‘medical report’, a report that, according to the Mail & Guardian, was ‘adjusted’ by MP’s before handing it over to the president. The first results of all this are visible already, a few people were murdered and a newspaper is so kind to ‘out’ 200 top-gays, whatever that may be. At least it will be easier to find them.
And now? Stop developing aid is what I read. And I don’t think that that is a good idea. Certainly, all aid distributed though the channels of self-enriching morons that form a government should be stopped immediately. One can even wonder how and why they got money in the first place but maybe that’s one of the mysteries of politics. One could for instance also wonder why Janukovitsj was the flavour of the week when he planned to associate his country with the EC although, also then, they must have known he was a megalomaniac that stole from his people.
Stop with supporting governments that do not hesitate to offer the happiness of people on their altar of power and greed. Stop where there should never have been a beginning in the first place and, I think, take of our pink glasses and realize that too many so called leaders do have a different agenda than we think and hope. Look at mr. Erdogan, he has a phone.
But not helping the really needy is paying back with the same sick attitude of denying other peoples humanity. Yes, I assume that many of those that will receive help in e.g. Uganda applaud those laws. That hurts, to use an understatement, not helping though hurts even more. Misled people might take a different position if we are really interested and involved in their lives and make sincere contact, not when we leave them in their misery. ‘You don’t care about us so now we don’t care about you’ doesn’t do any good for them and even less good for ourselves.