Postcard from Sanur

Just got off a red-eye flight from Bali.

Unpacking frangipani-scented laundry, slowly… coming to grips with the emptiness of Oz.

Empty land. Empty aisles. Empty streets. Empty leaders. Empty hearts.

This red dirt reached 25 million locals in August; Indonesia has more than 10 times’ as many citizens.

Yet we fight about who can join us, shoot our messengers, blame Others, spill political blood, build higher walls.

Cities on the east of this lucky land pulse with raging roads, their angry weaponised horns blaring and snarling.

Their message, blunt: “I am entitled. I was here first. Don’t touch me. Don’t look at me. I will strike.”

Roads in Bali, Lembongan, Lombok are crazy noisy. Scary, at first, before becoming comforting, familiar, rhythmic.

Humming to a constant, chaotic beat of almost chirpy, friendly ‘toots’ to say ‘hello my friend, how are you? My wheels are behind you, you need to know, stay safe, good day, good life’, a cacophony of human wheeled life and animals – bicycles, motorbikes, small cars, work utes – two, three, four bodies to two or four wheels, proportions balanced, ratio of motors to pulses harmonised.

Horns are friends.

The earth shakes again, again and again. Earth Mother awakens. Buildings crumple.

Life is fragile, simple. People are humble.

Noodle for lunch. Noodle for dinner. Noodle for lunch. Noodle for dinner.

Hearts are full.


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