12 November 2012

What day today??

Sometimes it happen lounging on a sun bed sipping a fresh cut coconut.

It can happen over a plate of nasi goreng at a local warung. It may even happen breathing in the fresh air as it blows from the sea. It’s that simple, little question: “What day is it today”?

Yet in Bali, people seem to be overcome by the Magic Island’s uncanny power to drain the mind of what should be automated thought processes. It’s not just me that suffer this condition, but my local Balinese friends too. I always get the same response – they pause, their eyes rolling upward as if searching for some form of guidance from the powers above. Only after sequentially rattling off the days of week they finally able determine what day it is today.

So why the blankness? Some may attribute it to the mystical aura that hovers incessantly over the island, the one that infiltrates every aspect of Balinese life and perhaps consequently, every soul and mind too. Others may suggest that the lack of awareness is a reflection of Balinese people and their lifestyle; the Balinese are famous (or perhaps infamous) for their relaxed yet comical persona. There is no sense of urgency to get things done in Bali. Nevertheless, the Balinese continue to smile and laugh — especially when they finally do figure out what day it is — the final stage of their answer to my seemingly simple question is instinctively a bashful giggle.

The lack of time awareness is actually quite refreshing. With the sense of urgency removed, so too is pressure. Everyday stresses are a thing of the past. The truth is, it doesn’t really matter what day it is because in Bali you acclimatize to its own, unique time zone. Each day seems to run into the next. This feeling of freedom is unique and empowering. It is experienced across the island every day, just don’t ask me which particular day.

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