A collection of short stories, essays, blog-posts and photographs from Ubud, Bali.

Tales from Ubud ~ The Apple of Bali's Eye

A collection of short stories, essays, photographs and blog-posts from Ubud, Bali. If you're here for the book, head over to The Ubud Handbook for a Covid-free read.

Pic of the Day ~ Coronavirus Pandemic Street Art

Photographs from Bali by Ubud High

Bali / Covid-19 / Couples / Long-distance relationships / Separation / Communication
Street-art by the Balinese muralist 'Wild Drawing' on separation, communication and long-distance relationships during the Covid-19 pandemic

'Message' (2020).
Street-art by the anonymous Balinese muralist 'Wild Drawing' (WD) on separation, long-distance relationships and the importance of communication during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Denpasar, South Bali, Indonesia on October 17, 2020.

Artwork by © 2020 Wild Drawing.
Photograph © 2020 Ubud High.

Pic of the Day ~ The Coronavirus Crisis in Ubud

Photographs from Bali by Ubud High

Bali / Ubud / Covid-19 pandemic / Economic crisis / Bankruptcy
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A montage of shops and businesses that have been temporarily shuttered or gone bankrupt due to the Coronavirus pandemic in central Ubud, Bali, Indonesia on October 8, 2020.

Photograph © 2020 Ubud High.

Pic of the Day ~ Covid-19 Street Art

Photographs from Bali by Ubud High

Bali / Coronavirus pandemic / Economic crisis
Street-art by the Balinese muralists 'Wild Drawing' and 'SLINAT' of a traditional Balinese woman wearing a gas-mask against Covid-19 as she chooses between her burning dollars and growing rice to survive the incoming Indonesian economic crisis caused by the Coronavirus

'Tembang Ladang Gula' (2020).
Street-art by the Balinese muralists 'Wild Drawing' and 'SLINAT' of a traditional Balinese woman wearing a gas-mask to guard against Covid-19 as she chooses between her vanishing tourist-dollars or growing rice to survive the incoming Indonesian economic crisis triggered by the pandemic.
Denpasar, South Bali, Indonesia on September 5, 2020.

Artwork by © 2020 SLINAT / Wild Drawing.
Photograph © 2020 Ubud High.

Street-art by the Balinese muralists 'Wild Drawing' and 'SLINAT' of a traditional Balinese woman wearing a gas-mask against Covid-19 as she chooses between her burning dollars and growing rice to survive the incoming Indonesian economic crisis caused by the Coronavirus

Detail of 'Tembang Ladang Gula'.
Artwork by © 2020 SLINAT / Wild Drawing.
Photograph by © 2020 Ubud High.

Street-art by the Balinese muralists 'Wild Drawing' and 'SLINAT' of a traditional Balinese woman wearing a gas-mask against Covid-19 as she chooses between her burning dollars and growing rice to survive the incoming Indonesian economic crisis caused by the Coronavirus

Detail of 'Tembang Ladang Gula'.
Artwork by © 2020 SLINAT / Wild Drawing.
Photograph by © 2020 Ubud High.

Street-art by the Balinese muralists 'Wild Drawing' and 'SLINAT' of a traditional Balinese woman wearing a gas-mask against Covid-19 as she chooses between her burning dollars and growing rice to survive the incoming Indonesian economic crisis caused by the Coronavirus

Detail of 'Tembang Ladang Gula'.
Artwork by © 2020 Wild Drawing.
Photograph by © 2020 Ubud High.

Street-art by the Balinese muralists 'Wild Drawing' and 'SLINAT' of a traditional Balinese woman wearing a gas-mask against Covid-19 as she chooses between her burning dollars and growing rice to survive the incoming Indonesian economic crisis caused by the Coronavirus

Detail of 'Tembang Ladang Gula'.
Artwork by © 2020 SLINAT.
Photograph by © 2020 Ubud High.

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Bali Blog ~ Pinned Posts

English-language media in Indonesia

File under: Media / Indonesia / Coronavirus & Covid-19 News / Bali / English-language

Dateline: Evergreen

If you're living on Bali or just passing through, you might want to keep a close eye on Indonesia's fast-changing place in the Coronavirus stakes.

For a big-picture round-up of fresh Asian stories, check in to Channel News Asia from time to time. For smaller stories that don't make it to the nationals, try The Bali Sun. Lastly, and immodestly, is Ubud High @DurianLiftOff on Twitter.

Today's Cryptocurrency prices

File under: Alternative currencies

Dateline: Evergreen

Strictly for crypto nuts.


The Crypto Kings over at Twitter

The Ubud Handbook by John Storey

Latest Posts

Kosmic Kakofany ~ Self-Enlightenment, Ubud-style

Blog / New-Age Tourism & Self-Enrichment

Tantric Embodiment / Dance with your Shakti / Cherish your Doshas / Surrender to Bliss

Nothing lasts forever, particularly in the tropics.

After ten years of staunch service, my MacBook Pro finally died. Cue a new laptop, and a month's-worth of back-up scouring, and I was ready to tap again. But one little text file from 2014 caught my eye, and I'm not sure why it never made the grade.

It was taken from an Ubud group's Facebook post – an advert during the anarchic heyday of fast-and-loose foreign self-help gurus forsaking work permits for a quick, fat wad.

It didn't take long for Immigration to bust them, and this particular sex-guru has since 'moved back to Oslo/Antwerp/Vienna' to continue his research. (The Ubud retreat centre where he practised his dark skills is still going strong, apparently, and even in these stiff Covid-depression times is charging USD$150 a night for a single room with breakfast only – retreat not included.)

Can't be bad, this Ayurvedic business. Here it is in all its glory:

‘Play with the Flow, Dance with your Shakti, Cherish your Doshas and Surrender to Bliss’

‘Tantra is the original holistic way of life, yoking body, mind and spirit into living life as a whole. Polarities of good and evil, pure and impure, matter and spirit are done away with as unnecessary barriers to a direct experience of cosmic consciousness. With great finesse, tantra uses material reality for spiritual unfoldment.

Possible side effects:

  • Mind, body and soul coming into alignment.
  • Reconnection to your physical body, your emotional body and your sexuality.
  • Clarity of mind, and taking responsibility for the reality you are creating through what you are feeding your consciousness to.
  • Feeling more joyful, vibrant, alive, passionate, sensitive, creative, empowered and connected to yourself, to your peers and your environment.
  • Experiencing what it is like to live a deep and meaningful life, to walk with ease, and flow in a wonderful world of divine syncronicity [sic].

Why people book sessions:

Illumination Process (Clearing the Blueprint of Trauma); Relationship Counseling; Inability to Self-Pleasure and Orgasm; Learning How to Give and Receive Pleasure; Relief from Pelvic Tension; Enhancing Sex Life for Couples; Recovering Sexual Pleasure after Childbirth or Surgery; Trauma; Accepting and Loving One's Body and Sexuality; Premature Ejaculation; Erectile Dysfunction; Blue-Ball Syndrome; Porn and Sexual Addiction; Anal Release for Men and Women; Trigger-Point Massage (External De-armouring); Internal/External Genital De-armouring; Psoas Release; Sensitive Massage to Arouse Sexual Energy; Throat Opening; and Vagus Activation.’

And there we have it. A relic from a rusted hard-drive, and a historical snapshot of Ubud at peak snake-trading and fakery.

'Throat-opening'.

The good news? Nothing lasts forever. Particularly in the tropics.

Latest tale from The Ubud Handbook ~ It's Silly Season Again

The Ubud Handbook / Getting Around

Renting a scooter on Bali / Motorbike crashes
Mural by an anonymous street-artist of a crashed, burned-out Honda 70 scooter on a wall near Badung market in Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia

Mural by an anonymous street-artist of a crashed, burned-out Honda 70 scooter on a wall near Badung market in Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia.
Photograph © 2020 Ubud High.

‘I'M WAITING FOR a friend on Jalan Suweta in Central Ubud. Three young Scandinavian women are at the side of the road clinching a deal on their new scooter rentals. They mount, and look non-plussed as they hunt for the ignition. The rental lady demonstrates how to switch their motorbikes on.

It really doesn't bode well...’

[ ... » Read on for the full story of 'It's Silly Season Again' in The Ubud Handbook » ]

The Ubud Handbook by John Storey

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Latest tale from The Ubud Handbook ~ An American Calonarang

The Ubud Handbook / Religion Matters

Balinese-Hindu religion / Temple festival / Odalan / Possession and trance

‘NOW YOU KNOW how Jim Carrey felt. Several nights ago, to celebrate the grand opening of the newly-renovated, Disney-style temple in Campuhan, there was a Calonarang ceremony – a spiritually-charged ritual drama where sacred masks are donned, souls are possessed by the unseen and deep trance ensues.

But this one was a little different...’

[ ... » Read on for 'An American Calonarang' in The Ubud Handbook » ]

Pic of the Day

Trance and Possession in Bali ~ Ubud High

Kerauhan / Balinese-Hindu temple ceremony / Odalan

Pre-Covid-19, a Kerauhan – a voluntary mass-possession and trance ceremony – during an annual temple festival in Buleleng, North Bali.

Possessed Balinese-Hindu women dance and pray during a mass-possession ceremony at an annual village temple festival in North Bali, Indonesia.

Possessed Balinese-Hindu women dance and pray during a mass-possession ceremony at an annual village temple festival in North Bali, Indonesia.
Photograph © Ubud High.

A Balinese-Hindu man in deep trance during a mass-possession ceremony at a village temple festival in North Bali, Indonesia.

A Balinese-Hindu man in deep trance during a mass-possession ceremony during a village temple festival in North Bali, Indonesia.
Photograph © Ubud High.

A Balinese-Hindu woman, possessed by a male spirit, dances while in trance during a mass-possession ceremony at an odalan festival in North Bali, Indonesia.

A Balinese-Hindu woman, possessed by a male spirit, dances while in trance during a mass-possession ceremony at an odalan festival in North Bali, Indonesia.
Photograph © Ubud High.

A possessed Hindu woman is supported by family members during a trance ceremony at a village temple festival in North Bali, Indonesia.

A possessed Hindu woman is supported by family members during a trance ceremony at a village temple festival in North Bali, Indonesia.
Photograph © Ubud High.

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The Ubud Handbook by John Storey

Art for art's sake ~ A Bali 'Art Attack

Balinese art / Traditional art / Contemporary art / Street art / Paintings for sale

Dateline: August 23, 2020
Painting under construction by the Balinese artist Made Tubuh from Batuan, Bali, Indonesia

Painting under construction by the artist Made Tubuh of Batuan, Bali.
© 2020 Made Tubuh.
Photograph © Ubud High.

The last time a major economic disaster hit Bali – the 2002 and 2005 bombings – many of Bali's artisans and artists packed up their easels and chisels for good. Silversmiths became taxi drivers to put food on the table; painters became barmen; wood-carvers became hotel sheet-changers as the bottom fell out of the market. The result? A generation of Balinese art that was never made.

The impact of the Coronavirus on Bali's artists and their families is crushing, and tourists won't be back anytime soon to fill the gaps. The Balinese economy is running on fumes. There is no social security and no emergency bail-outs to speak of on Bali.

'Mohamed dan Nelayan' (Mohamed and the Fishermen) by the painter Made Tubuh of Batuan, Bali, Indonesia.

'Mohamed dan Nelayan' (Mohamed and the Fishermen) by Made Tubuh of Batuan, Bali, Indonesia.
© 2020 Made Tubuh.
Photograph Ubud High.

And so to A Bali 'Art Attack at Ubud High – a commission-fee-free area for Balinese artists to showcase their work, and to hopefully sell a piece or two in the process. For young artists, it's their lifeblood; for the old, their pension; and for relatives of artists who have passed away, a chance for their families to swap some very tasty, bequeathed art for food.

All artists' or representatives' contact details are provided in each portfolio. Please contact them directly for enquiries, payment, collection or delivery.

Dig deep, or just enjoy the view...

Om Swastiastu.

Street-art in motion

The Pojoks street-art collective presents 'Rencana Bencana' ~ 'The Disaster Plan'

Indonesia / Bali / Street-artists / Economic crisis / Freedom of speech
Mural by the Balinese street-artist Wild Drawing

Untitled. August 31, 2020.
Day 3. Finished piece by the contemporary Balinese street-artist Wild Drawing.
Artwork © Wild Drawing 2020.
Image © Ubud High 2020.

Work in progress by Wild Drawing

Untitled. August 29, 2020.
Work in progress by the contemporary Balinese street-artist Wild Drawing.
Artwork © Wild Drawing 2020.
Image © Ubud High 2020.

Work in progress by the contemporary Balinese street artist SLINAT

Untitled. August 29, 2020.
Work in progress by the contemporary Balinese street-artist SLINAT.
Artwork © SLINAT 2020.
Image © Ubud High 2020.

Finished work by the contemporary Balinese street artist SLINAT

Untitled. August 31, 2020.
Day 3. Finished piece by the contemporary Balinese street-artist SLINAT.
Artwork © SLINAT 2020.
Image © Ubud High 2020.

Finished work by the contemporary Balinese street artist SLINAT

Untitled. September 1, 2020.
Day 1. Finished piece by the contemporary Balinese street-artist SLINAT. Part of the 'Rencana Bencana' ('Disaster Plan') group-exhibition at a disused, undisclosed warehouse in South Bali, Indonesia.
Artwork © SLINAT 2020.
Image © Ubud High 2020.

The Ubud Handbook by John Storey

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Pic of the Day

Coastal erosion on Bali ~ Ubud High

Climate change / Global heating / Global warming
The protective sea-wall of an upscale, beach-side hotel is damaged by unusually high tides in Canggu, Bali, Indonesia

The protective sea-wall of an upscale, beach-side hotel is damaged by unusually high tides in Canggu, Bali, Indonesia.
Photograph © 2020 Ubud High.

Sand-bags shore up a beach-side Balinese-Hindu temple damaged by unusually high tides in Canggu, Bali, Indonesia

Sand-bags shore up a beach-side Balinese-Hindu temple damaged by unusually high tides in Canggu, Bali, Indonesia.
Photograph © 2020 Ubud High.

Latest tale from The Ubud Handbook ~ The King of Stink

The Ubud Handbook / Food Talk

Durian

‘SOFT, SUCCULENT, SPIKY and stinky, the durian fruit is canonised by some and demonised by many, many more. Known to its fans as the 'King of Fruits', it's heavily rich in minerals and vitamins and a sworn enemy of free radicals.

The thing is, not everyone's on the same page – and its critics don't pull any punches when it comes to the pong.

"Ungodly."

"Like a three-week-old dead cow in custard."

"On the third bite," says one hater, "it was as though I'd just eaten a diseased, parasite-infested animal with a bad case of rabies. I prayed I wouldn't be sick because I really didn't want to taste it again on the way up." And from an international food critic: "Its odour is best described as pig-shit, turpentine and onions garnished with a dirty gym sock."

But for a durian dilettante?

The late chef Anthony Bourdain was a secret lover. Even the wandering 19th century naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace went full food-writer on it in 'The Malay Archipelago', describing it as '... a rich custard highly flavoured with almonds combined with occasional wafts of flavour that call to mind cream-cheese, onion-sauce, sherry-wine, and other incongruous dishes. Then there is a rich glutinous smoothness in the pulp which nothing else possesses, but which adds to its delicacy.'

So at least we're agreed that it's edible...’

[ ... » Read on for the full story of 'The King of Stink' in The Ubud Handbook » ]

The Ubud Handbook by John Storey

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Pic of the Day

Garbage Landfill Site ~ Ubud High

Indonesia / Bali / Pollution / Landfill / Waste / Plastic
Cows graze amongst rubbish on the island's largest garbage dump in Suwung, South Bali, Indonesia.

Cows graze among toxic rubbish on the island's largest and most polluted garbage-landfill site in Suwung, Bali, Indonesia.
Photograph © 2020 Ubud High.

Thought for the Day

Coronavirus & Covid-19 / Coping

Dateline: July 22, 2020

"Lots of people are feeling unproductive. But if you successfully infect zero people today with the virus, then you have already had an extremely productive day."

From Dr. James Hamblin, M.D. over at Twitter.

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Pic of the Day

Photographs from Bali ~ Ubud High

Balinese kite-flying season
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Pandemic or no pandemic – if it's Bali in July, it must be kite-flying weather. A beach-side kite-seller adds to the colour and inclusivity in Canggu, Bali, Indonesia.
Photograph © Ubud High 2020.

Balinese Paintings at the ARMA Art Gallery – the Agung Rai Museum of Art – in Ubud

Traditional and contemporary works of Balinese art

Paintings by Kasta, Meja, Budiana, Sugi, Turas, Kayun, Bendi, Pugug, Liyer, Pendet, Kaler, Kwandji, Kandel, Djodjol, Londo, Tagen, Regig, Tubuh, Baret, Mokoh, Turun and Asta
Tigers, deer, monkeys and rabbits roam in the traditional Balinese painting 'The Forest Scene' by I. Wayan Asta of Taman, Ubud, Bali

'The Forest Scene' by I Wayan Asta.
Fierce tigers, a lost lizard, grazing deer, relaxed rabbits and mischevious monkeys make up an atypical, dreamlike jungle scene.
Courtesy of the Agung Rai Museum of Art (ARMA) in Ubud, Bali.
Photograph by Ubud High.

Ubud's ARMAThe Agung Rai Museum of Art – is home to over 200 modern and traditional works of art that paint Bali's story in ways you've only dreamed of.

File under 'Rare Left Field'. Give yourself a break – let your eyes do the walking.

The painting 'Circle of Life' at the ARMA Art Gallery by the Balinese artist I Dewa Nyoman Sugi of Mas, Bali, Indonesia

'Circle of Life' at the ARMA Art Gallery by the Balinese artist I Dewa Nyoman Sugi of Mas, Bali, Indonesia.
Courtesy of the ARMA Foundation.
Photograph by Ubud High.

[ ... » See 29 more works of mind-bending Balinese art from ARMA – The Agung Rai Museum of Art – in Ubud » ]

Latest tale from The Ubud Handbook ~ The Land of Self-Healing and Snake Oil

The Ubud Handbook / Tourism & Self-Enrichment

Self-healing / Gurus / Healers / New-Age tourism
A night scene where leyak, or sorcerers, perform a ritual dance attended by the Queen of the Witches

'The Dance Of The Witches' by I Ketut Budiana of Padangtegal, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.
Courtesy of the ARMA Foundation.
Photograph by Ubud High.

‘MAN-BUNS, CAMEL-TOES, hipster beards and Buddha tattoos flood the downtown Ubud scene. Not enlightened yet? Then you're late to the Conscious Party.

Shake out those Kundalini Awakenings with some HoopYogini™ and Bhakti BoogieŽ at the Yoga Barn. Celebrate The Divine Feminine with a splash of Shakti Dance. Puff up your lungs in a Sacred Breathwork Immersion Workshop, insert a Jade Egg for luck at The Womb Temple and polish it off with some tantalising Manifesting And Abundance.

You know you're worth it...’

[ ... » Read the full chapter of 'The Land of Self-Healing and Snake Oil' in The Ubud Handbook » ]

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Pic of the Day

Photographs from Bali by Ubud High

Contemporary Balinese art / Murals and street art
Mural by the Balinese-born street artist Wild Drawing, aka WD, in Ketewel, Bali, Indonesia

Outdoor trompe-l'œil mural by the Balinese street-artist 'Wild Drawing' ('WD') in Ketewel, Bali, Indonesia on August 3, 2020.
Artwork © 2020 Wild Drawing/WD of the The Pojoks Art Collective.
Photograph © 2020 Ubud High.

Stencil-mural by the street artist 'Slinat' of a 1930s Balinese woman protesting against pollution and tourism in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.

Stencil-mural by the street artist 'SLINAT' of a 1930s Balinese woman wearing a gas-mask and protesting against pollution and tourism in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.
Artwork © 2020 SLINAT ('Silly in Art') of the The Pojoks Art Collective.
Photograph © 2020 Ubud High.

Mural by the street artist Wild Drawing depicting a Balinese girl from the 1930s using a smartphone near Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.

Mural by the street artist 'Wild Drawing' of a Balinese girl from the 1930s using a smartphone near Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.
© 2020 Wild Drawing/WD of The Pojoks Art Collective.
Photograph © 2020 Ubud High.

Street-art mural by the Balinese artists' collective 'The Pojoks' in Ketewel, Bali

Murals on the side of Kulidan Kitchen by the Balinese street-artists 'Timmy Turtle', 'SLINAT' and 'Gus Dark' in Ketewel, Bali, Indonesia on August 3, 2020.
© 2020 The Pojoks Art Collective, Bali.
Photograph © 2020 Ubud High.

» For more mind-bending Balinese art, take a wander through A Bali 'Art Attack at Ubud High »

The Ubud Handbook by John Storey

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Latest tale from The Ubud Handbook ~ Cinema Paradiso

The Ubud Handbook / Culture Bites

Indonesia / Bali / History / Cinema
'Legong: Dance of the Virgins' (1935) nudie-cutie film poster 1930s Bali

"Native customs, native music, native cast".
'Legong: Dance of the Virgins' (1935) bare native Thirties' film poster, Bali.

‘BOOBS AND POLITICAL CENSORSHIP have never been far from the Silver Screen. In Indonesia, they're its bedrock.

The silent flicks of Thirties' Bali sucked hungrily on the island's bare-breasted cabinet-postcard image that encouraged so many gilded tourists – and dodgy stars like Charlie Chaplin – to visit its sultry, forbidden shores...’

[ ... » Read on for the full story of 'Cinema Paradiso' in The Ubud Handbook » ]

The Ubud Handbook by John Storey

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Pic of the Day

Ecstatic Dance in Ubud ~ Ubud High

Bali / Bliss / Ecstasy / Party / Rave / Trance and possession
Ecstatic dancers bliss out in Ubud, Bali Indonesia.

Pre-pandemic, a posse of female dancers bliss out during an ecstatic dance-trance session in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.
Photograph © Ubud High.

In non-Covid-19 times, ecstatic dance sessions are regularly held at The Yoga Barn, Paradiso Vegan Cinema Ubud, the Akasha Restaurant and at the Ubud Yoga Centre. Music is usually "progressive and underground-experimental – combining deep forms of dubstep, grime, trap music, drum-and-bass, techno – and new and innovative genres of electronic music that have yet to be defined". If ecstatic dancing in Ubud is the fire in your belly, check out the 'Ecstatic Dance Ubud' (@ecstaticdanceubud) group over at Facebook.

You'll love it.

Extract from The truth about Ecstatic Dancing at The Yoga Barn by Becky Wicks:

‘... I was quite happy just to keep bopping quietly on the spot, you know, not attracting any attention as I worked through my issues – but the petite, middle-aged lady next to me felt the sudden urge to scream at the top of her lungs. With no-one else in the room making any sound at all, she made me jump by deciding, somehow, that it was time for her to writhe on the floor at my feet, yell at my ankles and then get up and beat the walls of the yoga studio like a blood-thirsty zombie in a horror film.

Seriously, she was doing things I wouldn't have done on wine. Even the really cheap wine that's mostly chemicals. Obviously, this lady must have been very stressed.’

An elderly ecstatic dancer considers her next move during an ecstatic dance session in Ubud, Bali Indonesia.

An elderly female ecstatic dancer considers her next move during an ecstatic dance party in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.
Photograph © Ubud High.

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Latest tale from The Ubud Handbook ~ The Tale of Ganesha the Globetrotter

The Ubud Handbook / Religion Matters

Bali / Balinese Hinduism / Lord Ganesha the Elephant God / Dewa Ganesa
A young Lord Ganesha writing a chapter of The Mahabharata in a stone-carver's shop in Batubulan, Bali, Indonesia

A young Lord Ganesha relaxes as he writes a chapter of The Mahabharata at a stone-carver's shop in Batubulan, Bali, Indonesia.
Photograph © 2020 Ubud High.

‘THE INDIAN LORD Ganesha certainly got around.

First stop on his round-Asia tour was a spell in Buddhist Tibet with its strong tantric leanings – a convenient spot to re-invent himself as Vinayaka and then as the dancing red Nritta Ganapati, before a full-blown alter-ego revamp as the scarlet, twelve-armed Maharakta Ganapati.

Now, Maharakta Ganapati was unusually fond of skullcaps filled to the brim with human flesh and blood, and this we might charitably put down to a bad trip.

After all, what happens in Tibet stays in Tibet.

By the time Ganesha turned up in Cambodia in the fifth century after a couple of hundred years on the road, bronze statues and stone sculptures show him as having left behind ten of his twelve arms, his large pot belly shrunk to a more modest paunch.

Next stop Vietnam, no doubt on a shoestring, before a short sea-voyage with merchant guides to Japan where it only took him another 400 years or so before he was promoted to Principal Deity in Shingon Buddhism and re-baptised as Kangiten or Binayaka-ten...’

Balinese-Hindu offerings are placed in front of a statue of Lord Ganesha outside a temple in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

Balinese-Hindu offerings placed in front of a statue of Lord Ganesha outside a temple in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.
Photograph © 2020 Ubud High.

[ ... » Read on for 'The Tale of Ganesha the Globetrotter' in The Ubud Handbook » ]

The Ubud Handbook by John Storey

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Pic of the Day

Balinese-Hindu Offerings ~ Ubud High

Full-moon ceremony / Purnama on Bali
Flower petals, offerings and incense lay scattered on the ground after a Balinese-Hindu full-moon ceremony in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.

Flower petals, offerings and incense lay scattered after a Balinese-Hindu full-moon ceremony in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.
Photograph © 2020 Ubud High.

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Latest tale from The Ubud Handbook ~ Diary of a Market Girl

The Ubud Handbook / Personal Stories

Tragedy / Suicide / Motherhood / Hope
Scarlet flower petals used for Balinese-Hindu offerings for sale at a stall in Ubud Market, Bali, Indonesia

Scarlet flower petals used in Balinese-Hindu offerings for sale at a market stall in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.
Photograph © 2020 Ubud High.

‘I DON'T KNOW HOW old I am. I was born on Pagerwesi Day – a Balinese ceremonial day where we put out offerings for our Gods to protect our homes and compounds from evil. Pagerwesi means 'iron wall' in Balinese. That's how I remember my birthday. We didn't use Western calendars back then.

I think I'm about 49 years old.

I left school when I was nine. My parents had ten children, although two of them died – my younger sister when she was still learning to speak, and my older brother when he was about ten. We don't know why they died – they just didn't wake up in the morning...’

[ ... » Read on for the full story of 'Diary of a Market Girl' in The Ubud Handbook » ]

The Ubud Handbook by John Storey

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Pic of the Day

The Bali Spirit Festival ~ Ubud High

Self-healing / Watsu / Healer / Water-Therapy / New-Age tourism
A Watsu therapist conducts a water-therapy session in a swimming-pool at the Bali Spirit Festival® in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.

A Watsu healer conducts a water-therapy session with a female patient in a swimming-pool during The Bali Spirit Festival in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.
Photograph © Ubud High.

Bali ~ Diana Darling's 'You Missed The Best Of It'

Blog / Bali / Ubud / History / Expatriates

Dateline: Evergreen

If ever you've wondered whether Ubud has always been a town of Havaianas flip-flop shops, all-you-can-squeeze-in spas, self-help havens and wood-fired pizza ovens, then you're right to wonder. Because it had a life before you and me.

Diana Darling's 'You Missed The Best Of It' will fill you in – in a nice way – on everything from wasted hippies to government censorship, naked beach-walks, lumpy mattresses and fireflies that danced their way through the night.

Excerpts from 'You Missed The Best Of It' by Diana Darling

"It used to flash out everywhere – at springs and by dusty roadsides, on stone steps, in magical drawings on cloth. It surged up through trees, bounced on fireflies, and glowed at the bottom of a dirty glass of arak. It danced in public. The Balinese were playful with the holy in those days, with their rough trance and bawdy ritual theatre. Their religion was an unselfconscious, multi-dimensional gorgeousness, which to the Balinese was just ordinary life.

Cultural tourism – conceived by prominent Balinese in the 1970s – was a strategy for somehow sharing their culture with tourists without ruining it. In those days, Balinese culture was a rural way of life with a peculiarly spectacular way of engaging with the spirit world. Then, slowly, what a tourist could see of the culture became obscured by the visual noise of new buildings and traffic jams; and the tourism product shifted from 'culture' to self-indulgence..."

Put on your space-travel sandals, grab a latte and give it a read.

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The Ubud Handbook by John Storey

Pic of the Day

The Bali Spirit Festival ~ Ubud High

Yoga / Therapy / Healing / Workshops / Classes / Retreats / New-Age tourism
Yoginis bliss out during an outdoor HoopYogini hoola-hoop yoga class at the annual Bali Spirit Festival in Ubud, Bali Indonesia.

Yoginis bliss out during an outdoor HoopYogini™ hoola-hoop yoga class at the annual Bali Spirit Festival in Ubud, Bali Indonesia.
Photograph © Ubud High.

A week-long annual orgy of yoga, therapy, self-help, music, workshops, classes and ecstatic dance at Ubud's one-and-only Bali Spirit Festival.

Indulge in a world-class line-up of Blissology Yoga™, Pirate Booty Yoga®, Black Metal Yoga™, Ethnochoreology Yoga™, Reggaelates® and Quantum Light Breath™ sessions – and all washed down with a Gong Bath®!

Namaste. See you on the mats!

A middle-aged yogini student tries her luck at a HoopYogini hula-hoop yoga class for beginners during the Bali Spirit Festival in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.

A middle-aged yogini student tries her luck at a HoopYogini™ hula-hoop yoga class for beginners during the Bali Spirit Festival in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.
Photograph © Ubud High.

A female tantric yoga instructor monitors a couple during an outdoor yoga class at the Bali Spirit Festival in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.

A female tantric yoga instructor monitors a couple during an outdoor yoga class at the Bali Spirit Festival in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.
Photograph © Ubud High.

A male yoga instructor guides his female students during a yoga class at the Bali Spirit Festival in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.

A male yoga instructor guides his female students during a yoga class at the Bali Spirit Festival in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.
Photograph © Ubud High.

An advanced yogi-and-yogini couple practice tantric yoga during a workshop at the Bali Spirit Festival in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.

An advanced yogi-and-yogini couple practice tantric yoga during an open workshop at the Bali Spirit Festival in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.
Photograph © Ubud High.

A middle-aged yogini videos an Afro Flow Yoga session on her iPad during the Bali Spirit Festival in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.

A middle-aged yogini videos an Afro Flow Yoga™ session on her iPad during the annual Bali Spirit Festival in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.
Photograph © Ubud High.

Thought for the Day

Self-Enrichment / Self-Enlightenment / Self-Discovery / Self-Healing / Self-Awareness / Self-Love / Self-Actualization / Self-Resonance / Self-Knowledge / Self-Esteem / Self-Obsession / Selfishness / Self-Fulfilling Prophecy / Self-Destruction

Dateline: Evergreen

"Narcissists never think communally. They lack empathy, have an omnipotent view of themselves, and like to believe that they are exempt from social norms. Narcissism is, by definition, an 'insight-free' zone."

(Anonymous.)

Pic of the Day

Melasti Ceremony ~ Ubud High

Balinese-Hindu religion / Beach-pilgrimage before Nyepi / Cleansing ritual
Balinese-Hindu worshipers pray with temple effigies during a Melasti ceremony at Pantai Purnama ('Full Moon Beach') in Bali, Indonesia.

Pre-Coronavirus, Balinese-Hindu worshippers pray with temple effigies during a Melasti ceremony at Pantai Purnama ('Full Moon Beach') in Bali, Indonesia.
Melasti is celebrated during the lead-up to Nyepi, Bali's Hindu New Year and annual Day of Silence.
Photograph © Ubud High.

A gamelan orchestra accompanies Balinese-Hindu worshippers during Melasti celebrations in the lead-up to Nyepi, or the Balinese-Hindu New Year, at Purnama Beach in Gianyar, Bali, Indonesia.

Pre-Covid-19, a mobile gamelan orchestra accompanies Balinese-Hindu worshippers during Melasti celebrations in the lead-up to Nyepi, or the Balinese-Hindu New Year, at Purnama Beach in Gianyar, Bali, Indonesia.
Photograph © Ubud High.

Pic of the Day

Balinese-Hindu offerings at Sebatu Sacred Springs ~ Ubud High

Bali / Hinduism / Religion / Cleansing ritual / Selflessness
Balinese-Hindu offerings of rice, holy water, flower petals, cigarettes, sweets and candy on an altar next to the sacred springs at Sebatu, Bali, Indonesia

Balinese-Hindu offerings of rice, holy water, flower petals, cigarettes, sweets and candy on an altar next to the sacred springs at Sebatu, Bali, Indonesia.
Photograph © Ubud High 2020.

The Ubud Handbook by John Storey

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Indonesia and Bali 2020 ~ A Coronavirus & Covid-19 Round-Up

If you're interested in how Bali and Indonesia are faring in the Coronavirus stakes, keep reading. I'm keeping it to a bi-monthly-ish round-up, because I can't handle a lot more than that.

If you're as sick of the whole Coronavirus deal as I am, you might be better off heading over to 'The Ubud Handbook' for a guaranteed Covid-free read.

If you want the very latest up-to-date news on the pandemic in Bali without the fluff, just check in to Ubud High @DurianLiftOff on Twitter.

Good luck.

Pic of the Day

Photographs from Bali ~ Ubud High

Coronavirus and Covid-19 / Traditional Bali / Mask / Taman Festival Bali
Mural by the street-artist SLINAT of a traditional Balinese woman wearing a gas-mask to combat air pollution and the Coronavirus at Taman Festival Bali theme park, Indonesia

Mural by the well-known street-artist SLINAT of a traditional Balinese woman wearing a gas-mask to combat air pollution – and now the Coronavirus – at Taman Festival Bali theme park in Indonesia.
Artwork © SLINAT.
Photograph by © 2020 Ubud High.

Yeah, bro, like... anyway

Blog / Ubud / Coronavirus & Covid-19 / Tourism / Face-masks

Dateline: August 19, 2020

Go to my favourite Ubud optician's to pick up a new lens prescription. There's a sign on the door that forbids entry without a mask. There's a 20-something maskless foreigner inside. I open the door and point the sign out to him.

Me, from the doorway:
'You know you need a mask to be in here, right?'

Him:
Blank stare followed by inane, gap-toothed grin.

Me, fishing in my bag:
'Would you like a mask?'

Him:
'Naa, y'aright man.'

Me:
'You from the States?'

Him, looking four-percent-embarrassed:
'Yeah.'

Me, feeling like pushing his head hard through the glass display-case:
'Well, that figures.'

Him, beginning to realise that I despise him. Inane grin falters, but only for a second, before he leans over the display-case and speaks and spits into the sales-girls' eyes.

This is why we can't have nice things.

Brown lives matter, too.

[For more adventures in Covidland at Ubud High, see 'Marked for life'.]

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Indonesia breaks record daily Covid-19 death-toll and surpasses China in cases

File under: Coronavirus & Covid-19 / Indonesia

Dateline: July 22, 2020

Indonesia has hit a record daily death toll of 127 to conclude the deadliest week in the country's outbreak to date. Indonesia has now surpassed mainland China in its total number of Covid-19 cases, after recording 1,752 new daily infections on July 18.

Aerial view of the Covid-19 cemetery in Pondok Rangon, East Jakarta, Java, Indonesia

Aerial view of the Covid-19 cemetery in Pondok Rangon, East Jakarta, Java, Indonesia on July 19, 2020.
© B1 Photo/Joanito de Saojoao.

Graphic chart illustrating Indonesia's Coronavirus cases surpassing those of Mainland China on July 18, 2020.

Graphic chart illustrating Indonesia's Novel Coronavirus cases surpassing those of Mainland China on July 18, 2020.
© 2020 Jakarta Post.

Indonesia's latest tally is 84,882 cases, while China reported just 22 new daily cases to bring its total to 83,644.

It's unclear whether Indonesia's most recent death count includes both deaths of probable and confirmed cases.

Epidemiologist Riris Andono Ahmad from Gadjah Mada University claimed on July 21 that Indonesia could see a shortened doubling-period for Covid-19 cases, possibly causing the country to become one of the worst affected in the world if there is no intervention.

Source: [Jakarta Globe | Jakarta Post | Jakarta Post]

Covid Thought for the Day

File under: Coronavirus & Covid-19 / Face-masks / Anti-Maskers

Dateline: July 19, 2020

Arguing with an anti-masker is like playing chess with a pigeon. They knock over all the pieces, shit on the board and then strut around as if they've won.

Way to go ~ Indonesia's 'New Normal' immigration sweep

File under: Indonesia / Bali / Immigration / Foreigners

Dateline: July 16, 2020

On top of Immigration's sudden 'New Normal' reversal of emergency-stay visas for foreigners caught in Bali during lockdown, there's a weirder cloud on the horizon for visitors to Indonesia.

The Immigration Directorate General is waiting on President Widodo's green light to launch a surveillance system that has been developed to track foreigners during their stay in Indonesia.

The system will involve a QR code that is "attached to foreigners' passports or visas and detect their movement by tracking their transactions in public facilities, such as hotels and restaurants, and ticket purchases for public transportation".

How exactly is that going to work? Does the QR code incorporate a trackable chip, or will you need to produce your passport and have the code scanned every time you want to buy a Coke at Circle K? Will a foreigner have to surrender bank-card details before they're allowed into the country? And what happens to the QR code once you've gone home?

Unless a foreigner is required to carry their passport at all times – stupid, as losing it is disastrous, and a photocopy (at least on Bali) is still sufficient for most things – just what will it involve?

Why are they developing this? Well, "... in part, to respond to cases of foreign fugitives escaping to Indonesia". So what are the other parts?

If you think this sounds far-fetched, or that it contravenes every basic right you have as a human being, then you could be in for a rude awakening. Indonesia has a history of sudden, far-reaching sweeps of foreigners from time to time, and it may be that Covid-19 – and 'foreign fugitives' – are the convenient, catch-all catalysts for an incoming cull.

Indonesia's in the middle of an ocean or two, and things happen fast at sea.

Bear in mind that there is an elemental maxim for all foreigners who live in Indonesia: you have no rights here whatsoever, and you never will. Sorry to burst your bubble.

And if you think that you do have rights here, and are ready to stick your neck out for them, then you should probably just leave the country before you get yourself into trouble.

They may as well open a tattoo parlour at the airport and ink us up with an indelible bar-code on our foreheads before we hit the beaches.

[Source: Jakarta Post | Coconuts Bali | The Bali Sun]

Coronavirus update for Indonesia ~ Cases and Deaths

File under: Coronavirus & Covid-19 / Indonesia

Dateline: July 10, 2020

According to government figures, there have been 70,736 Coronavirus cases across the archipelago to date – with 3,417 deaths. A month ago, on June 10th, Indonesia recorded 33,076 Covid-19 cases and 1,293 deaths from the disease.

Put more simply, the number of Coronavirus cases in Indonesia has risen by 114 percent in 30 days, and the number of deaths has jumped by 164 percent.

Indonesia is currently following the Covid-19 case/death trajectories of India and Brazil – heavily-populated countries with limited or poor healthcare facilities, high rates of poverty and extremely low Coronavirus testing rates per capita.

Daily new confirmed deaths from Covid-19 comparing Indonesia, The USA, Brazil, India, the United Kingdom and Ital

Daily new confirmed deaths from Covid-19 comparing Indonesia, The USA, Brazil, India, the United Kingdom and Italy.
© 2020 OurWorldInData.org.

[Source: Jakarta Post | Our World In Data]

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The Ubud Handbook by John Storey

Marked for life

File under: Coronavirus & Covid-19 / Bali / Ubud / Face-masks

Dateline: July 7, 2020

It used to be that, in Ubud, you could spot a person who cared less about your life from fifty yards away. The old adage went something like this:

'If you're on a motorbike, and you see another rider near you without a helmet, stay very far away. Because a person who has no regard for their own head has absolutely no regard for yours'.

The same applies to anyone near you who insists on not wearing a face-mask. Stay far away, because they are a recognised, active vector of Covid-19 on the island, and you can be sure that they don't care whether you live or die.

Stupidity and selfishness in Ubud – in public, chiefly among the young white group – has been taken to another level. Consider these people as driving an SUV with roll-bars while heavily drunk and wearing Indy-500 safety gear. They may be young enough to weather a bout of the Coronavirus. You, or your neighbour's mum, might not.

The silver lining in this pandemic is that it visually marks out the unconditionally selfish; the (malignant) narcissists; the sociopaths; and the psychopaths among us.

Never has it been easier to recognise the people who only mean you harm.

Pic of the Day

Photographs from Bali by Ubud High

File under: Balinese dancers / Ubud
Pre-Covid-19, a troupe of Balinese dancers show a little attitude before a performance in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.

Pre-Covid-19, a troupe of Balinese dancers throw some shade before an evening performance in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.

© Ubud High.

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The Ubud Handbook by John Storey

Going full-Covid in the name of heart-centred love and light

File under: Coronavirus & Covid-19 / Bali / Ubud / New-Age tourism

Dateline: June 25, 2020

Self-styled Syrian Guru-stroke-Hypnotherapist comes to Bali to set up a Conscious Community & Holistic School Resort – The House of Om – and bills it as 'a labor of love' that 'brings together like-minded, heart-centered individuals who share the same vision of creating a new way of living in harmony with others'.

With you so far.

Mid-Coronavirus pandemic, said guru promotes an Ecstatic Kirtan event at his 'beautiful Sky Shala' for a 'bhakti celebration of community' – and encourages his acolytes to 'invite as many friends and family as you want! Our intention is to gather more than 100 Bhakti & Kirtan lovers in order to co-create an amazing celebration together!'

Sixty-plus camp followers turn up – maskless, and mostly in their twenties and thirties – and pack the Sky Shala like canned herring as they chant and sing and om and spit onto each other's backs.

Attendees at The House of Om during an Ecstatic Kirtan and Bhakti session near Gianyar city in Bali, Indonesia on June 18, 2020

Attendees at The House of Om during a mid-pandemic, post-lockdown 'Ecstatic Kirtan and Bhakti' session near Ubud, Bali, Indonesia on June 18, 2020.
© Facebook.

Social media is a wavy, double-edged dagger with a karmic twist. Post-event pictures pinned to Facebook and Instagram quickly make their way onto the Twitter desk of Bali's Immigration Department.

Attendees at The House of Om during an Ecstatic Kirtan and Bhakti session near Gianyar city in Bali, Indonesia on June 18, 2020

Attendees at The House of Om sing and chant during a mid-pandemic, post-lockdown 'Ecstatic Kirtan and Bhakti' session near Ubud, Bali, Indonesia on June 18, 2020.
© Facebook.

Wissam Barakeh, founder of Om and super-spreader of Light and Love, is arrested by immigration officials for violating Covid-19 health protocols; Barakeh doubles-down on his sword, lies about the photographs taken at the event, accuses 'envy people' with 'low vibrations' of trying to shut down his business – and is promptly carted off.

Barakeh is currently being held behind bars at Immigration's leisure as his deportation is 'postponed until a flight to Syria becomes available'.

Oh.

That may be some time, considering most air-bridges out of Bali are shut.

Plenty of time to learn how to live in harmony with his fellow inmates, not think about tantric sex for a while, shed the ego, and hone his communal bathroom skills.

Wissam Barakeh during a press conference at the Department of Immigration in Bali, Indonesia on June 25, 2020.

Wissam Barakeh at a press conference at the Department of Immigration in Bali, Indonesia on June 25, 2020.

Hot tip while you're in hot water with officials on Bali: don't turn your back on the proceedings, because your paperwork might just take fright and disappear for another month.
© Department of Immigration, Bali.

Wissam Barakeh in jail at the Department of Immigration in Bali, Indonesia on June 25, 2020.

Wissam Barakeh, in his new House of Om, at the Department of Immigration in Bali, Indonesia on June 25, 2020.
© Department of Immigration, Bali.

If this hits a bone, you might also like 'The Land of Self-Healing and Snake Oil' over at The Ubud Handbook ... »

Pic of the Day

Photographs from Bali by Ubud High

File under: Street art / Mural / Bali / Tourism
Street art of a young foreign tourist being attacked by monkeys in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

Street-art mural of a young foreign tourist being mugged by monkeys in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.

© Ubud High 2020.

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The Ubud Handbook by John Storey

Breathwork, Ubud-style ~ Kill your neighbour, kill me

File under: Coronavirus & Covid-19 / Bali / Ubud / Tourism / Face-masks

Dateline: June 22, 2020

Just for fun, I sit outside a busy Circle K on Ubud's main street for an hour, and I count how many people are wearing masks. After all, we're at the kick-start of an airborne pandemic on Bali that's just lifting off, and I'm wondering how Ubud's New Abnormal is cracking along.

Numbers can be boring.

775 people pass on 'bikes and on foot. Out of these, 611 are local – and 568 are wearing masks. That's 93 percent who are toeing the line on their island.

Out of the white crowd, 94 out of 164 are not wearing masks. Which translates as 57 percent of white people in Ubud, in a random hour, who couldn't give a dead sow's ear whose island they're borrowing – or who they interact with while they shop asymptomatically, or whose parents or grandparents they kill on their once-in-a-lifetime Corona lockdown holiday.

Out with the old and brown, and in with the new – more often than not Russian-speaking – wave of ice-cold sea-foam.

As the Coronavirus catches fire across Indonesia, wearing a mask in public isn't optional, or a personal lifestyle choice or a political branding here – it's law.

It's official: you're not special because of your skin colour, and your breath is potentially weaponised.

Brown lives matter, too.

Indonesia records most Coronavirus cases and deaths in South-East Asia

File under: Coronavirus & Covid-19 / Indonesia

Dateline: June 18, 2020

Indonesia is now the nation worst hit by Covid-19 in South-East Asia, surpassing Singapore's 41,216 cases to take the number one slot with 41,431 cases and 2,276 dead.

While the two countries appear to be neck-and-neck in the region's race, there's a glaring discrepancy.

Singapore has been aggressive and transparent in its testing, contact-tracing, preventative measures and hospitalisation from the get-go – with just 26 deaths since the beginning of the outbreak.

Which means that Indonesia's official mortality rate – at 2,276 and rising – is roughly 8,600 percent higher than its city-state neighbour, despite a similar number of cases.

Something isn't right here, at all.

Indonesia has tested 1.2 per 1,000 people out of a population of 267 million – one of the lowest testing rates in the world – and the country currently ranks 30th in the number of Coronavirus cases worldwide.

Indonesia has also just been scored as 'moderately unsafe' in the latest Covid-19 Regional Safety Assessment report, hitting near the bottom in terms of government efficiency, quarantine efficiency and emergency preparedness.

In the same study, Indonesia ranks 18 out of 36 countries in the Asia-Pacific region – lower than Bangladesh, Myanmar, India and Mongolia.

[Source: Jakarta Globe | Jakarta Post | OurWorldInData.org | Jakarta Globe]

Indonesia's 'New Normal' ~ First milestone of 1000 daily Coronavirus cases hit

File under: Coronavirus & Covid-19 / Indonesia / Bali

Dateline: June 10, 2020

According to government figures, Indonesia hit a personal daily best in the Covid-19 stakes today with a record 1,043 new cases registered across the archipelago, and 40 deaths.

Outside of the capital Jakarta, emerging new hotspots include South Sulawesi, South Kalimantan, South Sumatra – and East Java, where infections have risen by a staggering 334 percent since May 10.

The official current national tally stands at 33,076 cases with 1,923 dead.

To put these numbers into perspective, let's do a little digging.

In March 2020, there were 4,400 burials in Jakarta compared with 3,100 during the same period in 2019 – a rise of 1,300 unexplained deaths in the megacity, and a jump of nearly 42 percent above the monthly average.

Back on Bali, 5 people have now officially died from Covid-19 – up just 4 since the resort-island with a population of 4,2 million recorded its first death three months ago on March 11. Total number of infections: 608.

Indonesia has one of the lowest Coronavirus testing rates in the world.

Do your own maths. Nothing is what it seems on the Island of Dreams.

[Source: Jakarta Globe | Jakarta Post]

Pic of the Day

Photographs from Bali by Ubud High

File under: Indonesia / Bali / Ceremonial cock-fighting arena
Cock-fighting arena in Buleleng, North Bali, Indonesia

Pre-Coronavirus, the aftermath of a cock-fight in a village arena in Buleleng, North Bali, Indonesia.

© Ubud High.

See? I told you it wouldn't be much fun.

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© 2020 John Storey.

The Ubud Handbook by John Storey

The Last Word

Portrait of the Day

Portraits from Bali by Ubud High

© 2020 Ubud High.


The Ubud Handbook by John Storey

© 2020 John Storey. All rights reserved.


The Ubud Handbook

The Ubud Handbook

THE UBUD HANDBOOK ~ Your guide to living in Ubud and Bali in a nutshell.

Chapters & Extracts

The Ubud Handbook will be published as a paperback, iBook and e-book on November 11, 2020.

Feel free to enjoy 12 of the 42 chapters. Have fun, and keep reading.


Culture Bites

Cinema Paradiso


Religion Matters

An American Calonarang

The Tale of Ganesha the Globetrotter (Excerpt)


Getting Around

It's Silly Season Again

The Other Side of the Coin

Surviving Bali on a 'Bike


Personal Stories

Diary of a Market Girl


Food Talk

The King of Stink


Tourism & Self-Enrichment

Eat, Pray, Self-Love

The Land of Self-Healing and Snake Oil

From Ubud With Love


Holidays from the Jungle

The Heads of Trunyan

A Line in the Sand (Excerpt)


The Ubud Handbook

THE UBUD HANDBOOK ~ Your guide to living in Ubud and Bali in a nutshell.

THE UBUD HANDBOOK ~ Your guide to living in Ubud and Bali in a nutshell

And finally, the weather

Today's forecast for Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

Check here for your 7-day weather forecast for Ubud and Bali.