8degreesoflatitude

THINGS THAT INTEREST, ENGAGE AND ENRAGE

Month: October, 2012

HECTOR’S DIARY Bali Advertiser, Oct. 31, 2012

His fortnightly diet of worms and other non-religious experiences

It’s a Scream

Anyone who travels by plane – and who doesn’t these days – would be sure to get a giggle out of Indonesia AirAsia’s pre-takeoff briefing for passengers on the Bali-Perth run. The Diary had a sample on the latest SEB flit to the world’s most isolated capital city.

    Try this: “Everybody should know how to buckle and unbuckle a seat-belt. If you don’t, you should probably not be travelling unsupervised.” Or this: “If oxygen is required during the flight, a mask like this will drop from the panel above your head. Stop screaming and fit your own mask before assisting children or adults behaving like children.” Or this: “If there is smoke in the cabin, stop screaming, keep low and follow the floor lights to the nearest exit.”

     And then the killer: “This is a non-smoking flight. Should you feel an irresistible urge to smoke later in the flight, you’re welcome to smoke outside the aircraft at your own risk.”    

Tender Trap

Redevelopment of Bali’s Ngurah Rai Airport will necessarily change the way its tenants do business. This is seemingly not clear to hundreds of traders from the airport who protested outside Bali’s provincial legislature in Denpasar on Oct. 16. They are protesting over the decision by airport operator Angkasa Pura I to re-tender airport trade booths. Ngurah Rai Traders Association chairman Wayan Sukses said the airport expansion would displace traders who have made a livelihood at the airport for years.

     The issue is complex. But the bottom line – it’s one not often visibly present in complaints about changing times here or anywhere – is that business is business and trading concessions and rules-in-place cannot be assumed to be forever. The politicians who nominally have charge of the matter need to publicly acknowledge this singular, if uncomfortable, fact of life too. Commission I chairman Made Arjaya, who would like Angkasa Pura to postpone any tenders until after talks with existing traders, should note this.

     Tenders should be open and the process transparent. And of course a proportion of traders at Bali’s airport should present local products and services for selection by airport users.

     Several things are wrong with the way the airport has operated. The redevelopment is an opportunity to correct them. The extortionate taxi monopoly should go for a start.

Dish Update

Diana “The Dish” Shearin, who is hobbling and will be for a while after an accident in the shower – now recorded in history as The Mandi Incident – tells us she attended the Helen Reddy charity benefit at Anantara in Seminyak in mid-October as forecast and that she enjoyed the audience sing-along when Reddy performed the anthem of the 1970s women’s lib movement.

     The Dish tells us, and we’re sure she’s not joking, that she made up her own words: “I am Woman. My knees are sore. I went arse-up on a wet terrazzo floor…”

Zero Sum

Uli Schmetzer, globetrotter, author and journalist, was at this year’s Ubud Writers and Readers Festival. He had been invited to launch his latest book, on payment of US$500, but decided against allowing himself that privilege. He did however attend many of the events, noting that some of the panel sessions were good value, if you could sneak in without a tag.

      He wrote on his website about his experiences, saying that three methods always worked: 
             “Number One:  You clutch the Festival brochure against your chest and smile as you join the throng squeezing past the ushers at the entrance. The ushers are young volunteers, untrained, unpaid lovable local Balinese who would never ask you to show your (non-existent) tag beneath the brochure. That wouldn’t be polite in Balinese culture. 
              “Number Two: Rush in once the debate has started. Squeeze yourself into a seat. No usher has the courage to meander through the audience to challenge you for your credential. (Keep that brochure tugged against your chest). 
              “Number Three: Seat yourself on a balustrade, under a banyan tree or in a café on the premises where you can clearly hear the loudspeakers. 
              “This way one managed to attend everything worthwhile – with one exception. On the last day a beanstalk of a young Australian female usher kept signalling me across the audience to remove the brochure from my chest so she could see the tag. I kept smiling back at her which made her signal more frantically. Eventually I blew her a kiss which disconcerted her so much she dispatched one of her underlings, a young Balinese, to investigate. The guy knew I didn’t have a tag but he obviously thought I was entitled to listen all the same. ‘This is an important discussion about democracy in the Middle East,’ he whispered: ‘Everyone should hear this. Stay and enjoy.’ He was about one third of my age, but the boy has a bright future, though perhaps not as a sniffer dog at the W&R Fest. “

     Schmetzer these days divides his time between Venice in Italy and Torquay in Australia. He is the author of Times of Terror, Gaza, The Chinese Juggernaut – and The Lama’s Lover, 10 short stories from around the world. 

Big Screen

We missed the fun, of course, since we were enjoying the distinctly chillier ambience of south-western Australia’s allegedly spring-like beach weather, but it was good to hear that the 2012 Balinale International Film Festival, the sixth, went off well in its new venue – the Beachwalk cinema at Kuta – from Oct. 22-28. Co-founder Deborah Gabinetti and co-founder actress Christine Hakim announced the programme earlier in the month in Jakarta. In the absence of an international film festival in Indonesia, the Balinale has become the leading film event in the country.  Perhaps this might eventually prompt remedial, or at least catch-up, thinking elsewhere.

      The festival opened with the latest movie by director Salman Aristo, Jakarta Heart. As with his earlier film, Jakarta Maghrib, Salman’s latest offering consists of six short stories about the city of Jakarta from different perspectives.

      The movie will be released nationally on Nov. 8.

      Balinale also staged the international world premiere of the film Alex Cross from director Rob Cohen, whose work includes the box office The Fast and the Furious, xXx (Triple X), and The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor. His latest movie, a crime thriller, features some scenes shot in Karangasem, East Bali. A total of 34 films from 34 countries were screened at this year’s event.

     That other Hollywood movie, Eat Pray Love, premiered at Balinale 2010.

     Until this year the Balinale has been held at the Cinema 21 complex at Bali Mal Galeria at Simpang Siur. But that’s virtually a no-go zone while the lengthy Planners’ Nightmare Festival takes place around Dewa Ruci.

Spot of Lunch

On this Australian trip we had a very pleasant lunch at Bunkers Beach Cafe – it’s at Bunker Bay near Cape Naturaliste in WA, where the breakers on the ocean side come all the way from Africa if not beyond – that deserves being put on the record for several reasons.

     First, it’s right on the beach giving patrons a fine view of the crystal clear water and splendid surf, and of the magnificent sweep of the beach itself. It’s amazing what a clean beach and a litter-free wave line can do for the ambience. Not to mention the tourist trade: the place was packed.

     The Diary’s second delight was his choice of dish for lunch – a lovely tempeh with sweet potato and cherry tomatoes, spiced just right for the Asian palate.  Compliments were sent to the chef. They had earlier asked if the Diary was familiar with tempeh and warned that the dish was rather spicy. That’s probably sound policy in Australia, where there are sure to be lawyers around who’d offer to sue if you went to them with a tale of woe, or a lightly spiced tongue.

A Good Show

They’re raising funds for diabetes research in Australia and on Sunday, Oct. 21, we did the de rigueur five kilometres of fundraising walk that was staged in Busselton that day. It was a brisk walk – the breeze was a tad chilly though many of the locals apparently thought it was high summer – of just under 55 minutes. We were, we decided, the tail-enders in the breakaway serious walker cohort that led the way throughout. About 120 people walked and a substantial sum was raised for this vital cause.

     The beachside pathway (also a cycleway) system in Busselton features miniature road markings, possibly in an attempt to remind cyclists that their machines do have brakes. They also feature dinky little walking-figures and colourful feet impressed into the paving. It makes life interesting. It almost makes you want to go “vroom“as you step up your pace after slowing at a Give Way sign.

     We considered trying it on our morning walks here at home, after getting back on Oct. 29. But we thought better of it in the end. We don’t want to give the locals any more reasons to think we’re raving mad.

Hector’s Diary appears in the fortnightly print edition of the Bali Advertiser and on the newspaper’s website http://www.baliadvertiser.biz. Hector tweets (@scratchings) and is on Facebook (Hector McSquawky). He blogs at http://www.wotthehec.blogspot.com.

HECTOR’S DIARY Bali Advertiser, Oct. 17, 2012

His fortnightly diet of worms and other non-religious experiences

Bali be Buggered

The ruination of Bali at the hands of mass tourism and its high-end glitterati offshoot is a topic that periodically exercises many minds. Those of us who live here notice it chiefly from the strains it imposes on utterly inadequate public infrastructure. But the other side of the coin is that there are benefits too, mostly in the employment and incomes tourism generates for Balinese and other Indonesians, and these are the primary reason why tourism needs to be encouraged to continue growing.

     Nonetheless, there are significant problems, which are chiefly revealed to the world by observers who write for media elsewhere. Australian scribbler Deborah Cassrels did that most recently in The Weekend Australian of Sept. 29, with a piece that reminded our primary tourist market what a shambolic mess Bali has made of its best income earner.

     Cassrels homed in on the new Mulia at Nusa Dua. It’s an excrescence. How it got past any planner or regulator would be a mystery were it not for the fact that Badung (the regency) routinely gives provincial regulations the middle finger. Mulia has ruined Geger Beach at Nusa Dua in the name of commercial advantage without an apparent thought for the bigger picture (especially the beach and marine environments), the public status of beaches, or other, smaller and long established businesses around it, or for the future except as defined by corporate profit.

     Money talks, as the old saying puts it. And Big Money shouts. As always “consensus” – the quotation marks are essential – is achieved by measuring who has the biggest baseball bat. But on a broader argument, it is rather hard to criticise Balinese landowners for wanting some of the action; the bit not already alienated to Jakarta and Surabaya plutocrats, anyway. Bali’s dilemma is customarily sheeted home to rapacious foreign investors. But it’s the local variety that’s far more predatory and much more of a worry.

      It’s not just Mulia, though its demerits are many. Basically, everyone who can make a play is at it. At Jimbaran Beach, for example, down at the Four Seasons end, a big stone wall has been erected right on the high-water mark, altering the beach and high tide wave dynamics and just waiting for a bad weather episode that will create beach erosion havoc. Still, some fat-wallet tourists will get to enjoy the extra ration of sun lounges for a while.

     At many other places in southern Bali free access to the beach is effectively proscribed by private roads. This does every Balinese an injustice.

     Cassrels was not the only complainant on Sept. 29. Robert Schrader had a piece in the American-focused Huffington Post travel blog the same day, in which among other things he observed:

     “The tourists who visit Bali are the very worst types of tourists in the world: They viciously argue, without removing their Prada sunglasses, over 20 or 30 cents, without realising that employees in even Bali’s most posh resorts are lucky to earn this amount in exchange for an hour of extremely hard work.”

     Allowing for a measure of dyspepsia – poor Robert apparently suffered the indignity of being abandoned by his boyfriend while he was here, though it eludes us why any of his domestic distempers are relevant – we wouldn’t cavil with his argument.

     Bali needs to get its act together, certainly. But frankly, so do tourists.

An Annual Rite

It was fun to be around this year’s Ubud Writers and Readers Festival and especially, for a diarist, at the two cocktail functions we attended. On such occasions we like to pretend we’re an aspidistra, so we can hear the chatter without necessarily having to bore ourselves rigid by taking an actual part in the serious frivolities. But not to be churlish, we also make an appearance from time to time, often in search of another nice red wine, and meet some nice new chums. We met some on this occasion, from Darwin, Alice Springs, Brisbane and Melbourne, a demographic that fairly sums up the ubiquitous Australian nature of the support mechanism for the festival. Expect to see a more visible ongoing presence by the Australia Asia Institute, a government funded body, in the future.

     People sometimes wonder why the Australian presence is so pervasive – not only in terms of the writers’ festival – but simple geography, national interest (on both sides of the Arafura Sea) and the generous level of aid funding available explain that. Many more Australian dollars come here than Australian tourists, after all. And provided this traffic is managed, and conducts itself in a mannered way, it’s a good thing.

     The Australian presence at the festival grows stronger every year, which is no bad thing given the need to create some lasting symbiosis in the Indonesia-Australia relationship. It also helps in the absence of a corporate naming sponsor, though why big business is so short-sighted on this front is a mystery.

      Janet DeNeefe’s PA, Elizabeth Grant Suttie, gave us a Villa Kitty bookmark. It proclaims “Proud to be a Bali Cat”. We’re happy to have it as a memento. One’s Kindle doesn’t need it, of course, since it cleverly, electronically, bookmarks your current page, but there is yet a place for actual books (thank goodness).

Sanglah Song

We hear good news in relation to the Sanglah-Royal Darwin Hospital link, something that formally came into being while former Northern Territory health minister Kon Vatskalis was in the driving seat. There’s been a change of government in that Australian territory since and Vatskalis is now experiencing the benefits of opposition (there are democratic benefits in this process). But he tells us he’ll be keeping a close eye on the Sanglah connection and that is pleasing.

     The new government in Darwin is strongly committed, but as Vatskalis points out, it is also committed to balancing the budget and fiscal paring is always a risk in such situations. Much is made in Australia of the fact that with the assistance of the link, Sanglah is able to treat many Australians who injure themselves or fall ill while here on holiday. Less is understood – since it is not really headline material in the Odd Zone – about the incremental health gains it promises for Balinese and other Indonesians on the island.

     That’s its real benefit.  And that’s why it’s really important.

A New ROLE

Ayana Resort and Spa at Jimbaran hosted a lovely dinner on Oct. 6 at which trainee chefs and other young local people cooked a spectacular menu list and served guests as the culmination of their sponsored training at the resort.

     It is an initiative of the far-seeing ROLE Foundation.

From the Art

Bali’s unique art and culture continue to fascinate scholars and others, which is great news in an environment in which so-called global culture is trying to get us all in a head-lock. It is a heritage that must be protected at all costs and advanced where possible. So it was good to see the launch of Adrian Vickers’ scholarly new book at the Hotel Griya Santrian in Sanur on Oct. 5.

     Vickers is professor of Southeast Asian Studies and director of the Australian Centre for Asian Art & Archaeology at the University of Sydney. He says of his book, which is titled Balinese Arts: Paintings and Drawings of Bali 1800–2010, that it is the first comprehensive survey of Balinese painting from its origins in the traditional Balinese villages to its present place at the forefront of the Asian art scene.
     He told the Jakarta Post’s dinky little Bali Daily wrap-round: “One of the things that I think was a problem with Balinese arts in the past was that when people published books, they didn’t necessarily choose to exam (sic) a lot. Part of my work over the last four years has been trying to get materials from museums in the Netherlands, private collections in Singapore and the US, where there are a lot of works that have never been seen.”

     It’s a book of considerable importance – not least because its text and glorious illustrations also form an online data base – and one that will look good in the residual print section of the library at The Cage.

We’re Away

It’s not just the unnecessarily maudlin song and dance that’s been made of the tenth anniversary of the 2002 Bali bombings that’s driven us away on yet another Short Essential Break. Though the fact that Bukit Jimbaran would be a virtual no-go zone while leaders (including the “Australian premiere” in the words of the screamer of a headline in a formerly sentient English-language weekly newspaper here) and bulk supplies of tissues were being distributed for the lachrymose crowds expected at GWK was certainly a factor. Oct. 12 was a good day not to be here.

     That’s not because we should now forget the outrage of 2002 or its smaller reprise in 2005. Both were abominations at the hands of murderously deluded terrorists, most of whom are now locked up or are, so to speak, no longer among us. Good riddance to them and their perniciously skewed catechism. We must never forget. But neither should we fixate on past horror.

     Next edition’s Diary will come to you from the splendid wine regions of Western Australia, where we’re going to pop a cork or two.  We’ll be back in Bali at the end of the month.  With Vegemite supplies.  

Our Heroine

Nengah Widiasih, the 19-year-old disabled weightlifter from Kubu, Karangasem, who represented Indonesia at the London Paralympics, deservedly won the Outstanding Achievement award at this year’s YAK Awards.

     Congratulations, Nengah. You make us all feel proud – and humbled.

Hector’s Diary appears in the fortnightly print edition of the Bali Advertiser and on the newspaper’s website http://www.baliadvertiser.biz. Hector tweets (@scratchings) and is on Facebook (Hector McSquawky). He blogs at http://www.wotthehec.blogspot.com.

The Goddess of Cauliflower Soup

Another magical mystery tour 🙂

Passionfruitcowgirl

A recipe for Disaster.

Oh, this was a great blog! An incredible, witty, passionate and inspirational blog. It was My Best Blog Ever. But I accidentally deleted the whole thing fooling around on WordPress and it is lost forever.

Oh, woe!

I have been grieving for three solid hours over the loss of the caffeine-inspired brilliance of this morning’s musings in a dried out Vilcabamba. And it was upon taking stock of my accomplishments in this grief, that I began to wonder if it is not indeed time for me to launch a website selling tickets to myself.

In previous years (more than I care to tell), sudden loss, grief, frustration or careless acts of stupidity would usually result in the following actions:

1. smoking

2. panicked fury and a wild zest for life oriented toward finding an object to smoke, if one was not readily available.

3. sulking

4…

View original post 1,399 more words

HECTOR’S DIARY Bali Advertiser, Oct. 3, 2012

His fortnightly diet of worms and other non-religious experiences

 

Keep on Rolling

It was sad to hear of the death of Andrew Clark, late in September. We’d never met, which was a pity, but his skills in teaching English and his efforts to ensure English-language messages were rendered correctly in Bali – a Sisyphean task he nonetheless took to with gusto – were second to none.

     Clark, an Englishman, arrived in Bali in 1990 to teach and later to establish the delightfully pun-ish Full Proof Writing Agency.  He had an early association with Made Wijaya, he who we gather mistakenly believes that cockatoos are pregnant carp (well, he says Hector’s a twerp).

     He preferred Eng. (UK) as his dictionary language, abjuring Eng. (US) as an abomination and holding – correctly – that Indonesia’s official English variant was UK.  OK. He made this point with some force in a Siapa column in this newspaper in 2004.

     Since then, the ubiquitous spread of the American-dominated internet and the vacuously indolent belief that spelling and grammar are no longer important have together conspired to reduce spoken and written language to gobbledegook and the mob preference, such as it is, to notionally US.

     So we’ll have to muddle on without Clark’s attention, since he has departed for the great language school in the sky.  But some of us think Sisyphus got a bum rap and we’re still out there rolling that damn rock up the hill.

     RIP, Andrew Clark.

Gotta Have Sole

SoleMen Indonesia’s annual walk around Bali, which finished on Sept. 26, brought much needed help to the deprived people of Bali. It also celebrated the triumph of Balinese Paralympian Nengah Widiasih at a Return to Bali Celebration party at Bali Mystique Hotel in Seminyak that evening. 

     SoleMan Robert Epstone, who did much of the weeks’ long walk before being sidelined on doctor’s orders with holes in both his soles, tells us Nengah, from a poor family and in a wheel chair since she had polio when she was four, nevertheless managed to teach herself weightlifting and represented Indonesia at the 2012 Paralympics in London in August.

     The Sept. 26 party – it was a grand occasion and a great opportunity to meet Nengah – was to raise funds for a replacement bus and a second permanent staff member for ‘YPAC’ Home and School for Disabled and Mentally Challenged Children at Jimbaran, where she lives. There are 66 young residents at YPAC.

      Energetic charity weight-loser Christina Iskandar and friends happily promoted the event in the expat community and many Balinese also attended. Food at the function was provided by Biku restaurant and famed Russian violinist German Dmitriev played for 20 minutes in addition to appearances by other performers.

      Raffle prizes were donated by Tugu Hotel, Sardine Restaurant, Bambooku, Dijon, The Pelangi Estate in Ubud and many others.

Iconic Sangers

The villa next door to The Cage is occupied by a temporary resident, an old friend from Australia who’s here on an Australian Business Volunteers task to introduce the Udayana University-based Institute for Peace and Democracy to the arcane vagaries of relations with the press. Which is good; and not only because it provides an excuse – though none is needed – for several drinks to be taken, now and then.

     He’s getting to grips with the villa, whose absent German owners, residents of Hamburg, have confined themselves to holiday raids on targets nearer to hand while the Fourth Reich sorts out how to get the Greeks and sundry others in the European communion to work and pay for themselves. But he’s had a couple of culture shocks, including Vegemite at the equivalent of $13 Australian a jar.

     By way of extraordinary coincidence we had a note the other day from another Australian friend, Libby Callister, also on the subject of Vegemite. It’s an Australian icon of course, and very, very yummy.

     Libby and your diarist had an arm’s length association long ago – she was running media for a minister in an Australian state government of the opposite politics to those preferred at The Cage but the fellow, a great bloke with whom we were on very good terms, helped raise funds for cancer research by having his head shaved (in company) once a year. So, once a year, we crossed the thoroughly artificial No Man’s Land of Australian politics, knocked politely on the minister’s door, and handed over several crisp banknotes as our contribution to his sponsorship.

     Anyway, back to the point: Libby has a famous name. Cyril Percy Callister (1893-1949) invented Vegemite and now his grandson Jamie Callister has written a biography of this undisputed national hero. Libby’s media consultancy business is running the promotion campaign. The book went on sale on Sept. 24 and is being formally launched on Oct. 11 in Beaufort, Victoria, where the Callister of Vegemite fame was born.

     Vegemite had a tough early history. It was on the market in the British Marmite-focused Australia of the era for more than 15 years before it finally began to win wide acceptance. Says Jamie of his grandfather’s fortitude:  “It was particularly unpopular and at one time they changed the name to Parwill  … “if Marmite, Parwill.” The Aussies used to like schoolboy puns until they turned serious and started banning all manner of good fun.

     They’re serving Vegemite sandwiches (kill for ‘em) at the Beaufort bash. By happenstance we’ll be in Australia on the day; by unhappy circumstance, the bit of Australia we’ll be in is nearly 3000km distant from the yummy sangers and a signed copy of the book, so we’ll have to give the show a miss.

iPod. Therefore I Am

By absolutely no coincidence, the latest MinYak to hit cyberspace featured Nicola Scaramuzzino, GM of Mozaic at Ubud and head honcho at Mozaic Beach Club at Batu Belig, where this year’s Yak Awards were staged (on Sept. 28).

     The Diary’s eye was caught by his answer to the standard Q “What’s been heating up your iPod lately?” because it was apparent he and your diarist share much more than just a fondness for fine cuisine and discrete globetrotting.

     He said: “That’s a tough one. I swing between moods quite quickly during the day and my iPod does reflect this. There is always music around me, I hate silence. If I’m working on accounting stuff, then classic Italian music is the choice.”

     We’re at one there. Nothing beats the mathematical brilliance of Vivaldi (per esempio) if you absolutely have to deal with numbers. He further says:  “If I have to work on some graphics and need to be creative then AC/DC is normally the choice, together with Metallica, Pink Floyd and Queen …  the 70s and 80s music always cheers me up.”

     We might demur on AC/DC (they’re often better unplugged) but otherwise – Right on, Nicola! And we’re with him too in being able to state without fear of contradiction that Hip Hop is absent from our own little pod. He says: “I just don’t understand that music – am I too old?”

     Too old for Hip Hop, certainly: But surely anyone sentient is?

We’re Willin’

Diary and Distaff had a lovely dinner recently with Marian Carroll, official mouthpiece of Ayana Resort and Spa etc, etc. It was at Dava, where visiting guest chef Willin Low from Wild Rocket, Singapore, was in the kitchen from September 21-23. He treated diners to exquisite dishes, including soft-shell crab, wagyu beef and yummy desserts.

     Singapore’s suddenly looking very good for a visa run. We’d be off like a Wild Rocket if one were in the wind.

     By the way, expect a long-awaited announcement from Ayana soon.

Go Pink

We do, very occasionally, if it’s in a good cause. So here’s a good reason: The Think Pink 2012 Luncheon and Fashion Show, organised by the Inner Wheel Club of Seminyak – the Rotary ladies, you might say, whose president is the redoubtable Barb Mackenzie – which is to raise awareness of breast cancer and funds necessary to carry that message forward. It’s endorsed by Bali Pink Ribbon (on whose annual walks the Diary consents to wear pink) and the Rotary Club of Seminyak.

      The event is being staged at Métis in Seminyak, which is surely reason enough to attend anyway, and is on October 26. It’s from 11am to 3pm, too, which should give everyone a chance to both eat and bid at the charity auction. Tickets cost Rp300K and are available at Métis. The event’s VIP sponsors are Bamboo Blonde and Think Pink Nails.   

Hear Her Roar

Helen Reddy, who galvanised the WomLib movement in the 1970s with I Am Woman (Hear Me Roar) is performing for charity at Anantara Rooftop in Seminyak on Oct. 19. One of the Diary’s favourite dishes, Diana Shearin, tells us she’ll be there (she wouldn’t miss the anthem of the movement or Delta Dawn, she says). But she won’t be dancing. She’s on crutches after an unfortunate altercation with a wet terrazzo floor.

It’s On!

The Ubud Writers and Readers Festival kicks off today (Oct. 3). It should be a good show as always, with plenty of chatter, erudite and otherwise. Be there – or you won’t be there.  The festival runs to Oct. 7 with various associated events around it.

Hector’s Diary appears in the Bali Advertiser newspaper, published every second Wednesday. The newspaper’s website is http://www.baliadvertiser.biz. Hector is on Twitter @scratchings and Facebook (Hector McSquawky).