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There is a new species in town: the white Balinese.
They convert to Hinduism while in Bali and when you ask them where they are from, they say: “ I was reborn in Bali”. Not very helpful.
 I met some of them in Tampaksiring, a beautiful Hindu temple close to Ubud, the cultural centre of Bali.





There is a holy water source there and the white Balinese were all getting purified (and believe me, the water was freezing), which means that there were bathing, chanting and praying in the pool.

The native Balinese were doing their laundry in the pool next to them.
The funny thing is that, at sunset, the white Balinese were all having Bintangs (the Indonesian beer) in the bars of Ubud, and they quickly got drunk. Go figure.

I don’t intend to convert to Hinduism and I didn’t get drunk. I love the Balinese dances and rituals but I am what I am and I accept Bali as it is.

Anyway, if it makes them happy, it can’t be that bad.
After all, I am a French Londoner. Life is complicated…

Muriel – A French Yummy Mummy In London

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It is my lot in life to be mocked for my bad accent. In London, especially during business meetings, you can be sure that, when I say something, some condescending chap will take a few seconds to answer me back, as if he (it is usually a he, I must admit) needs some time to process my French accent and understand what on earth I am saying. The curious thing is that most people have absolutely no problems in getting what I say. For some reasons, I seem to have more problems with self-proclaimed posh, white, English, middle class men. Usually, they look concentrated, eyes half closed and slightly putting their ear closer to me. I absolutely hate it and can feel my blood boiling when they do that. I am sure that they believe it is polite: they are making an effort to listen to me. I have come to the conclusion that it has probably something to do with their lack of cultural awareness –there is a world outside of Britain, believe it or not. Or maybe they are genuinely a bit hard of hearing (middle age, probably). Or maybe they are in love with the sound of their own voices (that’s a real possibility)? I apologise for such low-level comments, but my blog is my (petty, I admit) way of taking revenge. And it actually feels good (Please don’t judge me too harshly, I had to endure 7 years of this. Yes, 7 years).

That being said, I have the same problem in Bali. I have tried to practice my Bahasa Indonesia and apart from the fact that I suck at it, apparently my accent is, once again, hilarious.
There is something a lot more refreshing with the Balinese way of showing it. They just laugh to my face and try to repeat what I have just said. Some Balinese boy was trying to sell me newspapers yesterday. I answered “Tidak Mau”, which was just my way of saying “No”.  I said “Mau” the German way (as in “Frau”). Well, it didn’t make the cut, but at least I made someone happy!
What I am trying to say is, I suppose, that if someone is trying to speak your own language, please be gentle. After all, he or she is making an effort. As for the ones who are giving me a hard time in London, well, guys, get a life! 
Muriel – A French Yummy Mummy In London

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It is official: I am not in London any more. What I like in Bali is the fact that everybody is an artist to an extent. Actually, there is no such thing as the word “artist” in Balinese as it is already included in the word “person”(that’s probably because they don’t know people like me who are absolutely hopeless at arts & crafts).
Anyway, Bali has many different types of dances, most of them based on the Ramanyana (The Ramayana depicts the duties of relationships, portraying ideal characters like the ideal father, ideal servant, the ideal brother, the ideal wife and the ideal king.). One of such dances is the kecak. It is the story of Prince Rama rescuing princess Shinta


It is performed by at least 150 men, usually during or after sunset. They are all dressed the same way, wearing a black and white fabric around their waists and legs with a red belt on top of it. There are no musical instruments, the rhythm comes from all the men chanting “kecak, kecak” while they sway their bodies and arms while sitting and chanting. It is a bit hypnotic (you can watch a video of this here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0HL5P6wlQPU), and at the end of the performance they usually walk on incandescent wood. Some can be in trance, either swaying gently as they walk on the fire or in full-on trances, in which case other dancers have to hold them.
Apparently, the capacity of being in trance during a performance (a planned trance if you want) is seen as a gift of the Gods.
I think I would find such a dance a bit creepy in London. But not here.  Here, it feels perfectly normal and I even find it beautiful.
Actually, it reminded me of one of the scenes in the movie “Avatars”, at the end, when they are trying to revive the dead teacher.
Maybe, after all, one needs to come to Bali to find inspiration?

Muriel – A French Yummy Mummy In London