Saturday, December 29, 2012

Cremation parade +

Kadek, the lady who cleans our room here and shows us around, invited us to a cremation. Really? You just invite random people to a cremation? Perhaps needless to say, the attitude toward death here seems to be amazingly different. The event itself wasn't so much a cremation - at least not what I think of as a cremation - as a series of rituals that include a huge party, a parade, and a cremation. And maybe things after that, but that's how long we stayed.

First we waited around for hours in the boiling heat for the procession to start. When explaining the communal aspect, she said, Some day I am going to die, and I will need people to help, or something like that. During which time it rained buckets and the air cooled down quite a lot. We had a big umbrella. I noticed when we were in the procession that random folks would just come and stand under our umbrella, which of course they would, why not, except people in the west wouldn't do that. There was a huge bright red lion (with astonishingly realistic genitalia!) maybe around 25 feet tall, standing on a bamboo grid that was used to carry it...and hundreds of people, some musicians, some on motorcycles, most walking, some carrying offerings. So after walking for a while we ended up in a park where the huge pink horse was put under an awning type thing and the top of it was cut off. The body was taken out of another 'float' in the parade, put inside the horse (sorry, not a horse, a lion!) and the top put back on. Then a big pipe full of gas is shot at the horse lion and it all goes up in flames.

Among other things, it made me think of how much more 'relational' other cultures are, how you sit around chatting all day, which is lovely on the one hand (on the other, I personally find it kind of exhausting!)

On an unrelated note, suddenly I have an astonishing amount of hair (white hair, but still) on the side of my face. Given the right light my sideburns could easily be mistaken for Hugh Jackman's AKA Wolverine's in The Avengers. I tried to get a picture of it but my camera isn't up to the task. It could be that my hair is growing back weird after chemo, or maybe it's just one of the many perks of my newfound membership in the middle aged lady club.

Kathy and I went to a lovely spa yesterday called Spa Hati (Heart Spa). We were talking about acceptance. I was saying the only thing I have a hard time accepting is certain physical changes I feel like I'm "too young" to have. As I have mentioned before, some physical problems I have are shared by many people (older, my age, and younger) who are just dealing with them anyway. I am simply not used to having physical problems so I imagine them to be more of a hardship than they are. Like every once in a while I bash my foot on something...or I'm sitting on my bed and can't lean forward far enough to reach something that is actually rather close...all in all, not a big deal.

Kadek and I. She brought us there one
at a time on her motorcycle
and lent us sarongs.
I wanted to add a thought to the three tips from The Etiquette of Illness I posted last time. I post things like that because I find them interesting, then after I post them I think, The people who have done the things advised against in that list, do they think I am chastising them in some way, or upset when they ask me if they can do something? If you thought that when you read that list, perhaps you need not worry so much about saying the wrong thing. It's all food for blog.

P.S. Movies:
The Campaign (Will Farrell). Funny.
Cyrus (John C. Reilly). Well-done in a way, but not funny.
Premium Rush (Joseph Gordon Levitt). OK. Fun.
To Paris with Love (crap in spite of having John Travolta in it.)
The Other Man (Liam Neeson).

1 comment:

  1. know, I did notice your fuzzy sideburns but I didn't say anything; maybe I'm not very relational (heehee)! I do admire your ability to befriend people anywhere--it's a rare gift you have, drawing people to you. First they just come to clean your room, next thing you know, they invite you to a cremation! See how it is....;)