Lines in the Middle

What’s wrong with this picture?

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No idea? Ok, so try this one:

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Still stumped? Ok, how about this one, taken in daylight:

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If you’re still shaking your head, unable to notice the strangeness, you could chalk it up to the fact that you don’t live on this island.

Because I’ve never seen those single white-painted lines bordering the edges of roads in Ubud,

nor those elongated stripe-y lines that appear down the middle.

What a strange sight indeed.

But stranger still, was seeing the ‘culprits’ of these errant markings go at it, in plain view of passersby.

Take, for instance, this dude, decked out in orange hoodie, looking every bit like a shepherd leading his flock… DSC01071

Except that the long wooden staff is a precision tool.

It’s meant to straighten out the blue rope trailing behind him on the ground.

What a way to permanently set down straight lines along the main road that runs through ALL of Ubud and its outskirts.

Truth is, the Orange Shepherd is indeed leading a flock; but not sheep (or ducks or cows)..

First came the painters themselves, pushing along – at snail’s pace no less – a well-rusted 20th century cast-off.

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Followed closely by the guy who uses a spatula to scrape off the edges of paint from the road.

Naturally, he needs a ‘bro’ hovering nearby – notionally to protect him from oncoming traffic.

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And finally, there they go, the whole team, sauntering down the road.

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I’d wager that these guys have no idea why they’ve been asked to paint stripes in the middle of the road.

I can just imagine one of the crew, when tasked with this job, asking the question (that nobody else dares to pose):

Are the lines for decorative purposes?

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