As of today, I have one of the best views of Ubud’s 360 outdoor stage.
Best seat in the house. Front row. Dolby surround sound. Machine meets nature.
I’m sure there are many others in this town that share a similar view and soundscape as I.
When the hammering starts up at 8 a.m., and every bone and organ in your body gets a whiff of it, well then.. you might as well get on stage and join the party. (I do occasionally, bearing greetings and cookies).
Stage right. Balinese workers. Mixed, mostly women. All from Bangli, the group of them arrives each morning in a bright blue bemo, rickety but full of charm. They come wearing flip flops and conical hats, bearing coolers with food, smiles and waves in my direction.
On the recent day of the full moon, as expected, the Balinese crew never showed up. Purnama demands attention. They stay home, pray, lay offerings, observe rituals and bless the moon and earth. All quiet on the eastern front.
Meanwhile, members of the other camp, the boys from Java, were up in the middle of the night, hauling a large piece of machinery off a truck. Making a ruckus. Waking the neighbors. Only to start up again before 7 the next morning. The pressure is, quite clearly, on.
Dust blows in. More cement. The banging picks up speed. More lava rocks. Cement mixer is cranked up. More wood, more steel, more of everything.
The neighborhood dogs come-a-sniffing. The neighbors head for the hills – or beach.
I await the final curtain call, when after taking their final bow, the actors – Javanese and Balinese alike – will blessedly pack it all in and take their construction-circus-show on the road. Anywhere, but here.