The morning is full of smells that all crowd together until they don’t fit and you can’t smell them all at the same time. When that happens I like to pick out the incense, banana pancake or plumeria flower scent and inhale deeply.
There is not just a variety of smells; there are also sounds that boil over and spill out the top like the hundreds of roosters of hens that cackle and crow every morning at dawn and continue all day till twilight.
In Bali there are rolling rice terraces studded with offering temples and towns with larger community temples every couple miles. Chickens run around in the towns and the fields; they are as common here as lizards are at home. We are staying in a lovely bungalow with many rice paddies just out the gate. We are enjoying everything, especially mealtimes!
We start the day with an early morning walk through the rice paddies while there is a nice cool breeze and a perfect temperature. Everybody we pass smiles at us and we greet them “Pagi!” which means good morning in Bahasa (Indonesian language). People are very busy in the early morning.
The women make complicated offering baskets and fill them with flowers the colors of jewels, something sweet, and a stick of incense which slowly chars the palm-frond offering. They place them in field temples, at houses, and on statues of Hindu gods such as Ganesh.
After walking through the rice paddies, we feast on an exceptional breakfast of banana pancake which here, is like a delicate crepe rolled around sautéed bananas. So delicious! We also have some fruit salad, which is very different than fruit salad at home. It consists of pineapple (which is crunchy and has much less color and flavor), papaya (I hate it at home but here with lime is scrumptious), mango (not sour like I enjoy at home), watermelon, and banana (so much more flavorful than in California it’s almost like a different fruit).