I think I mentioned in my last post how our capacity for surprise has dwindled, been blunted into oblivion by the sheer craziness we’ve encountered. We’re now blasé at the mention of raw food, aliens, chakras, spirits, colonics, living on sunlight, goddesses, kundalini crises, tantric power and so on… we tend to just accept what we hear with a nonchalant shrug. (Then I go away and write it all down because one of these days I intend to write a Jilly Cooper-esque romp set in Ubud, drawing on all the whack job crazy stuff I have heard but of course it will ALL BE FICTION AND ALL CHARACTERS WILL BE FICTITIOUS AND NOT BASED ON REAL PEOPLE AT ALL WHATSOEVER. DISCLAIMER OVER).

It’s as if we’ve come to accept that Bali is a whole new reality altogether and if you want to live here you just have to accept that fiction couldn’t make this shit up. Ergo it must be real.

I mentioned the astral projecting last week. That was kind of bonkers but then the very next day another friend came round and told me how they had just been to see a healer to have a black magic curse removed.

I am living in Sunnydale. Next I will be hearing of a girl called Wayan the chosen one, a girl child born in every Balinese generation, whose mission is to slay the creatures that come through the hellmouth, aka Seminyak and Kuta.

Bali as you may have figured out by now is a unique island, rich in ceremony and known for its magic. Even the houses are designed to stop the bad spirits from finding their way in, the villages too have bends in the road before you get to them (spirits can’t figure out how to turn left or right apparently). It might be Hindu but the ceremonies are very animist in nature, offerings laid out every morning outside our house, on our Bale, on our car windshield, to protect against bad spirits. Or maybe just against my bad driving. So far they seem to be working, even though the dog eats half the offerings and Alula prefers to lay out her own version of cornflakes and half chewed prunes.

My friend had been hexed by someone she’d had an altercation with. To her it was a terrifying, very real experience and hearing her tell it gave me goose bumps.

She managed to find a healer who banished the demon. So far, so Exorcist right? Except without the spinning head and vomiting child talking in a freaky voice.

It’s a funny old place Bali. A place of magic for sure but also a place with an underside that’s as creepy as it is fascinating.

I just intend to be extra specially careful from now on not to piss anyone off.

Might have to stay indoors indefinitely then.

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