You may or may not remember about a year ago our Western neighbours started running these “tantric sound healing workshops” (I use inverted commas because I think they would be better described as ‘fleece the naive soul seekers workshops”) from out of their house, a house I hasten to add, that has no walls.
Aside from the fact they had no work permit and were charging money for these workshops the noise was insane. The screams would start up at around 10am and continue until about 8pm. I’d see the fisherman-pant-wearing crew start arriving en masse and stick my headphones in, though not even cranking up my music to the max would drown out the noise. Imagine what hell would look like if created by the Game of Thrones writers. Now imagine the noise of a million Theon Greyjoys being tortured. That was my life for three months.
I tried everything. I went around there and politely asked them if they wouldn’t mind keeping the volume down. They acted all wide-eyed as if they couldn’t understand why I would have a problem. There was no apology.
The noise continued. I yelled out the window at them to shut up. I blasted Eminem at them at top volume. I threw wrinkly jicama from the balcony at their roof. Condemn me if you will for my immature behaviour but know this, if I had owned a missile firing Bazooka I would have used it.
Taking a deep breath I sent an email to the girl and asked in the most polite way possible if she wouldn’t mind being more mindful of the fact she lived in a community and telling her that I couldn’t even hear my daughter speak when she was three inches from me in the bed because the noise was so great.
She wrote me back the most hilarious email I’ve ever had the fortune to receive. She told me she was a ‘priestess of the goddess Gaia’ and that I wouldn’t ‘dare to ask a Balinese priest to stop his praying’ so why would I dare ask her to stop? She went on to tell me that she was on the planet to ‘serve the community’. It was basically a long f- you, but dressed up in Ubud gratitude-speak.
Gobsmacked not just by her total insanity but by the irony of someone claiming to be spiritual and community-minded while acting in such a selfish way, I wrote her back without bothering to dress up my long f- you.
John solved the issue at the end of the day (my hero). Being nice, unlike me, he went and talked to them and told them they needed to cease and desist immediately. And just like that, they did. I’m still not sure how he managed to get them to stop when my jicama throwing / Eminem blasting / pointed emails didn’t. Sigh.
Anyway, I have since found out that these same people just send out a public Facebook post inviting dozens of people in Ubud to a ‘sacred ceremony’ to drink ayahuasca…
… a drug that carries the death penalty in Bali.
Smart huh? ADVERTISE on Facebook the time, date and venue of the place where you are going to be taking drugs and then invite all your friends to indicate if they’re coming or not…
… In a country, I repeat, with the DEATH PENALTY for taking drugs.
Sometimes I wonder at the IQ of some people. Though not these people. I already knew they weren’t the brightest elves in the forest. It was nice to be given further proof though.