Hari Raya Nyepi

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Peace and quiet at my hotel.     (C) PJ Croft 2016

It’s 0845 and we’ve been through the total solar eclipse. What a disappointment. It was hardly visible here, just a slight dimming of the light. I’ve seen eclipses before and this was a fizzog compared to the others. Oh well, I’m only young, there’ll be plenty more in my lifetime.

I had the camera set up on the patio in time lapse mode, but I stuffed it up. I didn’t set the number of shots, leaving it on 1 shot at 06:14am. Yeah, well that’s what I got, one shot. Now it’s working, and it’s taken a shot every 10 seconds for the past half hour, about 900 shots. This was the eclipse period, so I’ve got what I wanted but it’s not very exciting. I have a 1min. time lapse movie, but it’s nothing. Oh well.

It’s Nyepi day, but in this hotel, you wouldn’t know it. The restaurant staff are banging and clattering and all the cleaning staff are out on the pathways talking their heads off. Obviously, big hotels are exempt.

Last night was the Ogoh-ogoh parade and I was hoping for a good photo spectacle. I walked from here to the corner of Poso and Cemara and Tamblingan, where a crowd was gathering but nothing happened. I was expecting to hear the music and drums — I heard nothing but the never ending snarl of motor bikes. That gets on my nerves after an hour of it.

Apparently all the action was along Jl. Danau Tamblingan outside the Hyatt hotel compound at the end of the red line below. Too far. My hip is really hurting and I couldn’t walk the extra 500m  –

Poso

The distance from the Taksu (left pin) to Poso corner is 530m. That’s my limit at the moment. So all in all, Nyepi has been a big disappointment so far.

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Jalan Danau Poso, the road to the meeting place.   (C) PJ Croft 2016

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Satay. Aaaah, that smell!    (C) PJ Croft 2016

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Pensive child.      (C) PJ Croft 2016

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Jl. Poso      (C) PJ Croft 2016

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Gathering dancers       (C) PJ Croft 2016

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By the truckload.    (C) PJ Croft 2016

This is the timelapse at about 8.15am until 9am. There’s not much solar eclipse, I’m afraid.

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I forgot to mention – most businesses closed down in the afternoon on Tuesday, the day before Nyepi, and that included ATMs! Yes, no cash available on Tuesday afternoon. Luckily I had about $26 worth and didn’t need to use it, but I spoke to an Aussie couple who were wailing and worrying. Nothing to be done about it, sorry.

That also meant the Kura Kura buses weren’t running either. No wonder we waited half an hour with no show at the hotel. I had to share a taxi to the Galeria shopping centre. I had gone to the Galeria specifically to buy a Kura Kura bus stored value card, but the counter was closed. Booger.

After walking back from the Poso/Cemara corner, I had a late dinner (just a club sandwich with a fruit juice) in the hotel’s restaurant and was able to book the $12.70 cost to my VISA card.

The two restaurants in this hotel are managed by a separate company, so you can’t book things to your room. That’s a bit inconvenient sometimes.

7pm: Aah, now it’s all happening. I was engrossed in video editing wen the phone rang. It was the front desk asking me to close my curtains. When I looked out, pitch blackness. Everything was closed down, including both restaurants. I thought they were going to be open and I’d said I’d be eating, but apparently it was only up to 6pm. Oh well, that means all I’ve had is breakfast today, apart from beer and crackers. I’ve got plenty in the room so I’m not going to starve, but boy it’s quiet now, and dark outside.

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Crumbs, the hotel guests (Aussies, natch) are paying not the slightest notice of the need to keep quiet. The women are cackling! Cackling loudly in the pool. Ugh!

I feel like a swim, but there’s a big group of blokes who seem to be having a drinking session in the pool. I don’t like the look of it. Too loud, too ugly for me. Russian and Aussie voices?

5pm: I went in and it was like a warm bath. The pool gets full midday sun. I did 12 laps of water walking, taking about 30 mins, then one lap of breast stroke until I got a leg cramp. It’s good exercise.

Crikey, there was an incredibly ugly fat Dutch woman constantly blocking my way while she obsessively pushed a ball underwater then let it burst to the surface with a great splash. It just went on and on and on. I got the feeling she was trying to attract me, but no way, lady. Not interested.

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 Yesterday I wrote about the ALP’s nation building and progressive initiatives, versus the Liberal Party’s destructive ways. A commenter on an article by former treasurer Wayne Swan provided this list, far better said than I can:

No LNP has ever undertaken the nation building policies that Labor has.

A handful of Labor initiatives and by no means all of them:

  • Labor introduced Australia’s national superannuation scheme, which has secured retirement savings for millions of Australians and is recognised as one of the best savings schemes in the world.
  • Expanded and increased the old age pension.
  • Legislated for a national Workers’ Compensation act.
  • Increased social service payments for people facing the Great Depression.
  • Introduced the first national system of widows’ pensions and expanded the child endowment.
  • Increased pensions for invalids.
  • Began funding public hospitals for the first time.
  • Introduced a centralised and uniform income tax system.
  • Introduced legislation to create a public health system, paving the way for the creation of Medibank and subsequently Medicare in the 1970s and 1980s.
  • Waged a campaign to rid Australia of Tuberculosis
  • Legislated for free and universal tertiary education.
  • Invested in urban infrastructure providing sewerage and running water to many Australian homes.
  • Formally protested against the South African apartheid regime.
  • Introduced the Racial Discrimination Act.
  • Made the Apology in the Parliament for the Stolen Generation.
  • Greatly increased rights for women and minority groups in Australia.
  • Introduced the Sex Discrimination Act and the Equal Employment Opportunity Act, providing security for women in the workforce and paving the way for further anti-discrimination legislation
  • Then we have the NBN (National Broadband Network, which was to be 100Mb/s fibre optic to every home and business). Now Malcolm Turnbull has restricted the speed and stopped the fibre reaching homes. He’s crippled this grand plan.
  • The NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme, guaranteed assistance for the disabled)
  • The Gonski Report (a new funding model for schools, written by a businessman)
  • The ETS/carbon tax (Emissions Trading Scheme/tax on carbon dioxide emitters), etc etc., removed by the Liberal government.

Just look at that list! The Liberal-National Party governments can point to the GST and that’s about it. Everything else they do is aimed at dismantling all these initiatives, destroying the gains under Labor. Why? Something about a philosophical commitment to small government, I think, but mainly they aim to look after themselves, the rich and the tax avoiders and evaders.  It’s disgusting.

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I’ve just signed up for Vimeo’s premium service – US$59.95 a year. this will make it simpler and faster to upload video and put it into this blog. Both my cameras shoot HD video so … watch out. I shot a bit of video last night but it’s in 4K and my simple video editor won’t handle that. So I have to convert, and that takes half an hour or so. This is how I fill my time.

I’m watching Al Jazeera News at the moment and it’s not bad, much better than CNN which is so American! I also have Channel News Asia, which is Singapore based and full of Australian staff. That’s good too. BBC seems to be just a frozen frame caption screen.

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