Pasar Senggol- Buffet, Date Night, and Barong dance performance

Gamelan! Yay!

Our last night in Bali, we hired a babysitter and went out for dinner at the hotel. Every night, they have a Balinese night market, giant buffet, and cultural performance. Typically it is held outside in this cool terraced area at the hotel, but since it was off-and-on raining all afternoon, it was moved to the Watercourt restaurant. Because we have been living at Hyatt hotels instead of a house this year, we were presented with special butterfly VIP pins and were shown to a very comfortable cushioned booth right in the middle to best view the stage area.

The buffet spread was overwhelming! There was a ton of meat, which made Austin very happy, but also a good array of salads, including the traditional Indonesian salad Gado-Gado with peanut sauce, of which I ate way too much. There were different rice and noodle dishes as well and potatoes, which I had not eaten in quite a long time! Austin liked having pork, since that is hard to find on Java, and I enjoyed eating gelato and other yummy desserts. Austin ordered a lime squash to drink- sparkling water, lime and lemon juice, and simple syrup on the side to sweeten it. I got a lime mint coconut freeze. YUM! We overheard the couple at the table next to us discussing whether it was safe to eat the veggies. So we started up a conversation with them,

Barong- he hit the lamp with his tail

They were Australian and had just arrived that afternoon. They had friends warn them to be wary of eating the fruits and vegetables because of the risk of intestinal illness. We assured them that the hotel food was safe and that they should not eat the fresh veggies or fruits from food stalls or street vendors, and that usually ice and water were safe at the tourist places. They seemed relieved and we had a fun time telling them about our trip and giving them suggestions on places to go.

I think she might be the villain?

After we ate way too much delicious Indonesian food, it was on to the performance. Austin really does love me as evidenced by the fact that he let our date night be overtaken by a gamelan performance. I knew I wanted to see gamelan, but we didn’t want Landon to have another late night so this was perfect! I was bummed we weren’t in the original location because the gamelan players were super squished and I could not see all the instruments. The dancers adapted well to the different setting- but at first did not come over on our side of the stage (they entered and exited on the part of the stage furthest away from us.)

The gamelan might sound like noisy noise to some, but it is very complicated and each player must come in at exactly the right time and play in the exact rhythm. Every one works together to make this really rice multi-dimensional sound.

Scary fingers guy

The dance of the day was the Barong dance. The Barong is a mythical lion creature that is said to protect the villages of Bali. It is friendly and nice. There was an antagonist in the dance that sent two beautiful girls to dance for the Barong (in human form) and a monkey to make them fight over the girls and eventually kill themselves with their own swords. It was a little gruesome, but interesting nonetheless. One thing I wanted to note about the women’s costumes in Balinese dance is that they typically have a long piece of fabric that comes down in front, goes in between their feet, and then flows along behind. As part of the dance, they have to manage this pieces of fabric that could very easily trip them up. Also, men in the dances seem to want to capture them by this long train of cloth, so in this dance she had to flick the fabric around very fast to avoid capture! That’s talent!

The Barong itself reminds me of the dragon dances in other Asian cultures, except it only has two people running it- the head and the tail. One cool thing that the lion did was clap its jaws together loudly and very fast. I’m sad I did not get a good video that part.

Here are my video clips:

I’m sorry that I did not catch what all the different people were in the play. We left the explanation paper in Bali and I did not find anything that exactly matched what we saw in my online searches.

The whole cast

The whole cast with happy me!

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