Just went to Bali & met up with my friend from UK.
We travelled all over and there are many stories coming your way.
But first, Ubud.
In Ubud the number one you-must-do is to watch a traditional Balinese dance.
So we went.
Despite its name, "the Palace" is a just little, open air stage.
And when I say stage I mean 10cm tall platform, surrounded by 1m of carpet, then 5 or 6 rows of plastic chairs along 3 sides.
We arrive about 30 minutes early, to get a good seat.
We're not the first.
So we sit and wait.
The place fills up.
Not long till it starts.
Two inexplicably bold audience members squeeze their way past the chairs and sit on the floor in the middle of the carpet, in front of the stage.
Me: What is this.
Friend: They're not gonna stay there?
Me: Isn't that part of the stage?
Friend: I hope no one else thinks that's ok…
But they do.
And couple by couple, there slowly grows a whole row of sitting people.
Friend: OMG. Someone tell them to move…
And someone does.
The old auntie selling bottles of water and bintang.
Except…she doesn't shoo them away.
She forces them to shuffle forward!!
So their feet are actually touching the "stage".
Friend: What's the point of coming early if people can just do that??
We notice to the side, there's an older gentleman standing up.
He has his arms folded and is staring aggressively at the line of keen beans.
Friend: [whispering] Go on, say something.
But he doesn't.
Me: You should say something. Go on, they're ruining everyone's pictures.
Ever the encourager ;)
Friend: Reporting to an official is more my style…
Just then, another man goes down to join them, bringing with him a massive DSLR with an even more massive flash attached to it.
She shuffles importantly off into the night.
And comes back looking disappointed.
She describes the scenario:
Friend: Excuse me, there's people sitting right at the front…
Official: [excitedly] Yes! You can go and sit there too!!