Last week, three of us --- Pat, Dr. Moh'd Anis Moh'd Nor (--- "Anis," an old friend of ours teaching at the University of Malaya), and Yours Truly --- set out for a quick trip to scout the venues for a possible Bali symposium location. Pat and Anis also hope to identify the key members of the local events organizing committee. As usual, Yours Truly is just tagging along for the ride --- I've never been to Bali! (Click on the photos on this page to view an enlarged version.)
We plunge into the extremely crowded Bali traffic going from the airport to the various tourist beaches (where most Aussies are headed) and to downtown Denpasar, the provincial capital of Bali. Our hotel is in the middle of Denpasar.
Along the way, we pass many Hindu temples. Where there would be neighborhood mosques in most of the rest of Indonesia, Bali has temples. Most Balinese practice a unique brand of Hinduism that is quite distinct from the version found in India.
One neat thing about Denpasar (and much of the rest of Bali) is that government buildings, commercial establishments, and larger private homes try to hew to the traditional Balinese-style architecture. Even this familiar foreign establishment is trying its best to fit in ...
There appears to be festivals and rituals going on at many temples in town. These Balinese ladies in traditional dress are entering a temple archway.
Bye and bye, we arrive at Hotel Puri Ayu, a 44-room hotel on Jalan Jendral Sudirman in Denpasar. This hotel has a simple but great Indonesian breakfast buffet...
Pat and Anis check us into the hotel that will be our base for our Bali stay. After a short rest, we pay a visit to Anis' friend Rucina Ballinger for dinner that night. Rucina is an American who's a renowned Balinese dancer, and author of a book on Balinese performing arts.
The next morning, we start on the business portion of this trip. The map below indicates the locations we show in the photos that follow. Click on the map markers.
Our first stop is the office of the rector (president) of the Universitas Udayana, the main university in Bali. The rector's office is in the Buikit Jimbaran campus, while the venue of interest to us is in Udayana's Sudirman campus downtown.
Prof. I Nyoman Darma Putra, who teaches Indonesian Literature at Udayana University. He will introduce us to the University rector, and will, if Bali is chosen, be on the local organizing committee. Pat and Prof. Dharma confer outside the university admin bldg.
The Rector notes that arts promotion is one of the university's missions, and pledges full support. He tells Prof. Dharma: "Make it so!"
Thus empowered, we travel back to Denpasar to the Sudirman campus of the unversity. This campus is only about half a kilometer from our hotel, an easy walk should we go back there in 2014. We check out the building where the auditorium sits.
STIKOM, a private college specializing in IT. STIKOM sponsors many of Bali's cultural events, working with Udayana U. in many of them. Their graduates go on to universities in Malaysia and elsewhere for their degrees, both graduate and undergraduate.
NEXT: A day in Ubud with Garrett Kam ...