Closing up things, the anthropological eye, and the itch to move

Ramadan is coming to a close. Actually, I’m not sure how many more days, but less than a week. It may be Tuesday or it may be Wednesday. Either way, it will be nice to get back to trying to develop a routine again.

My book has been selling again recently after the wonderful review from Dr. Phil in Hawaii. Ah, the writer’s ego. It’s less a question of money than it is knowing that someone is reading it and enjoying reading it. I’m spending most days writing the new book on international education and finding that as I write it, I am developing this incredible urge to get back to teaching again. Age is working against that at this point as I’ll be 60 next June, and most schools are not going to want to hire a new teacher who is 60. But, what I’m finding is that I have been developing new ideas on teaching now that I have the time to reflect. Hmm? Have I said this before? Could be old-timer’s disease setting in.

I’ve started doing a lot of video shooting recently since I began putting videos up on YouTube. I’m not shooting anything in particular at this point, just a lot of scenes of Singaraja. The videos are a break from writing, and I want to see where that takes me.

I asked an expat who lives up here and has just returned after 11 months back in his home country if he found changes. He said no. Understandable as he has just arrived, but another expat who hasn’t been here that long chimed in that there were no changes. I found that irritating when I first read it, because it’s obvious to all of us who have been here for years that everything has changed here. It’s the one constant in conversations that I have with old friends around Buleleng.

But, as I was weaving through traffic this afternoon on my way to Hardy’s to buy a bottle of scotch, it just hit me that it’s about the eye. Actually, a scene from an old episode of Num3ers flashed before my inner eye (hate that when I’m trying to drive), where Larry says that his father was disappointed that Larry couldn’t see things the way that he saw them as an artist.

OK, anthropology now. So we are trained to see things differently, more intensely, to analyse every road sign, every conversation, the placement of a building in a village. I can close my eyes and remember all the houses on the beach in Anturan back almost 20 years ago, who had electricity and who didn’t. Why? Because that was what I was trained to do.

In the case of the new expat who didn’t see anything new, what does he know about the past – as he says he’s interested in real estate prices and the gossip of who attended this party or who got drunk at that party. A timely reminder to stay away from the expat scene because it clouds the vision.

OK, the itch to move. I haven’t been out of Singaraja since June 29, well except for driving my ex around when she was visiting, and that really doesn’t count because I was thinking of her and what she wanted to do.

What I want to do is get out on my own and drive around. Get some new perspective. I used to do these trips by myself a lot years ago when I was working in Irian and living here during my vacations. They were liberating – getting out on the road, going no where in particular. A plan to go to Ubud and hang out for a day or two, or down to Candidasa to see what was going on there. The best part wasn’t the arrival; it was the trip itself. Just being out on the bike alone.

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~ by drbrucepk on September 25, 2008.

One Response to “Closing up things, the anthropological eye, and the itch to move”

  1. Hi Dr Bruce

    Saw the video of your house in Kampung Bugis. Looks really cool. Great to be able to go snorkelling right in front of the house.

    We hope we can drop in to say hello next time we are in the north.

    BTW the term I think you were searching for was “sweeping”.

    Cheers

    Allan & Ina

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