On time and money and other things after Bali

Coconuts, toasted, grated, milked, creamed, oiled, or in other form, are best not bottled in plastic. The younger ones have delicious juice but not much flesh, the older ones are very fleshy but the juice is thrown away.

Quality in Ubud is measured in terms of purity, simplicity of process, and closeness to the natural form. This is true for food and also all other products. Pricing reflects this quality. Scarcity holds less market power because things that are not readily available in their natural form are not sought.

The Balinese respect Bali and they are proud of Bali. Individual Balinese will look you in the eye and tell you so.

The town of Ubud, Bali’s center of crafts and dance, embraces tourists. They will stand up for a foreigner if something happens. That was a decision by royal leadership. I don’t know if Los Angeles feels that way about tourists.

It’s difficult being an Asian American man from the U.S. traveling in a third-world Asian country. Imagine the implications of someone who looks like you but is not held to the same cultural mores, norms, obligations, and economic limitations. Some men just simply weren’t happy with the contrast. I’m very sensitive to this. By meditating on it, I’m learning to get past the dog stares on the street. And to concentrate on the friendly faces. And to be a friendly face. Traveling is like visiting a home of a friend’s parents. Be your best, roll with it, have a good sense of humor. It is not easy for me.

The closer one gets to poverty, the more explicit the exchange of time for money becomes. You can use a food processor to get spices ground down into paste within ten seconds. The Balinese use knives, mortar and pestle to do it. It takes over an hour. A food processor doesn’t cost much. But the Balinese choose to spend their time to make food in a way that is right. Think of how much we spend on kitchen appliances and tools but how little time we spend cooking. It is possible to have too much money, if it doesn’t complement how you spend your time.

Time is not money. They come from different dimensions. Just like currencies of two different nations, you can exchange one for the other. But sometimes the rate changes. Depending on the wisdom with which you spend either, the rate could be in your favor, or against. Figure it out and you hold the keys to a rich life. I’ve got a lot to learn, join me!

Live powerfully,

Steve

The Brilliant Beast Blog Daily

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