by Laurie Wagner | Nov 15, 2016 | BlogDear friends, I’m in Bali, teaching for the month of November. I’d written a blog post that I thought I’d send out after the election, after Hillary won and we could all get back to life as we knew it. I’d written something about Bali and these magical doorways that I love to take pictures of. Nice post, but now days after the election, when everyone I know is feeling alternately sucker punched, shocked or woken up, words about majestic doorways just don’t feel appropriate. Though, of course, doorways are powerful metaphors. One of my co-teachers and I watched the election results come in at a little café across the street from our hotel. Four Americans sat staring at a glowing red and blue map of the United States on the TV screen. It was 1pm here and one of the women had started to drink. The other guy, a big, beefy ex-pat from Northern California who’d been living in Indonesia for the last couple of years, sat smoking and shaking his head. “Sayonara America,” he said. The Balinese are beautiful people. Almost all of them meet your gaze with a smile. They make prayer offerings three times a day, lighting incense and whispering prayers over small altars made of flowers that lay on the ground outside their shops. This is for prosperity. They also place flowers and incense on parked motorcycles for safety – not just for the riders, but for the small animals – dogs, monkeys and chickens – that they hope not to hit. The Hindus believe each animal contains a specific secret inside of them...
by Laurie Wagner | Nov 23, 2015 | Blog
Just because I’m 8000 miles from home doesn’t mean I don’t get triggered now and then. Not by Bali, with its fresh bowls of purple dragon fruit, its incense and little paper altars every two feet, a place so peaceful I haven’t seen one cop or heard one harsh word. A world where most people I pass on the street look up and smile, and who are so kind-hearted that today on my run when I almost got flattened by a young man on a scooter, he put his hands together in prayer and smiled when I mouthed, “I’m sorry.”
by Laurie Wagner | Nov 11, 2015 | Blog
I was explaining Tinder to Agung, our driver here in Bali.
“It’s this App on your phone,” I told him, “so if you want to meet someone and have a date, you just look here.” I held out my phone to him like it was a genie in a bottle