Sunday, April 5, 2009

"Fish heads, fish heads, roly poly fish them up, yum"*

* "Fish Heads" by Barnes and Barnes, 1978.

The market at Amlapura in Bali is not like any farmer's market we see here in the States. This is where the locals go to do their shopping for: very freshly killed chickens (do I want to know what the chicken feet are for?), fish heads (eat them up, yum), neon pink and orange sweets, ceremony supplies (great gifts for friends!), a dizzying array of sarong material, rows of udeng (hats that men wear for ceremonies)...

We went on a day so crowded that our bodies were pushed up and down the narrow walkways by the throngs of local shoppers. Sweat was pouring out of me and at times the smell of fish reeked but this was real Bali. My only frustration was that it wasn't easy to take photos because there was no place to stand without being in the way. I wished I had my flash, although then I would have been too intrusive. I'll have to consider how to approach this particular photo destination next time. First thought: go when it's not as crowded. That day, it turns out, people were preparing for yet another ceremony.

Selling the freshly prepared chickens:

A sacred offering nestled in the bananas (moments later someone through money on it and it didn't look quite as sacred...):

Rows of udeng:
(I asked a local dude if they wore this head gear any other time than during ceremony, and he replied "No. If they did they would look crazy."

Ceremony trims:

Stay tuned...tomorrow I'm going to post some goofy photos that really have no other outlet than here.


  1. I love that comment about wearing the ceremonial crown...:)

  2. Oh, the colors! Love the banana -- or is it plantain? Yes, I can see where the real money of it would sort of tarnish the thought!

  3. I thought they were plantains, but there were indeed bananas.


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