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  • No bitterness. Only happiness.

    No bitterness. Only happiness.

    'No bitterness, only happiness,' reads a sign outside a coffee shop in Seminyak, Bali. It makes me smile only because I've spent a week here and understand the message. There is a beautiful harmony to this place and the Balinese seem blissfully unaware of it. They live in it every day, arriving to work on their scooters, sometimes with their dog and 2 children in tow. They smile, they serve, they laugh, they pray and they wake up and do it all again the next day. 

    I noticed what looked like shrines containing baskets full of goodies outside of almost every building and asked a local resident what they were. "They are offerings," he said, "to the gods. We pray two times a day, in the morning and at night and thank the gods for our lives." I begin to see these offerings everywhere, outside the front of boutiques, restaurants, even in taxis and I start to notice people doing their daily prayers. It's quite beautiful watching this act of gratitude and knowing how important it is to them to be thankful. There seems to not only be a respect for one another but for ritual, tradition and family. "It is family first," I am told, "then money, then work. And you will not get the Balinese to change that, ever."