By coincidence, we were in Bali during Nyepi – Bali’s day of silence. We were warned. It would be quiet and we MUST be quiet. From 6am Thursday 30 March to 6am Friday 31 March, no lights, no street lights, no traffic, no music, no TV, no talking, no going out, no leaving the premises.

The night before Nyepi, we went into Denpasar and watched the ogoh ogoh monster ceremony where evil paper mache monsters parade the streets to represent the driving away of evil spirits. The crowds were huge, the atmosphere light and completely non-threatening (and not a drop of alcohol to be seen).

On the next night, I thought a little quiet TV would go un-noticed but the tiniest of light leaks was spotted by the local nyepi squadron who patrol the street to make sure everyone complies. They beat on the door. I turned off the TV. It felt just like Dili. I taped the black plastic bags over the bedroom window (just like Dili) and remained in bed for 12 hours.

Next morning, it was business as usual.

For an explanation of Nyepi, try :