Saturday, 28 March 2009

The Public Library smells of galanga

In a comment to a post published in Other Men's Flowers (by mistake) on March 19th, I mentioned a Balinese dancing girl who has become something of an embarrassment to me, and several readers have asked me for further details, preferably salacious ones. I must disappoint them, for our acquaintance has not ripened in any meaningful way and in fact I have been able to find out practically nothing about her: she has little English and is very shy.

However, I have been able to establish that her name is Suka Seriba Bulan (roughly translated, this means Moon of a Thousand Delights), and that she comes from the little town of Kubutambahan in the province of Buleleng (pop. 577,000).

What she is doing in a seaside resort in East Sussex remains a mystery, and I really cannot bring myself to ask her. I can see why a sloe-eyed beauty trolling around the local supermarkets and hanging about on the seafront dressed in a colourful kebaya is causing questions to be asked, and something even more disturbing, particularly for the older residents, is that she has taken to sitting on the promenade in the evenings singing the traditional song Cublak-Cublak Suweng, with its slightly obscene yet haunting refrain "Sir - sir pong 'dele bodhong-dhong-dhong-dhong..."

I really cannot accept responsibility for this woman: I've never even been to Bali and I certainly didn't ask her to come here and upset all my arrangements. The whole thing is a lamentable invasion of my privacy.