If I would be back home in Slovenia, it would be mandatory for me to eat pork on first day of new year. It symbolizes ‘a push forward’, because with it’s snout a pig digs into a mud -always pushing forward. Beef would be good as well. On the contrary it would be bad luck for me to eat chicken, which with it’s claws digs backwards. This year I kept it up with our folk superstition a bit differently and had a fish. So, what could deliciously grilled mahi-mahi represent? It swims forward. I sense progress.

Bali holidays were easy-breezy-beautiful. I love to give presents, but not when everybody expects me to. I didn’t buy one present this holidays. I haven’t got annoyed by early November Christmas decorations, even though I’ve got shoots of Christmas (read: capitalist) spirit that few times I happen to check surf shop and a mall: shiny plastic Christmas trees and very loud Christmas disco version cover songs.

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I am still surprised how West and it’s appearance, it’s traditions are being accepted here. Many are thinking there are no poor and no homeless people in the West. Going beyond admiration of white skin and blond hair, this time I dealt with Santa Clause phenomenon. My little neighbour Jessica Happy  (I forgot last two names she has) seriously asked me about how Santa looks like. She is 12, Muslim, was raised in central Java and recently moved to Hindu Bali. She listened open-mouthed when I confirmed that he is really able to go around the world in one night and how he then climbs through the chimney, eats cookies and drinks milk… Full of amazement she asked me for a photo and when I showed the Google one, she insisted it’s not original and laughed. Nevertheless, I had a feeling she believes more than I ever did. I can’t recall the disappointment when I figured out there is no Santa Clause. I might never truly believed there is one.

A world full of believes and late last breakfast of this year was all about another myth – tooth fairy or mouse, as we used to say. I was having yogurt while Jessica and her little sister Evel age of 7, were having plain white rice with egg omelet; something I would never consider as a meal, at least not the most tasty one and definitely not as a breakfast. But that’s their favorite. That morning it was the first time after more than a month sharing many meals, that they allowed me to take some photos of them. They even posed. I love their crazy eyes and Evel’s toothless smile. She just lost the upper front one. Curious what happened with the tooth, bu Netty, the mom, explained she threw it to the ground in the garden, so the new one will grow firmly downwards. If she would have lost the lower tooth, it would need to be thrown to the roof in order the new one to grow firmly upwards.

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The last day of the year I was stopping motorbike on the side of the road constantly to take photos of flower power offerings, which were much more impressive than usually. It was a day of annual Tumpek Wayang tradition. The day is believed to be the symbolic birth of diverse tools used for ceremonial entertainment such as gong, barong and puppets. I didn’t manage to attend any of ceremonies, but I did pass busy temples and signs saying ‘Maaf perjalanan Anda terganggu ada upacara adat’ or ‘We’re sorry your way is disturbed there is traditional ceremony’ (fast literal translation it is).

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So it was. I even went to church. I was raised as a Christian, but I now consider myself ‘tidak terlalu agama’ or ‘not really religious’, at least not in the frames of ‘given’ religions. I went as an observer and was amazed by lively ceremony, which was more like concert – rocking about Jesus’s life. Therefore, my Christmas day was all about Jesus, but also about coffee latte enjoyed in company of laughter and ocean breeze, plus (!) bonus selfie photo. Because some memories are worth of selfie. My new year started with an orange sunset and heart full of joy.

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Jingle all the way,

Polo

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