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In Bali Kite Season = Party Season

by Susi, 19 August 2008

Painting by Davina Stephens.

It’s kite season in Bali, when strong trade winds from the east bring dry weather. Kite season means two things. It means crazy colourful skies. And it means crazy colourful parties. The good weather brings global party-goers and party-makers in droves. The Sleeping Tiger has had little sleep of late, and this high season doesn’t look like it will let up for weeks. The winds are blowing, and the parties are roaring. This past weekend we were at several of them.

The pinnacle of high season hi-jinks was Saturday night’s masquerade bash celebrating Jasmine and Davina’s birthdays in a villa on the Bukit. A Rocky-Horror-Village-People-Freddy-Mercury theme was declared on the invitations. Madness ensued.

Davina was a leather-bikini-cop dominatrix in a severe black wig. Hardly anyone recognised her, even during her inhibition-free stage show and encores. Anita Lococo was the domino-opposite of Davina in a severe wig of platinum white. She was also impossible to recognise, but we knew it was her because she was carrying Tupperware. (Don’t ask.) Everyone was there but you couldn’t tell because the costumes were hot, and the dance floor was flaming. 

BTW, since all my own party photos were “abstract” in appearance, I had to illustrate this post with a detail from a painting by none other than Davina Stephens, the birthday girl herself.

Sunday night, after recovering from Saturday’s excesses (too much dancing, in my case), we joined Torinese architect-designer Valentina Audrito at a party celebrating two merry milestones: the birthday of her wickedly wanton husband Abhi, and her second bun in the oven. Venue: Hotel Tugu’s torch-lit lawn on the beach (blissful). Time: Sunset onwards (chilly wind). Guests: Many (all ages, zero and up, Russian, Italian, Scottish, Japanese, American, Singaporean, English, Sydneyan, French). Five kitesurfers provided thrilling entertainment until dark, and a wayang kulit shadow puppet show provided more entertainment after dark. Valentina and Abhi give good party.

With all of the parties lined up on our calendars, and Bali full to bursting with crazy, gorgeous, outrageous, famous, notorious and dubious people, we’re getting social overload syndrome, so we will skip tonight’s vernissage at the Ganesha Gallery at the Four Seasons in Jimbaran (it will be fantastic, I know, but we’re exhausted). Maybe tonight we can figure out our costumes for the “30s Glam” soiree we’re attending on Friday. Phew. We need some sleep, too. 

I forgot to mention one more thing that the kite season means. Besides noisy parties. Noisy skies. Many Balinese home-made kites have a ribbon of VHS tape strung on their front end which makes a horrific buzzing drone akin to a small diesel generator. There are three such kites tethered permanently in the sky directly over our house. Other than these noxious noisemakers, the whole district around us is silent but for crickets and frogs. We need some sleep. Kite season doesn’t end until October.

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