Posts Tagged ‘Bali’

It is all too confusing

April 30, 2017
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garden

It is all so confusing.
 Our Prime Minister Turnbull, while waving his hands up and down, waxes on the TV endlessly how on the world stage, we take prime position in being the  biggest and most successful MULTI Cultural nation in the world. We are a blend of many cultures, it seems. I knew when garlic made its entry into the Australian kitchen back in the late fifties and sixties,  Anglo-Australia would be in for an irreversible change if not doomed as well. Blame the Italians and Greeks for that.
Yet, at the same time but on a different day, Mr Turnbull is urging us to turn into a more nationalistic focussed citizen. A good and special type of Australian not found anywhere except perhaps in the bars of Kuta’s Bali… (Totally drunk and disorderly!) A unique Australian. We are urged to become aware and stand up for a more mono cultural identity.
In fact ‘Unique Australian Values’ is what we should be sticking up for. Migrants will have to do a test on those unique Australian values with a good knowledge and sound understanding of these.  There is no more mucking about with those that don’t want to blend in. I thought this new requirement was obliquely, but none the less pointedly aimed at the foreign Islamic migrants.
Mr Turnbull, our Prime minister is brutally resolute in trying to pick up those voters that have left the Liberal party and who have drifted into the warm bosom of Pauline Hanson’s  far right anti-Aboriginal, anti- Chinese and now anti- Muslim ‘One Nation Party.’ There is nothing wrong with Mr Turnbull also adding the word ‘terrorism’ or ‘Isis’ to his plea for us to become more Aussie.  It is not direct Muslim bashing, is it? It goes down well with some, who think that a bit of xenophobia thrown in this multi cultural soup, it can’t do any harm.
Turnbull talked about ‘respect for the law, tolerance, giving everybody a fair go.’ The aspiring migrant is given 4 years to brush up on Unique Australian Values in order to get permanent residency status. ‘It is something one has to ‘earn’, he said, looking a bit shifty. I am asking if there are many other countries that don’t have respect for the law or respect, treating people disrespectfully? Are we the sole owners of those traits? Is that what makes us so unique?
People that were first looking for their lost new paradigms are now herded into finding Unique Australian Values. I have taken up to shouting Oi,oi,oi late in the afternoon, and trying out my waltzing techniques listening to Waltzing Mathilda. I tell, you when it comes to waltzing around the joint, Helvi reckons I am a formidable maelstrom. Would smearing vegemite around this town help?  I have picked up a couple of good Australian traits from watching ‘Crocodile Dundee’ with that big knife many times. I would be most grateful if someone can show me other Australian Values that I can add.

A previous prime minister, John Howard felt that we should all be interested in cricket and a good intimate grounding in a famous race horse ‘Phar-Lap’, and learn English. While many managed to learn English and dutifully viewed Phar-lap’s pickled heart in a jar, it was the reverse with cricket. It is a game that for many remains a mystery. I must admit, I fall under that category and am surprised I haven’t been kicked out. Even so, during John Howards reign as a PM, it was all so simple and sweet. Thinking back it was much easier to become an Australian with Unique Values.

It is all so confusing now!

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Terror alert

July 22, 2016

Flight JQ27 was diverted to Bali, where the six men – identified as Bradley Beecham, Brett Eldridge, Michael Matthews, Mark Rossiter, Lynmin Waharai and Ricky William – were escorted off the plane by police.
Will our PM Malcolm Turnbull now get up in front of the TV and warn us about our Aussie born and bred terrorists? Totally radicalised by Christian culture and KB lager.

http://cdn.newsapi.com.au/image/v1/490a8f6028b6c34afaf6f4f611f8ec23

http://www.9news.com.au/national/2016/07/21/07/30/jetstar-flight-from-sydney-to-phuket-diverted-to-denpasar-after-mid-air-brawl

One can just imagine if those people would have had an Middle Eastern or Islamic background.

The driver-license test for Seniors while spying through fingers.

June 24, 2016
 Forgot the mirror image when printed. (Black square)

Forgot the mirror image when printed. (Black square)

When the letter was received to go through a medical test for renewal of my driver’s license, I got up, and immediately searched the eye test charts. Did you know that this chart was an invention of the Dutch ophthalmologist Herman Snellen in 1862?

I thought I could perhaps move things along a bit in my favour by remembering the third bottom line of letters. Apparently, having read up about it, the test usually insist on adequate vision in order to maintain the driver’s license for those over seventy five. Last year I passed with flying colours. I did spy through my good eye that required third line of letters. I had a nice nurse who kept looking at the chart instead of my hand with fingers slightly ajar.

Some years back I had a vitrectomy done on my right eye to try and straighten out my macula. There was good vision in that eye but it did seem to have a slight curve on the horizontal plane of vision. Now the curve is straight but the vision pretty crook. I should not have gone in for this operation. Helvi is forever pointing out not to dwell on what is past. It is a habit of mine. Even so, I was heartened by a recent ABC TV program that pointed out that business and health make bad bedfellows. It had doctors even agreeing that the medical profession in Australia is getting more like the US system. More and more groups of medical professionals are forming Market listed empires which employ people with MBA degrees instead of caring doctors.

My operation was certainly a nice little earner for all involved and I coughed up more money than for a six week’s luxury stay in Bali. I even had an overnight stay in a luxurious private hospital with nice smouldering coal-dark eyed nurses waking me up every few hours and gazing tenderly into my eye. Above my bed I had suspended a computer on which, after I lowered it to my good eye level, I could order a bewildering variety of luscious snacks and even complete meals. From memory I had a lovely Angus-cow eye fillet with mashed potato and kale for lunch.

However, scanning the eye charts, I noticed there are many different ones. The top letter is usually an E, but the rest could be anything. I thought of visiting the medical centre under some pretext and study their eye-charts, but each doctor might well have a different one hung on the wall usually opposite a mirror for creating the required six metre distance. The medical centre is a warren of offices. I could study just one and than insist on that particular office. It could arouse suspicion.

My attitude about the whole thing is a bit sus anyway. Surely, safety is what should dominate. However, that is supposing a moral forbearance or aptitude, a straightness of character and responsible citizenship, that is perhaps somewhat lacking. Helvi often tells me there is something sneaky in my mind’s eye. A kind of slyness and cunning.

However, and this is what I tell myself in this eye-chart conundrum. I have never been involved in a car accident. I have never claimed damages on my car. One reason I do not have car insurance. ( apart from the obligatory third party one.) Twice I have been booked by a camera of speeding but both were in a low range. I am a very safe driver.(lots of I’s here.)

So, I have asked Helvi if I should wear a solid ring on my left hand so that scanning the eye-chart my ring-finger will be somewhat ajar without any deliberate input by me. This will give me a chance to enhance my ability to read the third line from the bottom of the Snellen chart.

It is the best I can come up with.
What do you reckon?

This life of camping out. ( Autobiography)

August 31, 2015

The moving about, even just in the mind can be unsettling. Ten days in Bali, ok, let’s move there. Two days at the Eco-village in Queensland, lets go! No wonder my Helvi is getting nervous. “You will still take your own with you. The black curmudgeon sits on your shoulder night and day”, she says.  “People know that,  they can see it,”  is added for extra impact.  The dream of living in like-wise communities is what plagued me since birth.  And that’s how it goes. The attraction of living somewhere were low impact on nature is shared within a community, does pull. That’s apart from the bonus of a ban on fences, especially colour-bond fences, and  electricity burning air conditioning.

It is true that the social skills of easy laughter and merrymaking in company of others is wanting. A demeanour of a seriously looking  man exudes around, and leaps in front like a warning, well before actually meeting.  It can’t be helped, even when wearing my partial dentures.  However, lately I do go around smiling more which helps, but only in combination when walking with our Jack Russell ‘Milo’. I got a smile back last Tuesday at Aldi’s tying up Milo at the trolley bay. I saw her again inside the shop as she was bending over the carrots next to the capsicums. My H is the opposite. She has a Mona Lisa smile. It comes naturally. She feels the smile. People often talk to her which I envy. She draws in people. I seem to repel but am working on it. It is never too late and I can still climb stairs two steps at a time. That has to be worth something.

With the autobiography or memoirs if you prefer, it seems to have stalled. The moving about has rippled into the consciousness of everyday living. The living in a town- house  of seven others in the compound is magnifying the stark differences between communal design and the exclusive or excluding design where privacy dominates.  People might peer from behind the blinds. Perhaps not even that! A garage door rolls up but the owner is already in the car. We can’t see him as he drives off.

In Eco-village last week we saw people moving about inside their houses. There was proof of life. Some were working in the garden. Children were running about. Kangaroos were lulling about sunning themselves on grass with the black water-hens picking morsels out of the compost bins. A man with binoculars was trying to spot birds. He had lost his wife some time back but he had not given up. He recorded all birds and had bought cameras to photograph whatever he felt like photographing. He was happy.

You know that at the age of over seventy five, the egg-timer is slowly running out of sand. One is not totally without optimism. My mother was 96 when she quit. A good omen. Dad smoked but enjoyed it till the end. At his funeral and going back afterwards, my mum cleaned for the last time his ashtray. He was still alive the day before and drove his car. He hated hospitals and going to the doctor.  No sooner when he was taken to a hospital, he died. He died at 78 but not because of smoking. So all up. If we split the difference, ( one has to be fair) it would allow another ten years before the egg-timer would run out of sand.

I would be happy with that. So much still to smile about.

Children, tripping over and business. ( Auto-biography)

July 21, 2015
The flooded creek

The flooded creek

After we settled in King’s Cross there was a flurry of marriages in the Oosterman clan. My friend Bernard married a Japanese girl and went to live in Japan. I continued with the painting business on my own.  One of my brothers married a girl from Russia but born in Peru, another from Polish background, my sister married a man born in Germany with just one who married an Australian. I of course married a lovely Finn. Apart from my brother who married an Aussie and has died since, we all are still married to our first love.

They were busy times all racing to get home and hearth together as well as bonnie babies. There were nappies and the smell of them. Toys on the floor. A variety of bassinettes and other bouncing contraptions that we would easily trip over.  They were the years when tripping over was normal and totally safe. Of course now a fall could easily result in an ambulance racing over to lift you on a stretcher and to a hospital, nurse putting on the gloves and a worried doctor looking you over. I haven’t as yet reached that stage yet, but it will come about!  Helvi urges me to take a firm hold of the handrail coming down from the computer upstairs. It pays to be careful! I sometimes wish that recklessness could continue. It was such a part of being young. Reckless and foolish. Now we play it safe and pretend to be wise, but really just give in to ageing, play it secure, getting old, sip our coffee and remind each other to take medicine. We have learnt our lesson.

It seems odd that when we were young and had a life ahead, we were reckless, took our chances when at the same time so much was at stake. One fatal mistake could easily result in having to pay for it over the rest of your natural life. Yet, now that we (I am) are old and with our lives more behind than in front we have far more solid reasons to be reckless. Throw caution to the wind. What is there to lose? What is holding us back?  Do a bungy jump or fight a crocodile, live in Bali or Amsterdam. We might just, with luck,  squeeze in a couple of years more or so. Of course many of the old do amazing things still, but by and large we have become more cautious and play it safe. I never ever thought I would reach that stage. Yet it is has come about.  Even so, we still have no insurance of any kind except third party property car insurance which I suppose is proof of some lingering recklessness. harking back to youthful risk taking.  I mean, does one not get buried without having any money.  Does it matter? Mozart got buried in a pauper’s grave. Perhaps, that is just bundied about to encourage budding composers to keep on trying, regardless of fame or fortune.

But going back (to those years of recklessness),  and having settled down it came about that families were sprouting up all over the place. Our first was born within a couple of years after arrival in Sydney. Our second daughter two years after that, delivered by the same doctor named Holt. I renewed previous contacts and gained quickly new jobs. Some years later, I won some really substantial contracts including the painting of the extensions to the NSW Art Gallery and the International Flight kitchen at Sydney’s airport. I tried as well to keep on with painting pictures and even had, optimistically, bought a huge  fifty metres by two metres roll of raw cotton canvas together with varied sizes of stretchers on which to span and make canvasses ready to paint.

I was an optimist and Helvi the supporting wife and mother…They were very good years,

many good years were yet to come.

Bali again, but last for the time being.

June 25, 2015

A pot in Bali

  • The above pot photo was taken minutes before the taxi arrived to take us back to Bali’s airport. We were anxious if he would turn up at all as we had arranged it the day before by someone who had approached us on the street in front of our stay. He was a delightful character who spoke very good English but also appreciated someone talking a bit of his language as well. He imitated sour tourists who would rush by as if possessed by a need to pack in the absolute maximum into their holidays. They had paid for the air-fare from Europe and accommodation and by Jo, they were going to get as much out of it as possible. They talk about ‘ the holiday of a life-time’ as if on a first marriage or  facing an examination for a possible doctorate or appointment to The High Court in The Hague. This delightful  Bali man than expressed this mania by some of those running tourists in Bali by pursing his lips in a very good and with comical disdain, the deadly frowning serious foreign tourists. 
    Gloriously beautiful Bali

    Gloriously beautiful Bali

    It was all a bit quiet in the taxi to the airport. We looked at the passing hustle and bustle, lives lived at full speed yet in calm consideration and seemingly without the concentrations of Aus. frayed nerves on edge. Who would know? But an observer such as myself gets an opinion based on picking signals. It is the best one can do, isn’t it? If not and observed totally wrong, what’s the point of getting old (er)?  There has to be a benefit or pay-off. “Have you got your passport handy, H asked me?”  ” Yes, I answered a bit curtly.”  We were dropped off at the front of the departure lounge. We shook hands with driver; selamat tinggal, terima kasih.
  • Bali

    Bali

  • At almost seventy- five I just write down words and am glad they get read on WP. Actually more than glad, I am grateful for anyone to read them and respond by a ‘like’. That’s all I can hope for. I can’t take those words with me nor eat them. They will be finally found in a drawer when my descendants clear out my room. For anyone to actually have a book published is a feather in a cap of an almost unimaginable achievement. I stand in awe of those that have achieved the dizzying heights of ‘being published’. They can say with pride, ‘I am an author’. My writing started back some ten years ago and might have left it a bit late. I do print my bits and pieces and reached post Nr 712 a couple of days ago. Who would have thought? I love it.
    PS: I don’t know what those numbers are doing. They came here on their own accord!

Goodbye Suit and Attaché case

June 10, 2015
Japanese Windflowers

Japanese Windflowers

In life we think we make choices that determine our future. Is that true? One could have turned left or to the right. So much is due to the unforseen. The past is never a sign towards the future but only something to mull over in old age and even then it hardly ever surrenders wisdom or insight. That seems to only come about by a presence of mind while doing the dishes or polishing ones shoes or writing a few words.

I do remember feeling euphoric walking to Centraal Station in Amsterdam. I must have taken my suitcase and just bought the train ticket, walked up the flight of stairs to the platform taking me to Italy. It was the absolute right thing to have done. My job at the bank with the daily routine of balancing the books to zero each day had run its course. There is only so much you can do with a zero. It wasn’t easy. I had to make sure there wasn’t a cent in between. This is the essence of good book-keeping. The cost of a postage stamp could throw my day into turmoil and cost me hours of having to work after hours. No one could go home till the books were zero.

Even the director on the swivel chair had to stay back. All the branches had to give the daily figures to head office which would then print the all important statements and post them to the bank’s customers. I often used to offer the bank my own money if there was a discrepancy of just a few cents in order to be able to go home. No, that is not what banking is about. The books had to balance. You can see, dear readers, can’t you, how my career at a bank had to end? To think that at the very best I too could end up a director and swivel around a special chair. Is that what I had to look forward to? Of course to become a director could only come about by appointment. The director at my branch wasn’t too impressed, especially not when I laughed after he fell backwards with a cigar in his hands. It was doomed.

All my sense of importance wearing a finely pressed suit in the tram of Amsterdam had come to not much more than working on the Czechoslovakian Capstan lathe back in Australia, (bar the strange rituals). When my friend Bernard had secured a lovely chalet in the North of Italy I decided to chuck in the job and join him. This decision was made within a split second. The spontaneity of it was breathtaking. I loved it and still tend to act rather rashly which Helvi finds sometimes a bit hard to deal with. Of course, one could question how the bank would feel not even been notified of my choice to leave. I simply vanished.

They must have enquired at my address of the dying uncle. In any case, the book-keeping must have been done by the director till a replacement was found. I never collected my wages or holiday money as I felt it a just penance for not having given notice. The train trip to Bressanone started in rain but ended in glorious sunshine, a good omen. But of that…more to come!

(We will be in Ubud- Bali till the 23 of June. I hope to be able to post but am dependent on doing it on a tablet. I am not sure how that works. We shall see) !

The Beach resort and large Stomachs.

January 10, 2015
Holiday fun at Port Macquarie.

Holiday fun at Port Macquarie.

We came back last Thursday from 5 days at Port Macquarie. It used to be a small town about 400 Km North of Sydney. Now it has grown into a large town with own airport and is overrun by hordes of sun and beach seeking tourists during the summer months, especially during the Christmas school holiday. We too went there as tourists and had booked a 3bedroom apartment. The building was called North-Point and bravely admitted to being a ‘resort’. The resort title was somewhat overstated. It did have a ping pong table and a pool with barbeque as a concession to recreational features. I mustn’t be too chagrined!

The apartments are being advertised as being air-conditioned and well equipped. The combination lounge-dining-kitchen did feature one of those wall mounted air conditioners. I seem to always be switching those types of air cons on and off continually. They blow cold air down on my knees at a rate that seems to vacillate at its own selfish will. Their remotes, as a bonus, are often incoherent with little things indicating mysterious options. The rest of the apartment had ceiling fans, a much preferred option. I like the reassurance of whirring fans. Perhaps seated on a cane chair one could easily drift into a Somerset Maugham at Raffles adventure. A kind of Razor’s Edge recall. In any case, with fans you can chose ‘low or high’, so simple.

Our five days at Port Macquarie, after reflection, made for a somewhat minor observation. Holiday makers, especially the beach and surf fans seemed to have grown in size! Our apartment was on the second floor of a ten story building. Each floor would have five or six entrances to other apartments. There was a continuous movement and shuffling in the corridors of people clad in skimpy bathers. Christmas holidays in Australia traditionally always included entire families on the beach and swimming. In earlier times, it was the rent of a sea-side cottage, the caravan or camping ground. Today, many seek Bali, Thailand, or, if staying home, go for the ‘resort’. Well, we chose the ‘resort with ping pong table’.

A much lamented complaint by overseas visitors in Australia is the lack of availability of Wi-Fi. Of that we were not disappointed. The resort did not have Wi Fi but did offer the name of a provider, who, for a cost, sold different packs of access to the Internet. We tried several restaurants but all offered no Wi Fi. Now, last time in Bali, the waitresses would politely ask if they could type in the Wi Fi code on your device, all part of the service. Same in Koi Samui- Thailand. North-point resort at Port Macquarie did not even gave an excuse. Of course, for us and our grandkids it was a bonus. Instead of tablet fiddling, it was swimming or table tennis, water slide and strawberry picking on a farm.

They, the tourists, came or entered the lifts all day till late in the evening. You could not leave the place without being confronted by swimmers. The lifts stated a maximum of fifteen people. Perhaps when this building was erected people were still of a moderate size. I felt like printing a sheet stating that 8 might be the maximum now. The bathers would have normal limbs but when the lifts opened up, one would be almost pushed aside by stomachs appearing first followed by the bather. There was no modesty, coyness, reticence or any kind of holding back. Why would they? Oh no, everyone was large now. It is normal. I am the freak in my long skinny RM Williams stock-yard jeans and heavy boots. Not them.

A good time was held by all. Daughter and grandchildren enjoyed themselves. I played table tennis and was surprised how my form had slipped. I used to always have a good way of putting enough spin on the ball for the opposing player to miss a return hit. All gone now. In fact, with my dodgy eyesight the ball slipped past the bat on a few occasions. How dreadful this matter of ageing. Still, I loved the salt and pepper calamari. The reason for large stomachs soon became clear. All day and at all hours people now eat. They eat while swimming, walking, driving, crossing the road, even talking. Entire streets, towns are taken up by roving eaters. You can almost even hear it.

Eating has become our raison d’être.

Me, no complain.

Mr Hoover; Look what you have done!

November 15, 2014

First flush of love

First flush of love

One of my all time heroes is Quinten Crisp. He proudly stated that in having lived for over four decades in a London bedsit, he never once cleaned it. “After a while, all dust just settled in the corners of my room just like snow.” You could not define this more poetically, could you? How utterly sensible and wise. The advent of so many suffering with respiratory lung troubles is now seen as a problem asescerbated by the overtly cleanliness and obsessive use of Pine-o-Clean and other disinfectants, killers of benevolent bacteria. We seem to kill the goodness in dirt and filth. The biggest problem and cause of this obsession though is the vacuum cleaner.

However, and here comes the catch. Dirt and dust don’t easily combine with domestic bliss. They don’t marry and live comfortably in the presence of conjugal stability and effervescent cohabitation between the different or not so different sexes. The Hoover Company knew that back in the thirties and cunningly took advantage of the hunt to eliminate dust and dirt. The broom was doomed! The original Hoover was called ‘a suction sweeper’ developed by a man called Spangler who suffered from asthma and blamed his lung problems on dust. The war on dust had begun.

And yet, what could be simpler and more aesthetically pleasing than to observe the workings and sounds of the simple broom. Remember this simple broom with willow twigs bound together around a nice and smooth handle? I remember the lovely swishing sounds it used to make. Now, one has to go to simple villages of Cambodia or Bali to yet see again, hear and get back into touch of the broom and their early morning swishing sounds. This sound and crowing roosters, how honest, earthy and essential.

Now look what damage you have done Mr Hoover. Please, go and ponder the hideous looks of the modern vacuum cleaner. A monstrous design. Mr Alvar Aalto would turn in his grave. The bulbous multi buttoned rocket look. Is it meant to land us on a comet or double as a spare bazooka trained onto foe and neighbour? This hideousness is rampant in the world of so many household aids but especially vacuum cleaners. It is promoted as having ‘cyclonic and climatic ‘ properties. Cyclonic? All those buttons and twisting hoses, wheels and gyrating whirling motors, just for dust? Give me back my willow broom!

My mother and Hoover

My mother and Hoover

But, in the quest for domestic harmony, I too have succumbed, like my parents did, back in Rotterdam, to a vacuum cleaner. I too do the rounds, listlessly but with enough determination to fill the bag. I too pull this machine around obstacles and sincerely lie, when asked if I have removed all the bedside tables, or vacuumed under the bed. (I avoid doing that because it always sucks up a sock.) It is painful and mind dehydrating. At the end, the machine disgorges its bag with dog hair and grey dust, a strange pink rubber ring, a hairpin or Milo’s abandoned crust of Pane di Casa into the bin of discontented household garbage.

Look at the happiness on the faces of my parents, seduced by a new Hoover. The newly weds. They would have been the last of the Mohicans in willow broom usage.

It makes me weep bitter tears.

It’s a Miracle.

October 25, 2014

heart7 The beach

I once lost my glasses when knocked down by a large wave close to the beach on Indonesia’s island of Lombok. Lombok is a large volcano and the beaches bank down steeply into the ocean. Within a few metres of the beach you cannot stand up in the water anymore. I assumed my spectacles would gently roll down to the depth of the sea with the occasional calamari perhaps peering through them, wondering what sort of two eyed glassy creature is beckoning.

Next morning my wife and I went for a walk along this beach and I found my glasses washed up on the sand.
The sea had returned my glasses. It was a miracle and for true believers, performed by Allah.

Let me explain. We had been to Bali before and on one of those trips decided to go to the island next door called Lombok. We thought of going by ferry but they were booked out. A good friend told us that Lombok is what Bali had been. I suppose he was referring to tourism having spoiled a rather peaceful island into a place swamped by loud, beer swilling and hairy armpit scratching bogons. Together with encrusted bikini clad dreadlock knitted girlfriends looking for ‘ a good time’! The murder rate was steadily climbing up, as were muggings and stolen passports. However, despite all that, even today, Bali’s culture of the pre-dominantly Hindu faith is still largely intact. The Island is renowned for its highly developed arts, including traditional and modern dance, sculpture, painting, leather, metalworking, and music. Perhaps art overcomes all?

After arriving at Lombok we noticed a difference. Next day at about 4am I woke up. It was H, who poked me in the ribs; ” what the fuck is this”? she said gently. It happened to be the very loud and amplified call to all Moslems to come and pray. It woke H up. I am profoundly deaf, so, there are benefits. 😉 Anyone who has ever been to an Islamic country would know. We did not. The Mosques and Imams use the spires of minarets to call the devout for prayer. Lombok is mainly Islamic even though next door to Hindu Bali.

Prayer, or Salah, is one of the five essential pillars of Islam. Taking time out to pray, five times a day, helps Muslims remember Allah and their purpose in life – to worship Him. When they turn towards Mecca, they are united with all the Muslims around the world who face the same direction, and when they raise their hands to begin Salah, they put aside the stresses and worries of life to remember their Lord.

I have often thought about the event of finding my glasses on the beach. Against all odds. Was it a miracle? Was the combined praying at all helpful in bringing my glasses back onto the beach, uphill, against a steep incline and against the law of gravity?

Here some wise Islamic saying that seems to unite all, even those from different faiths.

Make the most of your life before your death.”

Make the most of “your health before your sickness.”

Make the most of “your time before you become busy.”

Make Among the most of “your wealth before you become poor.”

Make Among the most of “your youth before you become old.”

 Near Ubud, Bali

Near Ubud, Bali