Having plenty of time on the
plane, Kendrick pulled out his new small diary. On the first page
was a brochure of his destination and he read it again for the tenth
Bali is an island between Java and Lombok Island with the vast
majority in Hindu. It is famous for its artworks and music and
considered to be number one for tourist attraction destination in
“Hi, is this your first time to Indonesia?”
Kendrick squinted at a friendly young man sitting next to him. He
had trimmed dark hair with welcoming black eyes and a pair of
eyeglasses in silvery frame. From his outer appearance, Kendrick
knew that he was an Asian man.
“Yes, it is,” Kendrick answered politely, “And how about you? Are
you from Indonesia?” He tried to prolong the conversation.
“Yes, I’m from Bali,” the young man replied. “I’m a university
student.” He studied Kendrick’s profile guessing his new
acquaintance’s job. He guessed him right.
“Oh, really? I’m a psychology professor. I’m on a long leave,” he
paused a moment, then continued. “So, tell me about the place!”
“Well, it depends on your interest. Are you going to stay long?”
“I don’t know exactly. I’m attending a three-day conference and
then, well, I guess, I’ll just have to follow my instinct.”
His eyes widened. “Oh, I’m Putu Ray by the way,” he extended his
“I’m Kendrick Lovington,” he replied offering his hand.
“Bali is a superb island. You shall like it. It has sacred nuance of
Kendrick’s face was wreathed in smiles. “That’s exactly what I’m
“Oh, yeah? Well, you’ll come to the right place, then. Bali is an
exotic island with the depth understanding of God. You’ll also love
the beaches. It’s a melting pot between the west and the east.”
“Yes, I surely will.”
“And, hum, you’ll definitely need to change your suit there,” Putu
remarked observing his conventional clothes.
Kendrick smiled shyly. “I guess, I will.”
After being on the plane for almost a full day long, the plane
finally landed in Denpasar, Bali. Kendrick stretched out his numb
legs, said good bye to his companion, and hailed for a taxi.
He entered into a private resort where he was warmly welcomed. It
was rather quiet with a shady green garden in the center, next to
the restaurant, and a medium-sized swimming pool.
Soon after checking in, Kendrick changed into the creamy pants with
long-sleeved white cotton shirt, getting ready for his very first
start journey. He strolled along the sidewalk of the streets.
It was a sunny day and warm breeze greeted his pale skin. Almost
everyone in the street wore beach-suits and cotton garments.
The streets were full of small stores selling many types of
merchandise; clothing, souvenirs, and metal works. The cozy ambiance
of semi-outdoor cafés straggled between the stores.
Kendrick bought some T-shirts and long cotton-motif-pants and then
ambled at the streets enjoying the new scent of his life, spending
more than half of his day, and sat leisurely on a semi-outdoor café
reading a book.
On the next day, Kendrick attended the conference.
He entered the huge ballroom with white tablecloths and comfortable
red chairs lining up tidily. He walked into an empty seat in the
center next to a white turbaned man.
“Hi, is this seat taken?” Kendrick opened the conversation politely.
“Oh, no, no. Go ahead.” He gave a wide smile to Kendrick. “Hi, I’m
“Coming alone?” Ahmed asked him.
“Religion is my passion.”
Kendrick beamed. “Same as here.”
“Excuse me.” Their ongoing conversation was interrupted by a
white-dressed man in a white cotton toupee. He looked modest and
warm with black eyes and tanned skin.
“Hi,” Kendrick greeted. He noticed him secretly. He assumed the man
was around his age.
The man took a seat beside him.
“Hi, I’m Ida Marendra,” he introduced himself, and they delivered
their warm handshakes.
They paused for a while.
Kendrick reached the inside part of his backpack. Ugh, what’s the
word for the Hinduism leader in Bali? I’ve written it down in my
diary. He grabbed his white soft leather book, opened it quickly,
and fingered the lines.
Aha. Here it is! he said inwardly.
Kendrick turned his head to the direction of where Marendra was
sitting. “Are, are you a Mangku?” he asked.
The man nodded smiling. “Yes. Why?”
“Well, I’m interested in Hinduism, and hum, actually I’m in search
Well, maybe we can get together after the conference is over.”
“Good morning, ladies and gentlemen,” the moderator opened the
speech commencing the conference. All participants paid their
attention to the stage.
During the lunch break, they sat by each other having fried-rice
with chicken and shrimp chips.
“So, what do you do?” Kendrick took a spoon of his rice.
“I’m a businessman.”
“Oh, I see. Where you from?”
“I’m from Dubai.”
Kendrick chewed up his food. “Oh, I believe it’s a beautiful
Ahmed grinned. “Indeed. Thank you.”
“How long will you be staying in Bali?” Ida Marendra asked.
“I’m still having to do some business after the conference. Maybe
I’ll stay for two weeks or so.”
They continued talking and became close friends during the seminar.