We like to think we know all the selling tactics the Balinese have up their sleeves. Pouting, pleading, and even sending children after you are all common ways in guilting a purchase from you. As much as we like to think the guilt doesn’t work on us, it does. Being the teachers we are, we’re suckers for kids.
Enjoying the majestic views at Tegalalang rice terraces just outside of Ubud, it wasn’t long before two young girls approached us with some not-so-new postcards to sell. First came the asking, then the pleading, followed by the pouting. Trying to lighten the mood, we directed their energy to something else…themselves! Pulling out the video camera, we flipped the screen and watched the two laugh hysterically at the ridiculous faces they put on. As with all children, they vied for single attention of the movie screen and their fifteen minutes of fame. Laughing turned to shoving, which turned to slipping in the mud, which of course turned to tears. This is where we saw the true kindness of the Balinese emerge and all efforts of selling postcards were thrown out the window with attention now being turned to cleaning the mud off of the friend.
The two girls showed such empathy and kindness that we often miss as adults (ourselves included), and something we strive to teach to our students in Canada. Which is why we bought a set of postcards from each of them!! :)
After their sale for the day was complete, we taught them how to use use our massive camera (see photo with the both of us below), helped them build a small mud-house, and then went on to catch tadpoles in the mud for the new home.
In the end, what could have been a simple rejection to another seller, turned into yet another awesome Bali experience.
** Fully engaged in our time with these two girls, we completely forgot about completing #78 on “While We’re Alive”. Guess we’ll just have to make another trip back to Bali! :)