Saturday, July 7, 2007

Frogs of Paradise

We loved central Bali, with its dramatic thatched roofs and steep gorges laden with greenery all the way down to the rushing rivers below.

It was a study in contrasts: the locals and the tourists crowding the sidewalks in nearly equal numbers, the Mexican restaurant with the traditional Balinese temple out front, the woman carrying her load in the traditional way (arrange towel on head, top with something tremendously heavy, balance with effortless ease) past a Ralph Lauren storefront.

And what we also remember fondly is the abundance of frogs, in all forms and in all shapes and sizes.

Our first night in a Balinese-style hotel with an outdoor bath, we were surprised to find this little guy waiting in our shower, keeping as still as he could and trying his best to blend in with the sand-colored tiles:

After that first surprise, we started to notice the bigger, heavier frogs (carvings of wood and stone) at every turn. Some were decorative statues tucked into nooks and crannies. Some were lamps. Whole families of carved stone frogs, stacked one on top of the other, served as fountains or even doorstops.

Some, hands clasped in the traditional prayerful greeting, were dressed in the black-and-white-checked sarongs we’d seen worn in temple ceremonies designed to balance the “light” and “dark” elements of the world. More often than not, there was a hibiscus, carved or real, perched jauntily behind one ear.

And then there was this happy one, that we couldn’t resist taking home.

1 comment:

Mom & Dad said...

We could surely use one of those in our midwestern garden!