Tuesday night I had a nice little dinner fixed by my cook, Wayan. Then I zoomed off in the car to Ubud in time to catch the English language Wayang Kulit by dalang Wayan Wija in Ubud's Wantilan.
Okay, what is it with Wayan Wija? Is my memory colored and blurred? Didn't I see him perform shadow puppetry in English a couple of years ago at Ubud's SaiSai Bar? Wasn't he a sexy young guy with long hair to whom all of the white girls flocked after the performance? Tuesday at the Ubud Wantilan, the dalang was a serious but heavily talented fellow with short hair and no groupies. Ach, maybe it is just that Ubud is not currently attracting so many hot young gals who pick up extra pay as artists' models. Maybe our amazing Wayan has matured. Maybe he just got a haircut.
The Wayang Kulit Tuesday night was wonderful. The truncated team of musicians and puppet master was off to a late start and I am ashamed to admit that I left sometime between the obligatory fight scene and the moment when balance was restored in the forest and in earth itself. I was dog tired and wanted to collapse in my lovely room at the Honeymoon Guest House.
But let me say this, Wayan Wija is a master... his chorus of frogs and his mastery of character voices are the product of genius. My hat is off.