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West Until We're East
We are retreating northward from ATMs and KFCs and open sewers gurgling under broken sidewalks. From the vantage point of a car in traffic, everything in South Bali seems to press up against the narrow roads as if they know all too well that the money runs there. I could reach out the passenger-side window and graze the walls of dance pavilions, the ears of children on bicycles, the elbows of women carrying drums of petrol on their heads, vinyl banners for cigarettes and soda, and always on every side in both directions the handlebars of motorbikes laden with schoolgirls and families and construction supplies and poultry and precarious lives. I don't start to relax until we get up into the mountains, where there's finally nothing whizzing by inches from us but the open air over switchback drop-offs.
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