Part Seven in a Series
There was an audible gasp from the audience when the Balinese medicine man rather matter of factly informed Elizabeth Gilbert that she would lose all of her money in the opening scene of Eat, Pray, Love, which opened somewhat belatedly in Hong Kong a couple of weeks back.
This was followed by a collective sigh of relief when he added that she would shortly “get it all back”.
And I couldn’t help but think that this said as much about Hong Kong as it did about Balinese fortune-telling. I’ve watched movies in this former British Crown Colony where people have had their heads chopped off, and the audience didn’t react with such horror.
Late to the Book
I came to the book a bit late. It all came about when – as a travel writer – I got a press release from a five star resort in Bali that was offering some sort of “Eat, Pray, Love” package. It piqued my curiosity.
I went to a bookshop, bought the book, and was so taken by the introduction that I made my way through the mall to my health club glued to the pages. I couldn’t put it down.
As much as I liked the introduction, with all of that cool stuff about prayer beads and rosaries and how the number 108 was the “perfect three digit multiple of three,” I have to admit that I sort of lost patience with the sordid details of Gilbert’s failed relationships and broken marriages. I kept thinking, “Cut to the chase!”
Back to the Movie
I was a bit disappointed with the movie’s lack of an original soundtrack. Also, having been to Bali twice, I don’t think the movie did the place justice.
Having said that, the movie encouraged me to pick the book back up. I managed to finish the part on India and am now plodding my way through Bali.
I must say, I find the Balinese approach to meditation – just sitting quietly with a smile on your face – more appealing than the chanting of endless mantras.
Writes Suellen Zima, author of Memoirs of a Middle-aged Hummingbird, in Laguna Woods, California:
The gasp of fear by Hong Kong movie-goers at the prediction that the heroine of “Eat, Love, Pray” would lose all her money probably sounded somewhat like the gasp of horror of Taiwanese movie-goers when an American movie star bared his hairy chest.
Any turkey in Thailand?
27 November 2010 (via email)
Accidental Travel Writer Responds
No turkey. Regarding the reaction of Taiwanese movie audiences to hairy chested men: you are assuming that they were gasping in horror . . .
Copyright: Michael Taylor
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