Forgo your western opinions of bugs and other crawly things.
Allow me to share a travel moment that fully accepts their importance in this world – and reflects the beauty of the Balinese people.
I was at breakfast. My medium-boiled eggs were eaten and I was lingering over my coffee with milk when, to my right on the floor, I saw movement.
Then, with grace, a sandalled foot swept over top and stilled the creature. But it did not crush it, rather, it tried to guide it away from my table.
As with all our hotels in Bali, the restaurant was in an outdoor room with ceiling and marble floors but no walls so that the air could flow through. This one was located immediately adjacent to a rice field. There was a screen behind the buffet table and six inches beyond it was the rice paddy.
The bug, about an inch and a half long, refused to take the guidance of the bus boy in his crisp white shirt and blue sarong. It got away. But again the young man's foot caught up and stopped it. This time he bent down and picked it up from under his foot. He carried it by one wing to the gap beside the screen that ran behind the buffet. The steep angle of the morning sun shone through the creature's translucent wings creating a golden flutter. And then he let it go.
I had to ask what kind of bug it was. Madee, the maître d’, told me it was a cockroach. As Madee explained, the Balinese people believe in giving space to all life.
The Balinese are a gracious and hospitable people – to travelers and cockroaches.
I took this trip with the support of Overseas Adventure Travel. You can read more about it here: