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1990. It is impossible to talk about Bali without sometimes sounding like a tour guide, because Bali is quite unlike any other place on earth, and very specifically so. It is also impossible to write about it in a fully factual way. The facts are too many, too contradictory, and finally too elusive. This, of course, makes it a rich terrain for anthropologists — and a much cushier one than, say, Chad. The study of Balinese society and culture is not exactly an industry, but it occupies hundreds of scholars all over the world; indeed Bali has been a subject of research and pontification for over a century. I am not a scholar — although at times something of an anthropological groupie — but I know that even scholars have trouble defining exactly what a Balinese village is.