The Sketchy Truth

People are creative. Even those who say they aren’t, have, in some capacity, reservoirs of creativity.

Day two of the Ubud Writers’ Festival brought out the best. Take the man with exotic lips and Italian hair who tried to enter an event today without a ticket. “I’m with the Cambodian Space Project,” he told the attendant.

“Of course you are,” said the diplomatic gatekeeper, stifling the urge to roll his eyes. “But I still need to see your pass.”  The interloper mumbled something about his group and ambled away.

Not long afterward another ticketless fellow approached and was stopped by the attendant. “I’m the police,” he growled and began to push past. My friend wasn’t buying it. He stepped in front of the man and said, “Then I’ll need to see some identification.” Of course the man had none and left in a huff.

Later, we discovered that The Cambodian Space Project is a musical group performing at the Festival. Who knew? And the exotic lips and Italian hair did come back with a pass.

But the police? Not a sign of that guy.

My personal favorites are the ones who say, “I’m a writer,” expecting that somehow those magic words will open doors and give them unlimited access to whatever they want. The Festival writers are here by invitation. They wear signs around their necks. You can’t miss them. If you’re any other writer than that, you don’t count for beans and you need to buy a ticket just like everyone else.

The Cambodian Space Project

Or volunteer, which is what I’m doing. Besides having free access to more than 76 events, I get to watch creative people at their best, and worst!


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