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Come Blow Your 'Terompet'

Now Appearing on a Corner Near You: Bali's New Year's 'Terompet' Salesmen.

(12/31/2001) In the weeks leading up to New Year's Eve, Bali's streets are home to ubiquitous salesmen, standing besides racks full of paper and foil "terompet-terompet," offering a wide selection of colorful noisemakers to lend to the tradition cacophony accompanying the transition to 2002.

Viewed as almost a compulsory accessory for any Indonesian New Year's reveler, these colorful trumpets are made from recycled paper and colored foil in central Java and, together with the products of a sister-industry in silly party hats, are shipped nation-wide in time for the festive season. Ranging in size from small horns suitable for children to paper versions of an Alpine flugelhorn, these instruments of merry-making manage to transform normally reserved and dignified people on New Year's Eve into mindless dolts, seemingly content to toot-toot-toot for hours until eventually succumbing to fatigue or respiratory failure.

Smart shoppers know to buy their 'terompet' early.

Entrepreneurial street hawkers buy their stock for prices ranging from Rp. 500 to Rp. 1,000 each (US$ 0.05 to US$ 0.10), selling them for twice to three times that investment on local street sides. Those prices will again double or even triple come 31 December when stocks begin to diminish and demand gets the upper hand on supply.

With New Year's Eve at hand, we suggest you don't delay in buying your 'terompet,' accepting that it's better to look silly than out of place.

Happy New Year 2002 from Bali Update and balidiscovery.com ... toot ... toot ... toot ... toot