Small villages with names like Batubalan and Sukawati drift past our window as children splash in rivers along the side of the road and adults in woven conical hats work in lush green rice paddies. Our driver talks to us about life on Bali. He describes the village ceremonies that are organized for births, marriages and cremations, the flowery offerings to the gods that are ubiquitous on every street, and the island traditions of black magic. As we chat, every curve in the road brings another startling panorama. The rice terraces form long emerald staircases as they tumble down glittering green hillsides.