Wayan was our waiter our first night in Ubud at a yummy restaurant with good pastas and an outdoor patio. He's a businessman. By night he waits tables and during the day he serves as a tour guide throughout Bali. His English was excellent and he was friendly and so we decided to spend the next day with him seeing some of the sights too far to walk to. We took a standard tour and at every spot Wayan was full of details, history, and information. He's good at what he does (and I’d recommend him to anyone visiting Bali). But we may have enjoyed the car ride the most.

Wayan is 32 and a father of two; he proudly showed us photos on his cell phone. He joins 93% of the Balinese as a practitioner of Bali's unique flavor of Hinduism. He lives with his parents, two younger brothers, wife, and children. "Wayan" in Bali is the gender neutral name for the firstborn, one of only a handful of names in Balinese culture. Really! The firstborn is Wayan, Gede, or maybe Putu or Nengah; the second is Made or Kadek; the third is Nyoman or Komang; the fourth is Ketut, and a fifth child starts over as Wayan. The variation depends on family clans, and Wayan’s oldest, a girl, is also named Wayan.

Our Wayan told us about living with his parents and his wife. With three sons all still at home, his parents will always be well taken care of. Wayan's wife is one of five daughters and he said that when they married, she asked if they could instead live with her parents and take care of him. Wayan said no, because in her parents' house, he would always "be #2." In his parents' house, he will one day be number 1.

His parents are rice farmers, his wife cares for his children, his parents, and the family home, and he alone makes "real money" in the tourist industry, learning and refining his English from his clients. I asked if it was hard to live with so many people (four adults, two teenagers, two children) and he agreed that it could be challenging. "My mother gets jealous if I pay too much attention to my wife," he said. "My wife gets jealous if I pay too much attention to my mother."

Wayan didn't talk about his beliefs personally, but he did talk about the religious ceremonies and requirements. Every morning and evening daily offerings are made for the spirits. Some packets are laid on the ground by doorways, others set up on high shelves—the low offerings are for the evil spirits and the higher gifts are for the good spirits. At least twice a year families enter cock fights and the losing bird’s blood is used to ward away evil spirits before temple ceremonies. Traditional family compounds are built with family temples and are laid out in a way meant to block evil spirits’ access.

Why do you spend so much time on the evil spirits, I asked. Well, it's like giving candy to children he explained, when you want little ones to be quiet. That way you don't bother their parents. It’s a lot of ceremony, he admitted. We don’t go on holiday because we don’t have the time or money. He let that statement hang in the air for a minute before recommitting himself. But it’s my choice.