The Really Old Bali Blog (2013-2015) « Watch out! There's a foreigner about...
On an island whose income is largely derived from the kickbacks of wholesale tourism, the Bali Police throw a curve-ball and warn the island's inhabitants to "remain alert and actively protect the island from various security threats, including foreigners in the province" - and warns that "not all foreigners were in Bali to enjoy the island's beauty; instead, some planned to commit crimes..."
There were 8,400 crimes recorded on Bali in 2013. Foreigners were suspects in 83 crimes - which means that the rest of the crimes were committed by...
Tell me where this is going, Chief.
Senior Commander R. Umar Faroq - Bali Police Director For Vital Object Security - sheds some light:
"Some of them are also here dealing illicit drugs, defrauding people, hiding from their country's law enforcers or laundering money."
All the time. When I can fit it in between my Wet Pussies and Hot Bikram Yoga classes.
'According to Umar, the Bali Police are planning to establish a Foreigner Community Club (FCC) that would assist non-natives - who they consider "important people" - with various issues.'
Does that include my personal issues that I've come to Ubud to sort out in an Eat, Pray, Love kind of way?
And if I'm not in the Club, does that mean I'm not on the Safe List?
Do I need to pay a visit to the local shaman first and tell him that I'm only here for a massage and a takeaway, or do I just spill the beans to the lady behind the Visa on Arrival desk at the airport? She might get bored with my divorce story...
'"Tourists must also obey tour guides and not feel like they know everything," says Sr. Comr. Umar.'
So when my tour guide tells me he wants $200 for a morning's hike up Batur followed by a visit to his antie's clothing shop, I just roll with it? Hm. Seems like tough love to me. Let me just check my wallet first.
'Ida Bagus Ngurah Wijaya, head of the Bali Chapter of the Indonesian Tourism Industry Association (GIPI), acknowledged that many foreigners used the country's weak security measures at international gateways. He said that the government should be more selective in deciding who could enter Indonesia, including by having advanced security equipment, such as retinal scanners, to check a person's records.'
You mean like the x-ray machines that were supposed to stop terrorists and drug smugglers at Padangbai and Gilimanuk and never got used? I thought having my passport confiscated for five months before getting finger-printed for my year's work permit was pretty comprehensive?
'Ngurah added that many foreigners entering the country had no money, dangerous diseases or were fugitives.'
Thanks for the personal info!
'"Here", Ngurah presses, "anyone can come in as long as they pay the VoA. Some are retirees on limited budgets who die in their rooms. Their embassies won't pay for this, nor do the families. Who will?" he questioned.'
God, there's nothing like an embarrassing smell in the morning.
But hey, TII - This Is Indonesia - and it all makes perfect sense when you read the small print.
Old Bali Blog Posts
All The Really Old Bali Blog Posts ~ 2015-2015
- Dutch colonial massacres in Indonesia from 1945-1949, and compensation from Holland [Updated 2020]
- 'Liger' killed after Bogor sex attack
- Will she or won't she? Miss World cancelled on Java
- Make mine a large one, Chief: Aceh orders schoolchildren to self-measure their genitalia
- Share that shower, girls: Bali to enter a water deficit by 2015
- Joshua Oppenheimer's film 'The Act of Killing' nominated for an Oscar
- Lock up your daughters: Muslim FPI hardliners planning to raid Bali turned away by Police
- Monopoly money: Indonesian rupiah is Asia's worst-performing currency
- Selamat pagi! Christian ward-chief unwelcome in Jakarta for not using Arabic greetings
- Did the earth move for you? Minor earthquake jolts Ubud
- Who let the cat out of the bag? Schapelle Corby granted parole from Kerobokan Prison
- Dad, which one's the brake? 13-year-old rock-star's son kills 7 with car
- Indonesian public officials fired for crystal meth use
- A right royal send-off: The Queen of Ubud's cremation ceremony
- Forest fires rage on Bali's Mount Agung
- Mummy! West Balinese coffee farmer finds 2,300-year-old sarcophagus in coffee plantation
- Nag or Stallion? Chinese Year of the Horse, 2014
- Whirlwinds and heavy weather hit Bali's Denpasar
- No God, no job: 19 government workers fired for not turning up to Friday prayers
- Santa no-fly zone: Aceh hardline Muslims ban Christmas
- 10th anniversary of Asian Tsunami
- Cosmic counter-balance? Chinese Year of the Horse starts with a bang
- Sanur security guard strangled by python outside Bali Hyatt Hotel
- Ask questions later: Indonesian terror police gun down six in Jakarta
- East-West car crash: Balinese man strangles woman on nude cruise liner
- Paddling in Sanur: Floods hit south Bali's beachside tourist resort
- Australian mother and daughter die of suspected food-poisoning in Padangbai resort, Bali
- A lion named Michael: Another animal dies at the Surabaya 'Zoo of Death'
- Bootleg 'arak' kills three in Buleleng, North Bali
- Bad timing: Frenchman arrested for cocaine possession in Kuta, Bali
- Batten down the hatches: Bad weather in store for Bali in January 2014
- The Russians are coming!! Ex-soviet tourists flood Bali...
- Tears in Paradise: A photo exhibition of Bali's mentally ill
- Flaming cash: Indonesian rupiah on world list of 'Fragile Five' currencies
- Watch out! There's a foreigner about...
- Ashes to ashes: Devastating fire at Clear Cafe on Ubud's Jalan Hanuman
- High life, low life: Australian brothers Scott O'Hehir and Timothy O'Hehir from Perth guilty of GBH in Kuta, Bali
- Monster price-hike: Price of Indonesian gas/petrol rises by 33% overnight
- Snuff it or get snuffed: Illegal forest fires burn out of control on Riau
- Waitreeeess!! Australian tourist detained on flight from Brisbane to Bali
- British woman murdered in Junjungan villa, Ubud
- Dead guilty: Guy cheats on wife and drives off Denpasar bridge
- Strictly off the menu: Magic Mushrooms illegal in Bali (2021 Update)
- Eat, Pray... Crash
- A sleeping giant wakes: Sumatra's Mount Sinabung erupts
- Up, up... and away! Price of Indonesia's Visa on Arrival (VOA) rises by 40%
- The Blues have it? Indonesia goes to the polls
- Open-and-shut case? American woman found dead in suitcase outside Nusa Dua hotel
- Hungry Mouth To Feed? VS Naipaul pulls out of Ubud Writers' and Readers' Festival
- Earthquake Time Again: 7,3 hits Sulawesi and Maluku
- Russian thief arrested for stealing souvenir at Tanah Lot
- Just another meltdown: Indonesian rupiah plunges to pre-1998 crisis levels
- Down: AirAsia flight QZ8501 crashes into Java Sea
- US Security Warning For East Java
- Australian Security Warning For Bali
- The Long Goodbye: Six drug traffickers executed in Indonesia
- Very Important Ape: Paris Hilton pays a visit to Ubud's Monkey Forest
- Bali Nine or the Magnificent Seven? Australian drug traffickers Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran to be executed in Indonesia
- Bye-bye beer: Indonesia bans alcohol from convenience stores
- Australia vs. Indonesia, Round 9: Handbags at Dawn
- Rabies Returns to Ubud in 2015
- Indonesia: Alcohol prohibition
- This restless earth: Sumatra's Mount Sinabung on highest alert after eruptions
- 8-year-old Engeline - 'Angeline' - murdered in Sanur, Bali
- Australian surfer Nicholas Langan facing four years in Bali prison for smoking marijuana joint
- July 7-11, 2015: Dog-poisonings and widespread dog-culls in Ubud and Sukawati, Bali
- Flights cancelled at Denpasar International Airport due to eruption of Java's Mount Raung
2020 ~ Bali in the time of Covid-19
'Covid-19 vs. Hunger' (August 2020).
Street art by the urban artist 'Wild Drawing' of a Balinese boy going hungry due to unemployment and the collapse of the tourist industry following the catastrophic effect of the Covid-19 pandemic on Bali's economy.
Street Art by © 2020 Wild Drawing.
Photograph by © 2020 Ubud High.
Public poster outside Ubud Market shaming Western tourists and foreigners for not wearing face-masks and
disobeying Indonesia's Covid-19 health protocols. Masks have been mandated in Indonesia
since March 2020. Foreigners' adoption of masks is embarrassingly weak on the resort island.
Ubud, Bali, Indonesia on Feb 13, 2021.
Photograph by © 2021 Ubud High.
© 2021 John Storey. All Rights Reserved.
The Last Pic
Portrait of the Day
Portraits from Bali by Ubud High
© Ubud High.
© 2021 John Storey. All rights reserved.
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Street art, graffiti and murals for the masses – the most public of Bali's urban art scene hidden in plain sight on the walls of Canggu, Ubud, Seminyak and Kuta.
THE UBUD HANDBOOK ~ Your free guide to living in Ubud and Bali in an online nutshell.
‘First stop on Shree Ganesha's round-Asia tour was a spell in Buddhist Tibet with its strong tantric leanings – a convenient spot to re-invent himself as Vinãyaka, and then as the dancing red Nritta Ganapati – before a full-blown alter-ego revamp as the scarlet, twelve-armed Maharakta Ganapati. Now, Maharakta Ganapati was unusually fond of skullcaps filled with human flesh and blood – and this we might charitably put down to a bad trip.
After all, what happens in Tibet stays in Tibet...’
‘To cut an all-night story short, the mask was donned by a dancer who fell into a deep trance. But instead of staying in the temple, he began to run. And run. He became violent and uncontrollable. He ran for four kilometers down the road – the crowd scrambled after him. He ended up in a cemetery just past my house, and in the dead of night began to do frenzied battle with unseen foes...’
∞ 'Nyepi' ~ Bali's Hindu New Year, and the Day of Silence ~ Melasti, Ngerupuk, Ogoh-Ogoh & Manis Nyepi
‘If previous New Years' Days have seen you waking up with a crippling hangover trying to remember what you did the night before, maybe it's time you headed to Bali in March. Nyepi – the Balinese Day of Silence, and the start of the Hindu Saka New Year – is a day, a night and a day you'll never forget....’
‘Kajeng Kliwon is the kind of day when anything that can happen will happen. It invariably does.
You have been seriously warned...’
“When I had my sixth and seventh babies at the hospital – my twin girls – the doctor ordered me to have a Caesarian. And without asking me, he tied my tubes off as well.
I think he thought I'd had enough babies...”
“On the third bite,” says one hater, “it was as though I'd just eaten a diseased, parasite-infested animal with a bad case of rabies. I prayed I wouldn't be sick because I really didn't want to taste it again on the way back up...”
‘Boobs and political censorship have never been far from the Silver Screen – in Indonesia, they're its bedrock. The silent flicks of Thirties' Bali sucked hungrily on the island's bare-breasted cabinet-postcard image that encouraged so many gilded tourists – and dodgy film-stars like Charlie Chaplin – to visit its sultry, forbidden shores...’
Getting Around ~ Bali 'Biking
“For me, some of the most dangerous people on the road are white people. I avoid them like the plague. You can tell the ones who are going to hurt others – the fixed grins, the hunched over the handle-bars, the wobbling around corners and shouts of indignation when they finally hit someone – because they have absolutely no idea how life and the road works around here...”
‘She tears into the traffic. She can't stop. She narrowly misses hitting a car head-on, swerves past a mum on a 'bike and slaloms across the road. Before she hits anyone – it's a miracle she doesn't – she falls in a bad-sounding heap of bent metal and smashing plastic. A group of Balinese rush to pick her up before the cops see her...’
‘She starts sweeping and I notice that she's limping. There's a spreading bruise and an angry graze running past her knee and down her calf. She wants to carry on cleaning – I sit her down and ask her what happened.
She's shy; I press...’
‘Rule number one on a monsoon day? Don't get wet.
You may not realise that getting caught in a cloudburst or shower on Bali – particularly if you're on a motorbike – is the tropical equivalent of walking naked outside during a Prague Winter after a lukewarm bath.
It'll really slow you down. The shivers, hot-and-cold flushes, a chesty cough, diarrhoea, sneezing, stomach pains, a belting headache and aching bones are all at the top of the list...’
‘Nowhere is free from the tax of life. We all have to pay for our slice of Bali paradise – and this often comes in the shape of our biting, stinging, crawling, flying insect-cousins.
It's the downside of environment-sharing...’
Holidays from the Jungle
‘Agricultural, and unpractised in the dark art of handling international tourists, the aristocratic farmer-people of Trunyan have acquired a damaging reputation for aggression. Their unique tourist draw – a jungle-cemetery where bodies are left in the open to disintegrate underneath a magical banyan tree – is regularly shunned by travellers on the time-sensitive tourist circuit...’
‘Ten meters away and the young man finally looks up – an inane, animal-like grin taped across his face as his girlfriend grips his porcelain butt and grimaces towards the empty blue sky. They disengage like street dogs, utter an invective in Russian, and stare...’
Tourism & Self-Enrichment
‘My concentration's shot to pieces. The spaghetti keeps falling off my fork. She's on her third large beer now. She starts to say 'facking' even more, and is speaking so loudly that people passing on the street have begun to look her way, and she's spitting bits of ciabatta bread and tomato and fish into her friend's dinner...’
‘I'm staying at a cute, family-run bed-and-breakfast – a homestay – on Ubud's trendy Jalan Goutama. A young member of the homestay's family tours her compound, blessing it with incense and rice and flower-petal offerings in little hand-made palm-leaf boxes.
All is well in Bali's spiritual capital...’
‘A Dutch boy in Holland goes to a gypsy fortune-teller who tells him that he is, in fact, Balinese. Afterwards, his uncle visits the Island of the Gods and brings him back a wooden carving of a bare-breasted lady.
Lucky for him it wasn't one of those funny-shaped wooden bottle-openers that looks like a cock...’
‘Shake out those Kundalini Awakenings with some HoopYogini™ and Bhakti Boogie® at the Yoga Barn. Celebrate The Divine Feminine with a splash of Shakti Dance. Puff up your lungs in a Sacred Breathwork Immersion Workshop®, insert a Jade Egg for luck at The Womb Temple™ and polish it off with some tantalising Manifesting And Abundance.
You know you're worth it...’
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