A collection of short stories, essays, blog-posts and photographs from Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

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..."

Nobody's perfect.

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

Flaming cash: Indonesian rupiah on world list of 'Fragile Five' currencies

Ashes to ashes: Devastating fire at Clear Cafe on Ubud's Jalan Hanuman


☬ The Really Old Bali Blog Posts ~ 2013-2015



Bali Street Art, Graffiti & Murals ~ 2021


Street art graffiti of the Hindu elephant-headed God Ganesha outside an Indian restaurant in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

Street art graffiti of the Hindu elephant-headed God Ganesha outside an Indian restaurant in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.
Photograph by © 2021 Ubud High.


© 2021 John Storey. All Rights Reserved.


The Last Pic

Portrait of the Day

Portraits from Bali by Ubud High
Old Balinese woman, Trunyan village, Kintamani, Bali

© Ubud High.


The Ubud Handbook by John Storey

© 2021 John Storey. All rights reserved.


The Ubud Handbook ~ by John Storey

THE UBUD HANDBOOK ~ Your free guide to living in Ubud and Bali in an online nutshell.

The Ubud Handbook

Search Ubud High

Street art mural of a young topless 1930s Balinese girl using social media on a mobile cellphone painted by the street artist Wild Drawing in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

Popular search terms ~
ganesha bali / covid / scorpions / scooter rental / bali street art / graffiti / murals / volcano / earthquake / trance / hornets / arma art gallery ubud / nyepi / traditional balinese paintings / rainy season / snakes / 2022 bali spirit festival / dengue fever / ecstatic dance / indonesia


Ubud Market ~ 2021 Pandemic Images

Pasar Ubud market during the Covid-19 pandemic in Bali, Indonesia
Pasar Ubud market in economic crisis during the Covid-19 pandemic in Bali, Indonesia
Pasar Ubud market in economic crisis during the Covid-19 pandemic in Bali, Indonesia
Pasar Ubud market in economic crisis during the Covid-19 pandemic in Bali, Indonesia
Pasar Ubud market in economic crisis during the Covid-19 pandemic in Bali, Indonesia
Pasar Ubud market in economic crisis during the Covid-19 pandemic in Bali, Indonesia

Street Art, Urban Murals & Creative Graffiti on Bali

Lord Ganesha, the elephant-headed god, depicted as a spray-can- and roller-wielding street artist in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

➤ Bali's Street Artists, Murals & Graffiti in the Wild ~ From Canggu to Ubud

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.

Street art and graffiti murals at Batu Bolong beach in Canggu near Old Man's bar and restaurant, Bali, Indonesia

➤ AllCaps Park ~ Street Art, Graffiti and Mural Paradise in Canggu, Bali

Bali street art - Graffiti and Mural Heaven at the AllCaps Park in Canggu, Bali, Indonesia

➤ Taman Festival ~ Ghost Town Graffiti, Murals and Street Art on Bali

Urban art, murals and graffiti galore at the derelict and haunted Taman Festival Theme Park in Bali

Search Ubud High

Graffiti street art of a young 1930s Balinese girl looking at social media on her mobile cellphone in a mural near Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

Popular search terms:
ganesha bali / covid / scorpions / scooter rental / street art / graffiti / mural / trance / volcano / earthquake / hornets / arma gallery / nyepi / traditional balinese paintings / rainy season / snakes / 2022 bali spirit festival / dengue fever / ecstatic dance / indonesia


Earthquakes and Volcanic Eruptions in Bali & Indonesia Today

The volcano Anak Krakatau erupting in the Sunda Strait, Indonesia

Gunung Anak Krakatau – the infamous 'Child of Krakatoa' volcano – erupting in the Sunda Strait between Java and Sumatra, Indonesia.


And finally, the weather

Fake styrofoam clouds over the main 'Cloud' stage at the 'Plastic-Free Gili Air Music Festival' near Lombok, Indonesia

Today's weather forecast for Ubud, Bali, Indonesia ⇨