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

The Really Old Bali Blog (2013-2015) « July 7-11, 2015: Dog-poisonings and widespread dog-culls in Ubud and Sukawati, Bali

My Dream Dog

7-11 July 2015: The Bali government is carrying out a quiet, concerted, sweeping cull of all dogs caught outside their compounds in Ubud by dropping extremely vicious, fast-acting poison randomly across Ubud's populated neighbourhoods.

Facebook's Ubud Community yesterday and today (10-11 July 2015) has reliable reports of dog-culling teams sweeping through Sukawati and Ubud.

Also on Facebook, a tragic story of how the ill-advised battle against rabies on Bali rips apart the heart of one man and his closest friend - and ironically takes out the strongest link in his neighbourhood's fight against rabies.

From a contributor's personal post at Facebook's Ubud Community (11 July 2015)

"I took my two dogs for a walk in the sawah three days ago [July 7 2015] and one of them ate some very bad poison left by the side of the footpath, and she died an excruciatingly horrid death in my arms fifteen minutes later. She ended up bleeding through her mouth. A farmer helped me put a hose into her throat to clean it out but it didn't work.

She was an extremely fit, very healthy six-year old local dog, and fully vaccinated against rabies and parvo and everything else.

There was no helping my dog. She started to die very quickly. It was no normal rat poison.

She just went limper and limper. And then she gritted her teeth and passed away.

After she was dead, I hugged her and kissed her fur until she went cold.

If, over the next few days or weeks there are more and more cases of poisonings over Ubud, then that is evidence enough for me that a sly, official, banjar-to-banjar cull is happening. Remember that the rabid dog caught and put down in Penestanan a couple of months ago is only five minutes up the road from where I live...

And that rabies is making another comeback on Bali this year.

I only knew about the other two dogs because I told local people about mine, and one said: "Oh! A big Kintamani dog died round the corner yesterday too!"

And then a kilometer up the road I went to a shop, and I'm close to them so I told them and they said: "Oh! Our neighbours three doors down lost their dog that day, too!"

And then my girlfriend's puppy got poisoned on the same day way up near Sayan. What a coincidence.

If it's an official thing, they'll be using very dangerous drugs. If it's a local thing, it'll just be shit rat poison that might or might not kill. But the farmer who stayed with me and tried to help her kept saying, "This is bad poison... this is very strong poison..."

I found out today that a fourth dog died in our neighbourhood - at the end of our street. It only got found yesterday as it had hidden itself and had started to smell.

I talked to two more farmers today about my dog getting killed. They both said it would be meat traders - and that they usually work at night at around 4am, wait for the dogs to die, and take them away to the dog restaurants.

But my dog, and all the others, died late afternoon on the same day. And nobody took away their bodies. And then my girlfriend's puppy died a horrible death up in North Ubud, also poisoned, late afternoon - except that it had only eaten a little bit, and shat blood for two nights until it died. That's some coincidence.

Meat traders take the bodies away. That is their trade. Without the body, there is no payment for them.

I believe that because Ubud is a tourist area, and in peak tourist season - and considering the embarrassing case of the rabid dog in Ubud's Penestanan a few month's back - that the local government has reverted to ineffective rabies-inducing culling.

Get as many dogs off the roads and fields as possible, and rabies will go away.

Except that their children may get bitten next year when rabies comes back to bite everybody - and the economy - on the arse. And they're doing it slyly in Ubud. No big teams, nothing to kick up a fuss with the local expats, no large piles of dead bodies like in 2009/10 to turn the tourists off - and their holiday snaps ending up on Tripadvisor and Facebook and Instagramů

Tie up your dogs, take them on a leash/lead when you take them for a walk, muzzle them, and don't let them near anything that looks like rubbish/garbage.

But they just killed my dog, who I bet was the best-vaccinated dog on the block. Ignorant, murderous fools.

They're wiping out all the vaccinated dogs. And the people who get bitten very frequently during a rabies epidemic and die one of the most horrid deaths possible are children, because they're often too shy or embarrassed to tell their parents that they've been bitten.

The RIG (immunoglobulin) shots needed for a definite rabies bite-victim have seemingly already run out again on Bali - even before the next epidemic is on our doorsteps. They say VAR, the vaccine, is very hard to get.

So my dog died an excruciatingly disgusting, ignoble death in the inglorious fight against rabies on Bali. Except that she had been vaccinated about 6 times.

Her name was Shorty.

She was the strongest link in the chain to keep rabies out of our neighbourhood."

My Dream Dog
Newly-dug grave of Frank's dog, decorated with Balinese offerings.

Heavy story.

Reports of this cull have been confirmed so far by CoconutsBali and Villa Kitty. Early days yet.

Please feel free to share this mirror to cruelty as widely as you like. I'm sure the owner would appreciate that.

Rabies and Vaccines in the Bali News

Primary-School Boy Dies of Rabies - Vaccine in Short Supply

Bali Advertiser, 08-22 July 2015: Gusti Ngurah Ari Krishna (12) from Klungkung, died on Sunday (28 June 2015) at the General Hospital in Klungkung. The boy, who had just completed primary school, was bitten by a dog near his home about a month ago. He did not receive any treatment at the time of the bite.

According to the head of the Provincial Health Office of bali, Dr. Ketut Suarjaya, 10 people in Bali have died from rabies from January to June 2015, including Ari Krishna. He acknowledged that supplies of the rabies vaccine (VAR) had begun to run thin, but were still available for emergencies.

Suarjaya stated that after numerous delays and shortfalls, the VAR manufacturer has promised to send the vaccine.

"Hopefully the stock will come. We initially ordered 85,000 vials from Bio Farma, but changed the order to 10,000," he explained. With the additional supply, the total stock of VAR in Bali will be 17,000 vials.

Suarjaya admitted that this number is still not as many as had been hoped for, but with the steady decline in the number of dog bites, it is considered sufficient. (June 29 2015.)

Related Content: Rabies in Bali

» Rabies Returns to Penestanan, Ubud, in 2015 »

External Links

» Stray dogs must be culled, Bali governor says (Jakarta Post, 27 June 2014) »

- 'There is no need to catch them, or put them in a shelter or something. Just cull them. It is the dog owners' fault for letting their dogs stray,' Pastika said.

Fucking clever.

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2020 ~ Bali in the time of Covid-19

Street art in South Bali of a Balinese boy going hungry during the Covid-19 pandemic

'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.

Poster shaming Western tourists and foreigners for not wearing face-masks in Ubud, Canggu, Seminyak, Kuta and Sanur in Bali, Indonesia

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
Old Balinese woman, Trunyan village, Kintamani, Bali

© Ubud High.

The Ubud Handbook by John Storey

© 2021 John Storey. All rights reserved.

Urban art of a young Balinese girl using a smartphone by the street artist Wild Drawing of Bali, Indonesia

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Bali's Street Art

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

➤ Bali's Graffiti Artists & Street Murals in the Wild...

The Ubud Handbook

The Ubud Handbook

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

Religion Matters

The Tale of Ganesha the Globetrotter ~ Bali's Elephant-Headed Hindu God

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

‘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...’

.. ➤ ..

An American Calonarang ~ Trance & Possession on Bali

Graffiti street art of a Balinese Salvador Dali sipping on a cup of kopi luwak in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

‘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

Balinese-Hindu devotees pray as sacred temple objects are bathed and cleansed during a Melasti ceremony before Nyepi on Pantai Purnama in Bali, Indonesia

‘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....’

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'Kajeng Kliwon' ~ A Very Bad-Hair Day on Bali

Film poster for Indonesian horror film 'Kajeng Kliwon: Nightmare in Bali'

‘Kajeng Kliwon is the kind of day when anything that can happen will happen. It invariably does.

You have been seriously warned...’

.. ➤ ..

Personal Stories

Diary of a Market Girl

Photo-realistic urban art by an anonymous street artist of a 1930s market scene in Bali, Indonesia

“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...”

.. ➤ ..

Food Talk

Durian ~ The King of Stink

“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...”

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Culture Bites

Cinema Paradiso ~ Bali's Seat in the History of Indonesian Cinema

1932 Virgins of Bali Thirties nudie-cutie bare-native film poster 1930s Bali, Indonesia

‘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...’

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Getting Around ~ Bali 'Biking

Surviving Bali on a 'Bike

Motorbike accident victim being treated for a leg-injury in an Ubud clinic in Bali, Indonesia

“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...”

.. ➤ ..

It's Silly Season Again ~ Renting a Scooter, and Crashing it, on Bali

A monkey tourist crashes his scooter in a road accident in Bali, Indonesia

‘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...’

.. ➤ ..

The Other Side of the Coin ~ Just Another Motorbike Accident on Bali

Commercial street art mural of a Balinese man sitting astride his Norton motorcycle as his wife hovers with daily offerings

‘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...’

.. ➤ ..

Health Matters

Let's Get Wet ~ The Rainy Season on Bali

Blue sky pokes from behind a gathering of stormy monsoon clouds over Bali, Indonesia

‘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...’

.. ➤ ..

Scorpions, Mosquitoes, Hornets, Poisonous Caterpillars... And Other Strange Tails on Bali

‘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

The Heads of Trunyan

‘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...’

.. ➤ ..

Lombok ~ A Line in the Sand

‘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

Eat, Pray, Self-Love

I love-heart Ubud, Canggu, Seminya, Sanur and Kuta in Bali, Indonesia

‘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...’

.. ➤ ..

From Ubud With Love

Will you marry? in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

‘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 Dutchman Goes to a Gypsy Fortune-Teller

Wooden cock bottle openers, Ubud Market, Bali

‘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...’

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The Land of Self-Healing and Snake Oil

Yoga-wear for an Ubud yogini manifesting her abundance, exploring her Divine Feminine and inserting a Jade Egg at The Womb Temple near The Yoga Barn in Bali

‘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...’

.. ➤ ..

Urban art of a young Balinese girl using a cellphone by the street artist Wild Drawing of Bali, Indonesia

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And finally, the weather

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

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