Bali Travel Tips & Advice

Dec 17th, 2007, in IM Posts, Opinion, Travel, by

Tips and advice for travelling in Bali, by Dewaratugedeanom.

Travel Warnings

Following the suggestion of iamisaid (another commenter in this blog) in his opinion piece "Travel Horrors" I would like to submit a surat pembaca published in the Bali Post of April 11, 2006 by a Balinese individual whom I suppose to be a member of the Indonesian police force.

As the letter was published in Bahasa Indonesia I took the liberty to translate it into English for those who are less familiar with our national idiom. Coming from an Indonesian citizen with a public function I consider the message ample food for thought. Therefore I will refrain from adding my own comments except for some advice for the benefit of visitors to our beautiful island.

Experiences from accompanying visitors in Penelokan.

Last March 29, 2006 around 14.30h I came to the 'obyek wisata' (officially recognized tourist site) of Penelokan, Kintamani, Bangli accompanying a group of 4 guests from South Korea, 1 adult woman with 3 small children of less than 10 years of age, to enjoy the beauty of the Gunung Batur volcano and its Batur lake.

As soon as she stepped out of the car tens of hawkers surrounded my guest, offering their merchandise in a rather obtrusive manner so that my guest felt disturbed and didn't have a chance to enjoy the beauty of the scenery. Hoping not to be bothered any longer, my guest bought several goods that were offered for sale. But after buying these items the hawkers did not go away but on the contrary came in even greater numbers.

The problems started when a hawker came who offered a chessboard for sale.

In order to attract the attention of my guest the salesman in question offered a chessboard that he wanted to sell to my guest at the price of $1. However, when my guest paid the price that was offered she wasn't given the chessboard but only one of its pawns. Thinking that she was fooled by the merchant, my guest felt disappointed and quickly wanted to get into the car.

The chessboard hawker followed us to our car and prevented her from closing the door while he kept on forcing her to buy his merchandise for the price of $30. My guest said she didn't have this amount of money, but our hawker ordered her to withdraw the money while he pointed at an ATM terminal on the other side of the road.

This situation caused my guest, who is a woman, and the children to become increasingly afraid. Then I asked the hawker to let us close the door and leave, so we could continue our scheduled tour program for fear of being late because that day coincided with 'pengerupukan' (the evening before Nyepi, the Balinese New Year).

It wasn't an answer that I got, but blows on my face and my body from more than three men, friends of the chessboard hawker. One of them took me by the collar of my shirt while he threatened me with a knife and told me that he was going to take out my bowels. This situation was witnessed directly by my guests. They were extremely frightened and cried all the way back. Unfortunately there was not one security guard on the premises, not even in the guard house at the entrance gate.

I hope that the government of Kabupaten Bangli and all parties concerned will undertake the necessary improvements and redress the situation in respect to the hawkers who operate in the Kintamini tourist area. If they leave it like it is now it's not impossible that the Kintamani obyek wisata will undergo the same fate as Besakih or Trunyan, beautiful but uninteresting.

I Nyoman Gatot Wiradnya
Asrama Polri Kreneng,
Denpasar

Some advice for travellers to Bali.

  • Try to avoid official obyek wisata and all places listed in the Lonely Planet, unless you are in a big enough party to withstand the hassle. Bear in mind that the only thing that counts in those places is your money. Train at home in running the gauntlet.
  • Don't expect too much of scenic beauty in downtrodden places. Most of the beauty has already been obscured and hidden by shacks and concrete (e.g. the Ceking rice terraces). Like the Balinese turn your gaze upwards and don't look down too often; rubbish usually collects downstairs in ditches and ravines.
  • Be prepared to pay for everything that bears the title "holy". While it is true that temples need money for upkeeping, monkey forests don't.
  • If a Balinese tries to cajole you into buying real estate (and believe me, they will), put plugs in your ears, run away or punch him in the nose because every deal ends up in making him rich and you having bought only a piece of paper.
  • When doing business bear in mind that many Balinese have been spoilt by easy tourist dollars and sometimes lack any sense of proportion when making offers. Javanese and other Indonesians usually take on a more realistic approach.
  • For those who are not adventurous, stay in your hotel, sip at a mojito or have a massage by the pool and enjoy the sunset. Sunsets are still for free, mojitos and massages are not.
  • For the intrepid and those with enough time, try to get acquainted with genuine Balinese families. If you find one that besides your money has also an interest in your persona, stick with them. They will show you places and let you experience events beyond your wildest imagination.
  • If by chance you discover "pearls" of dreamland beauty, shut up, enjoy the view and never mention it to anybody. Next time you visit, the place might be swarmed with thong-clad Aussies, hawkers and tukang ojek, or fenced in by developers and investment brokers for villas and condominiums.

More to come with "jual-beli ekor" (cattle marketing).

Om santi santi santi om.


38 Comments on “Bali Travel Tips & Advice”

Pages: [1] 2 »

  1. avatar iamisaid says:
    December 17th, 2007 at 2:36 am

    OMG ! *speechless about that related incident.

    and THANK YOU Dewaratugedeanom for sharing this with us. Even though this is not something for that any civic minded Indonesian would feel proud about, Indonesia is not Bali.

    Your advice is pure dynamite. Enough to blow incapacitate these thugs if the visitor to Bali takes heed of your advice.

  2. avatar Sputjam says:
    December 17th, 2007 at 12:44 pm

    This things happen at Jogja and borobodur as well.
    And if you go overseas, even in paris at versailles and eiffel Tower, hounded by Africans.
    And if you are not careful, your pockets will be picked in the mayhem.

  3. avatar Janma says:
    December 17th, 2007 at 12:59 pm

    I’ve been here 20 years and I have never seen a ‘thong clad’ aussie, except on the beach.

  4. avatar Bas says:
    December 17th, 2007 at 3:03 pm

    “I’ve been here 20 years and I have never seen a ‘thong clad’ aussie, except on the beach.”

    Are you living on the beach?

  5. avatar Pena Budaya says:
    December 17th, 2007 at 7:54 pm

    Last time I visited Bali was in 2003 and it was already unpleasant due to increasing numbers of hawkers who were constantly following tourists. I guess nowadays is even worst.

    Actually the above mentioned situation in Bali reminds me of India. I had more or less similar experience when travelling to New Delhi, Fatehpur Sikri and Agra. I felt so unsafe when travelling to those areas. Some guys forced us to accept them as our tour guide or bajaj driver or taxi driver and they threatened us as we didn’t want to use their services. Honestly, Lonely Planet book was actually helped us a lot in dealing with this situation and made us aware of. The book mentioned all lousy behaviour of certain type of locals that to be avoided and how to deal with them. So, if that is now the current situation in Bali, I hope that Lonely Planet would not miss it.

    And as I notice the Balinese and Indians hawkers were majority children. I feel that is then the worst part of all. They should go to school instead working on the street..otherwise they colud becoming the adult hawkers who perhaps more aggressive that the older generation…

  6. avatar dewaratugedeanom says:
    December 17th, 2007 at 8:15 pm

    Pena Budaya

    And as I notice the Balinese and Indians hawkers were majority children. I feel that is then the worst part of all. They should go to school instead working on the street..otherwise they colud becoming the adult hawkers who perhaps more aggressive that the older generation”¦

    That’s why one should never – I repeat never - buy from children hawkers. These kids are forced by their families or others to sell all kinds of stuff to tourists instead of going to school. It’s easy to imagine what will become of them.
    This is one of the reasons why I think mass tourism is more of a curse than a blessing to Bali.

  7. avatar nenek sihir says:
    December 18th, 2007 at 8:02 am

    This happens pretty much all over Indonesia, my personal experiences are, apart from Besakih (horrible stressful experience!), Borobudur, Prambanan, Yogya, (those ubiquitous batik tours with aforesaid batik being sold for more than you would ever pay at the most exclusive boutique in the west) Bukit Lawang (constant hassling to go on ‘easy’ jungle walks), Kuta Lombok (feeling forced to buy kelapa muda and pineapples from aggressive kids-no such thing as a quiet stroll along that beautiful beach), oh and the port at Bangsal (my absolute worst Indonesian experience ever!!), Lombok, where you catch the boat to the ‘Gillies’, Padang and Bukitinggi (aggressive and persistent men trying to sell overpriced trips to the Mentawai islands, while insisting that Siberut is malaria-free, LOL!!) Our car being chased, and the doors and windows being pounded on before we even stopped, by scores of souvenir sellers at Papandayan and Tangkuban Perahu. Oh yeah, and the hawkers at Cihampelas. A friend was hounded day and night in Makassar to go on a tour to Tanah Toraja, another friend felt frightened for her life in Dumai when surrounded by men at the port grabbing at pulling at her belongings. All part of living/travelling in a developing country though, you do have to expect it to a certain extent-and I do have to admit my first trip to Bali was equally marred by those thong-clad (back in ’95 they were everywhere!), vegemite sandwich clutching HeraldSun reading inebriated Australian cliches (and the odd German, Japanese, Brit, etc) Happy travelling all!

  8. avatar Janma says:
    December 18th, 2007 at 11:21 am

    Yeah, I guess I don’t know what I’m talking about…. I don’t live on the beach, I never spend much time in tourist area’s…. so I don’t see any aussies… thong clad or otherwise… once I saw a japanese girl on a bicycle in Jalan Melasti in a thong. She had a clear raincoat on over her thong, and if you looked from the back she seemed naked, cause the thong was nowhere to be seen! Caused quite a ruckus.

  9. avatar dewaratugedeanom says:
    December 21st, 2007 at 8:03 pm

    Oops, I forgot to mention an important tip in the article above.

    “¢ Instead of visiting and spending your money, consider staying at home and send us your money.

  10. avatar Bali Boy says:
    March 15th, 2008 at 2:18 am

    That last suggestion would most likely save tourists the discomfort of being harassed and would most likely achieve a similar outcome.

    Thank you for raising the awareness of this issue. Tourists certainly need to be aware of the potential dangers as well as knowing how to avoid or resolve difficult situations.

  11. avatar uwie says:
    July 5th, 2008 at 1:04 am

    Actually, I have an interesting experience in here …

    When I went to Gili from Bali, I bought a ticket travel and end up with many foreigner backpacker in a car …

    Most of them, if there was someone trying to offer something to them, just stood there, pretend not to see, pretend not hear, pretend they are no exist, and thats really brake my heart. I ever be like them, someone that trying really hard to gain money from everything for living.

    i am angry that time, to those foreigner, I just said to that “if you don’t want that stuff, just give your hand, and say no!”.

    They are just little man and not understand of silence gesture meaning. They are just knowing of “Yes” or “No” mean. It makes them waiting for the response because he was silence but still watching for a many long times until I said “Udah pa, dia ga mau”

    Please!!!! If you don’t need it. Just say it directly. It will easier your life and their life. They will easily get another person to be their costumer.

  12. avatar Teng says:
    July 5th, 2008 at 6:58 am

    Yeah beautiful story Uwie…. except when I said ‘no’ very politely… the kid made a ‘cut-throat’ gesture and said in bahasa Indonesia that he would kill me.

    When I confronted him with that he did apologize… but I have to agree with some of the above statements that kids on Bali and Lombok can be really agressive in their “selling methods”. Your statement about “If you don’t need it, just say so” is the most naieve I heard in years…. I have had to fence of sellers for hours at Prambanan, Borobudur, Bali, Lombok and Gili… even if you say you don’t want it they still haunt you. That’s ok… it’s their right to try…. but don’t start crying if a tourist who endured that their entire holiday starts ignoring the sellers

  13. avatar uwie says:
    July 5th, 2008 at 11:01 am

    I am not commenting of yours actually …
    but the first one from dewaratugeneanom …

    o really? why it is work for me every time? no it is not naive … I just look in their eyes … and said it briefly “no”, and they are not following me anymore … thats why i am talking about it … it always working for me …

    why do you think that I have to say it politely? hehehehe … of course not. sometimes you must showed in anger in “NO” word. Give the improvisation of your “NO” word but just make it clear. the adult one make a not appropriate word because i was going alone that time, and I just said”E, LO GA SOPAN YA. GW BILANG ENGGAK!! BANGSAT!” with anger. The point is said no, and make it clear. They will not bugging you again.

    the last time, i talked to the kids in there (in lombok Ferry port). whether they are studying or not. and he said to me that yes, he is studying @6 grade elementary school. and that day is his holiday. Maybe because I was going there when the student in their holiday.

  14. avatar kinch says:
    July 5th, 2008 at 11:04 am

    The correct approach to Bali is to lose all the silly Western ideas about some Morning of the World type paradise and throw away the Lonely Planet (especially the Lonely Planet, actually) and check your ass into a nice Nusa Dua resort and don’t go out. My favourite image of Bali is the Nusa Dua split gates – one side the usual mess and the other a nice big Dilarang-this-that-and-the-other sign (looking a bit the worse for wear last time I saw it) and things magically looking a lot more golf-course like.

    Do I care that Tutut, Bambang, Tommy related members of the devil’s spawn own a large chunk of it? Frankly no.

    Get bored after a few days: jump in a taxi to Seminyak and see the sunset with all the other pseuds at you-know-where and gobble down the usual fusion nonsense at a different restaurant and then head back.

    A few resorts around Ubud are OK too.

    Treat Bali as a place to go to to unwind in a totally contrived and artificial environment and it’s not so bad at all. Go looking for the meaning of life and either (a) you will be sadly disappointed or (b) if you find it – you’re nuts and read too much Margaret Mead as a teenager.

    Frankly, I find it hard to understand why anyone would want to subject themselves to third world hawkers and beggars… well actually I do understand – it’s partly a form of masochism + I guess for infrequent travelers, it’s a novelty to be harassed by some tosser hawking leather jackets in Kuta of all places.

    And don’t get me started on Australian low-lifes who infest Kuta/Legian. I’m Australian myself and queuing for the Garuda Death Bird a few times in the past I’ve found myself wondering ‘where do these people crawl out of?’

  15. avatar dewaratugedeanom says:
    July 7th, 2008 at 7:02 pm

    uwie said

    o really? why it is work for me every time? no it is not naive … I just look in their eyes … and said it briefly “no”, and they are not following me anymore … thats why i am talking about it … it always working for me …

    It works for you because you are Indonesian and you speak the same language. If you were a foreigner they wouldn’t let loose and haunt you, especially if they work in groups. I can easily understand why tourists get enough of being treated as walking wallets and choose not to react.

    I ever be like them, someone that trying really hard to gain money from everything for living.

    Don’t get trapped into inappropriate compassion. This kind of ‘hard-selling’ and aggressive behaviour has its roots in the availability of easy tourist-money only and not in structural poverty. It’s a lot easier to roam the streets and the beaches than to go to school or take on a real job. Not to mention the pressure from parents and family who know all too well that sad eyes and timid smiles packed in ragged clothes are irresistible purse-openers.
    Except for some poverty struck areas around the Gunung Agung volcano that never fully recovered from the latest eruption in 1963 and periods of near-famine in the past due to plagues and natural disasters, Bali, although its standard of living cannot be compared to Western countries because of the peculiar lifestyle, has never been poor in the sense of being threatened by starvation. Quite the contrary. What makes Bali strikingly unique is its culture that has been built over more than a thousand years. Countless temples and sites that serve no direct economic purpose. Billions of rupiah spent on offerings which for the most part only serve to feed the gods and return to nature without human consumption. Wastefulness could be the common denominator for the entire Balinese culture and lifestyle. It’s obvious that to create and preserve such a culture one needs lots of free time and monetary surpluses, which are only available in thriving economies. So, considering the splendour and wealth of this culture, Bali is and always has been very well off and the hawking and begging nowadays is, just like prostitution and drug-dealing, only an annoying side-effect of mass-tourism and deserves no compassion.

  16. avatar uwie says:
    July 7th, 2008 at 7:29 pm

    @dewa

    ya ya ya … tired to complain and think in english …. You win! Hehehehe

  17. avatar dewaratugedeanom says:
    July 7th, 2008 at 7:38 pm

    @uwie

    Sorry if I wore you out. Sometimes I get carried away. Bad habit. Next time I’ll be gentle. :-)

  18. avatar timdog says:
    July 7th, 2008 at 7:49 pm

    You see Dewa – there are lots of things we agree about! Isn’t that nice? ;-)

    While I do agree with most of what you say above about some of the unpleasant aspects of Bali for visitors, I also wonder what your position is on the oft-repeated argument that tourism has had a positive effect on Balinese culture – prompting new expressions (particularly when it comes to art and dance).
    Now, there is certainly a worldwide phenomenom where tourist dollars prompt “local people” to don traditional clothes and wearily to perform “traditional dances” that have long since ceased to have any real cultural significance. But that, clearly, is not the case in Bali. Dance, art and drama in Bali, even when performed purely for a tourist audience, even when created by/for a foreign audience (kecak dance, Ubud “art” etc) is quite clearly far, far more than a debased and debasing circus performance.

    I must make it clear that I am not totally convinced by the “Balinese culture has actually benefitted from the energy-input of tourism” line, but I am quite certain that Balinese culture (though not the Balinese environment) has dealt far, far more successfully with the onslaught of mass toursim than most other such places (my own native Cornwall – the UK’s answer to Bali ;-) – included).
    It’s perhaps easiest to put this down to a kind of “cultural confidence”, which is very obvious in Bali. I think your point about relative absence of poverty in the past is also significant…

    Just wondering what your takes on all this would be…

  19. avatar uwie says:
    July 7th, 2008 at 7:52 pm

    @dewa

    no just tired to having a fight … just wanna having fun today … I’ve got enough fighting conversation in my office …

    no its ok, just be your self .. see u next time

  20. avatar dewaratugedeanom says:
    July 7th, 2008 at 7:58 pm

    @ timdog

    I’ll come back to this later. Professional obligations, you see. ;-)

  21. avatar dewaratugedeanom says:
    July 8th, 2008 at 7:05 pm

    @ timdog

    re you post on the effect of tourism on culture.

    An oft repeated argument by mass tourism apologists is its alleged positive influence on the survival of Balinese culture. Apart from some economic advantages like (under)paid performances and the sale of paintings and handicrafts this influence is minimal and restricted to areas where tourism has become endemic. But this represents only the tip of the iceberg. People tend to forget that a big part of the island (still) isn’t affected by tourism and there are areas where the arrival of a white person is regarded upon as if it were the appearance of Jero Mecaling, a mythological bule giant usually residing in Nusa Penida. But even in those more remote parts Balinese culture is very well alive and kicking. To become aware of this one only has to attend an odalan (temple festival) in any of the thousands of temples where no bule, Japanese or Chinese is in sight. The reason for this is that culture for the Balinese has never been a distinct, high-flown aspect but an integral and daily part of religious and community life. This is why it appears so strong and has even become an icon for the notion of culture in the outside world. For even the simplest Balinese beauty and culture are like bread and butter. You hit the nail on the head by calling it ‘cultural confidence’.

    The onslaught of tourism however has made itself negatively felt in other areas like overpopulation and uneven demographic distribution, environmental problems like waste disposal and water management, the conversion of fertile farm land into an overbuilding of hotels, resorts and ruko’s without proper and realistic business plans etc. And worst of all the idea that they have become utterly dependent on mass tourism for their survival, although these last years a countermovement has emerged, the ‘Bali ajeg’ movement, trying to make people aware that in order to keep their identity they should profile themselves more assertively, take matters in their own hands and stop selling out their land and assets.

  22. avatar timdog says:
    July 8th, 2008 at 9:56 pm

    Thanks for that Dewa…
    I’m well aware of the Bali Ajeg movement, and I’ve frequently come across the slightly distasteful suggestion that the Bali Bomb happened as a punishment to Bali because traditions were being neglected, and more specifically, too much land had been sold to Chinese and foreigners. Faint echoes there of the truly offensive idea voiced by some in post-Tsunami Aceh that the destruction had been a result of the insufficiently rigorous Islamic practice of the locals; the mosques were the only buildings that survived you see – of course they f%$in’ were! they were the only things made of concrete!
    But still, I’m all for cultural pride, and any attempt to “save” Bali, provided it doesn’t slip over the line into chauvinism and belligerence…

    People tend to forget that a big part of the island (still) isn’t affected by tourism and there are areas where the arrival of a white person is regarded upon as if it were the appearance of Jero Mecaling

    Agree with all of that – been to some of those places.
    However, is it really true that these places are totally unaffected by tourism? In those poor villages up in the mountains or in the eastern bulge there will be televisions and motorbikes bought with the money sent back by the son or daughter cleaning bedrooms or waiting on tables in Kuta or Sanur. And that cash certainly helps at least to stem the wholesale urban drift, and to maintain exuberantly costly ceremonies and festivities… no?

    Where tourism has quite unmistakably had a purely negative impact is environmentally – no one could deny this, but it could have been worse: there are, thanks to forward-thinking planning laws, no high-rises beyond the original Sanur hotel…

    But I would suggest that while tourism may not have had an actively positive impact on Balinese culture, I somehow feel that it hasn’t had a negative one… The past evidence is all there: Bali has very, very successfully dealt with outside cultural onslaughts in the past – internalising and consuming them rather than trying to repel them (if a culture or community attempts to resist waves of outside influence it almost invariably dies, or at best becomes a fossil; survival lies in accommodation, and accommodation comes of the aforementioned “cultural confidence”)

    An example (of the kind that I adore): The guardian figures that flank the steps of the sanctum sanctorum at the Uluwatu temple (which, as I’m sure you know, is a directional temple and one of the six key temples) are clearly representations of Ganesh, the elephant-headed god.
    This is curious, because Ganesh is not really a significant figure in Balinese Religion, and what’s more, his normal form and function in Hinduism doesn’t really make him suitable for a temple guardian (Indonesian temple guardians are usually fierce, monstrous figures)…
    Uluwatu was built in the early centuries of the second millennium; it seems most likely that the architects came across Ganesh, perhaps in an imported manuscript or piece of art, and decided he was suitably grotesque to ward off evil spirits from the sacred core of the temple (the Uluwatu Ganeshes are a bit uglier and scarier looking than the usual Indian version)… They took him, consumed him, and put him to their own purposes…
    Fast-forward some 800 years and the guardian figures outside the remaining gateway of the Klungkung palace (the only bit not destroyed post-puputan by the Dutch) are also grotesques from overseas – not some minor Indian god this time, but a pair of bloated, rapacious Dutchmen in top hats – again, confidently consumed and made Balinese….

    aduh… I’m sorry – I can’t stop now; I believe you are aware of how much I love all this kind of stuff, so do bear with me… ;-)

    Another fabulous example: Rangda.
    Consider the function and nature of Rangda for a moment and you can instantly see that she is some relation of Durga, the Indian goddess, and when it comes to physical appearance, she certainly has something to do with Kali…
    But (I’m sure you know all this, but it might – might – interest the casual passerby) the root of her legend lies in historical fact.
    The real Rangda was a wife of Udayana, the father of Airlangga, 10th century king of old Bali. Rangda (sorry – I’ve forgotten her real pre-myth name) was Javanese and was rumoured by the populace to be a practicing witch (hostility to Java even then perhaps?) and was eventually exiled by the king. When Udayana died Airlangga took the throne; and Rangda (Rangda = widow) launched a campaign against him… this is where the facts get blurred with the mythology.
    Given that bloody intrigue was normal in court successions in “classical” Indonesia the guess would be that Rangda had some candidate of her own for the throne in opposition to Airlangga – another son perhaps – and launched into a war of sucession. But the details descend into mysticism and horror.
    There was an outbreak of bubonic plague on Bali at about the same time, and that too has been knitted into the Rangda myth – pestilence and destruction, and Rangda wreaking havoc with her mobs of flying leyaks was only eventually to be banished by some powerful holy man (whose name I have also forgotten)…
    As we well know there is a Balinese tendency to give supernatural explanations to turmoil and trouble, so it’s only natural that the political chaos after Udayana’s death, and the plague outbreak should be so explained. But what’s really great about all this is the way that Bali took a real historical event, took the Indian goddesses Durga and Kali, consumed it all, digested it, and produced of it something uniquely its own: Rangda – that’s “cultural confidence”.

    What I am getting at with all these ridiculous digressions is that Balinese culture should have absolutely no trouble whatsoever in dealing with tourism, gobbling it up, internalising it and making it its own – so long as the entire island doesn’t disappear under a flood of villa complexes first…

  23. avatar kinch says:
    July 8th, 2008 at 10:50 pm

    Mistah Kurtz, he dead.

    (just the Kinch being culturally confident. nothing to see here, move along.)

  24. avatar timdog says:
    July 8th, 2008 at 11:12 pm

    Thank yoo sahib, thank yoo… me get ideas above me station, me need putting back in place… thank yoo sahib… ;-)

  25. avatar Lairedion says:
    July 8th, 2008 at 11:30 pm

    Balinese culture must be preserved at any costs. Not for tourism purposes but it is required for the rise of the new Majapahit.

  26. avatar Patrick says:
    July 8th, 2008 at 11:50 pm

    @Lairedeon – Yes in your new Majapahit you would of course assume the role of the next Jayanegara. That would entitle you to be known among the people as “Kala Gemet” It is a role very suitable for your personality! Cheers!

  27. avatar Shloka says:
    July 9th, 2008 at 12:06 am

    @ timdog,

    Nice story about Rangda. Heard about that bomb which hit the Indian Embassy in Kabul yesterday, killing 41 and wounding many ? Two Indian guards were killed. Done by an Afghan suicide bomber who’s probably enjoying his 72 virgins now.Okay, so you feel that the sub continent shouldn’t have been partitioned, but why has Taliban of Afghanistan decided to kill Indians suddenly?Afghanistan was not part of the sub continent for millennia.

    Yesterday 4 bombs exploded across Pak killing and wounding, and the same thing happened the day before. Loads of dead and wounded in Pak and Kabul from blasts. I’m scared about which city these guys will strike in India next,even cities which have never rioted or hurt Muslims, as these guys invariably bring their frustrations to this side of the border. After all, Nepal too is an underdeveloped troubled nation, but the Nepalese don’t decide to strike at the Bangladeshi Embassy in Nepal. These terrorists have the uncanny knack of picking the least expected and least troubled Indian city. I might go out to the park(not even a temple) and end up dead or mutilated.

    Now you’ll go on about Bharatman. Actually when I was scared about my life and limb and the life of my loved ones, I used to think it was “survival instinct” which all humans and animals have. Thanks to you, I’ve realised that fearing for the safety of myself, my family and friends is actually “tribalism.” Was just watching a show on National Geographic, where a group of deer were fleeing from a lion pack. I realise now, many thanks to you that they weren’t acting out of survival instinct after all, only tribalism.Many thanks for clarifying.

  28. avatar dewaratugedeanom says:
    July 10th, 2008 at 8:44 pm

    @ timdog

    no high-rises beyond the original Sanur hotel…

    Wishful thinking. Have you seen the latest development plans for the Best Western and other condominions?

    What I am getting at with all these ridiculous digressions is that Balinese culture should have absolutely no trouble whatsoever in dealing with tourism, gobbling it up, internalising it and making it its own – so long as the entire island doesn’t disappear under a flood of villa complexes first…

    Agreed, especially with the last sentence. This is what I meant by selling out their land and assets. Not cultural onslaught but shortsighted greed is the snake in the grass.

  29. avatar timdog says:
    July 11th, 2008 at 5:21 am

    Dewa – Things have certainly been getting severely out of hand in the last few years development-wise, agreed entirely, but it still could have been worse – imagine a Kuta and Sanur lined back-to-back with huge tower-block hotels as on the Southern Spanish coast…
    Anyway, we are in agreement about all of this in general… nice…

  30. avatar dewaratugedeanom says:
    July 12th, 2008 at 3:04 pm

    @ timdog

    Rangda (sorry – I’ve forgotten her real pre-myth name) was Javanese and was rumoured by the populace to be a practicing witch (hostility to Java even then perhaps?) and was eventually exiled by the king.

    Mahendradatta was her name.

    Rangda wreaking havoc with her mobs of flying leyaks was only eventually to be banished by some powerful holy man (whose name I have also forgotten)…

    The powerful holy man’s name was Mpu Bharada.

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