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#36267 - 17 Nov 06 10:01 Poor, Pitiful Bali
riccardo Offline
Pujangga

Registered: 12 Oct 05
Posts: 2195
Loc: Jakarta
Sad, Sad Bali

Sadly, the terrorists appear to have won. I just got back from Bali, and while the beaches and surfing are still fantastic and the restaurants (i'll put a couple reviews in Chewwy's section later) have continued to improve immensely over the years -- it's probably now the best place in all of Asia for international gourmands -- there are some ugly, worrying things happening.

1.. I've never heard so many rude, filthy comments from locals (and likely those from nearby islands) directed at tourists, including me, my wife and daughter, while we were strolling around shopping areas or at the beach. I overheard soooo many rude missives directed at Chinese, Japanese and Australian tourist women/girls that it was nauseating. It did not matter how old or young these tourists were or whether they were alone or with their families. I'd heard such comments before a little bit, but in a very limited way, from these groups of Bali boys that loiter on the sidewalks and beaches -- but it's never been quite like this. At one point I was standing behind one group of guys pretending to be shopping for clothes at the road-side shop they were sitting near and I watched and listened for nearly an hour as these guys hurled abuse at every single person or group of people that walked by -- they had a 100% record. Nobody passed them without some sick words. I speak some Japanese, as well as Indonesian and English and they knew all the crudest curse words in each language.


2.. Transportation and accommodation scammers. Never have I noticed so many Balinese taxi drivers and hotel people trying to swindle and scam people. They are easy to catch and rectify the situation if you've lived in Indonesia, but I can just imagine the more naive tourists, or those that don't want to have any confrontation. Indeed, we met many, many tourists, who had changed hotels and rented motorcycles because they had too many problems. (Hotel scams included office boys/bellhops demanding money out of the blue at odd hours for bizarre things, and taxi scams were the usual -- circuitous routes, doctored meters and surprise charges/fees at the end of the trip.)

3.. Nearly every male is "on the game". I've never been offered so many drugs before, never been offered so many massages from "ayam" types (male and female), and I'm not even talking about the beach ibu ladies. Never so many aggressive beach souvenir sellers. Kuta Kowboys aggressively looking for fat ugly Japs and Aussies, flaming gay dudes aggressively looking for old ugly Euro dudes, drug peddlers by the thousands... I know these guys have always been around, it's just that they've always had plenty of business coming to them, but now they're all doing some aggressive, in-your-face marketing to make ends meet as tourist numbers decline.

4.. I've never seen so many jilbabs and white-robed terrorist wannabes. It's like they've come out of the closet (just a couple years ago you could hardly tell who was a muzzie because everybody dressed the same, now they feel they gotta dress like Arabian nomads or something to feel more holy) and are now flaunting their religion in everybody's face, sorta like 'don't mess with me or there will be another bomb from my brothers...'


Overall, I understand with the rational part of my brain that these things are a result of the big economic slowdown as a consequence of the terror bombings -- AND THE TERRORISTS and THEIR SYMPATHIZERS ARE HAVING A BIG LAUGH. But the other side of me says, If I were a Balinese with a job in the tourist sector, I'd be working hard for the sake of Bali's future by showing a bit more respect to those tourists who have decided to come back to support them despite the travel warnings and other risks. The 'little people' of any society basically need leadership to guide them and teach them that short-term scams lead to long-term economic crises, which will be the consequence of people NOT coming back and these same people will each tell dozens friends back home to avoid the place like the plague.



First surfing lesson for Riccardo's daughter




Edited by KuKuKaChu (17 Nov 06 11:13)
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#36268 - 17 Nov 06 10:20 Re: Poor, Pitiful Bali [Re: riccardo]
KuKuKaChu Moderator Offline
Pooh Bah

Registered: 09 Oct 05
Posts: 10790
Loc: Centre of the Universe
welcome back to the Big Durian ... did you miss it?

that's a pretty bleak picture you paint of Bali -- or at least, Kuta -- at the moment. i've spent a total of 10 days of my life there, so i will have to take you at your word on these things. my last quick visit -- 3 days -- was 2 months ago, and i stayed near to my office in Kuta. i can't say that i found the kuta cowboys all that offensive. the worst thing that happened was some drink seller on the beach who called me "tuli" (deaf) because i ignored his cajoling to buy something. he and his mate seemed very surprised when i answered back to them in indonesian. (their surprise surprised me; i would have expected they would have been used to aussie bules practising their baby bahasa on them.)

apart from that, everything was fine. frankly, i find balinese women rather snobby and unfriendly. i could rationalise this by suggesting that this is a protection against unwanted bule attention.

one thing i did find while in bali was that the men there are much easier to communicate with that javanese men. i have very few javanese male friends. they are difficult.
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#36269 - 17 Nov 06 10:24 Re: Poor, Pitiful Bali [Re: riccardo]
Polar Bear Offline
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Registered: 23 Nov 05
Posts: 6177
Ric,

What in your opinion is the reason behind the attitude? Do they blame the tourists for staying away, or for bringing the trouble in the first place?

Somewhere a long time ago, just after the second bomb, i made a predition on this site that it was all over for Bali. Once bitten, twice bitten, you shoot the dog before it gets a third bite. Every Australai I knew who went to Bali 2-4 times a year now refuses to even consider it.

This is exactly how terrorism works. It changes our thinking, our lifestyles, our ideals and standards.

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#36275 - 17 Nov 06 11:41 Re: Poor, Pitiful Bali [Re: Polar Bear]
Patung Offline
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Registered: 11 Mar 06
Posts: 234
Loc: Indonesia
I find the 'attitude' of quite a few jilbabed women, the dirty looks they give, irritating now but I thought it was just in surabaya. If theyr'e doing it in Bali it's of course much worse, that isn't their place. I haven't been there in years so can't really comment on the main body of your thing - sitting in a restaurant there would have me always looking at the people who came in the door and wondering..........
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#36280 - 17 Nov 06 21:29 Re: Poor, Pitiful Bali [Re: Patung]
Polar Bear Offline
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Registered: 23 Nov 05
Posts: 6177
Interestingly, I have been hearing similar reports from Europe for about 5 years.

It seems that arrogant insolence is now an integral part of Islam in some countries. I assume it is the unifying effect of being the minority, combined with the effects of 9/11 etc.

The problem is this arrogant insolence is spreading back to countries where Islam is in the majority, and in those countries it is national arrogance, not individual.

I see trouble ahead…….

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#36301 - 18 Nov 06 03:14 Re: Poor, Pitiful Bali [Re: Polar Bear]
D'ruby Offline
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Registered: 13 Feb 06
Posts: 2177
Loc: My
Where is Bob? He should make clarification here, why he keep saying it 'paradise'
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#36316 - 18 Nov 06 04:45 Re: Poor, Pitiful Bali [Re: Polar Bear]
riccardo Offline
Pujangga

Registered: 12 Oct 05
Posts: 2195
Loc: Jakarta
Quoting: Polar Bear
Ric,

What in your opinion is the reason behind the attitude? Do they blame the tourists for staying away, or for bringing the trouble in the first place?


My guess would be that these semi-educated guys, who hurl abuse at people have never articulated such thoughts in a rational manner. Their first and foremost concerns are getting money and sex. The lack of tourists means there are very slim pickings, so they take out their frustrations on the women walking by and/or the men they are with. The men -- even husbands and boyfriends -- are seen as direct competitors, I suppose, and in effect taking potential money and sex away from these rude street guys.

The taxi drivers and hotel bellhops are thinking about their economic situation at this very moment and, crucially, not next month or next year or the big picture of Bali's economy. They may have only got one fare all day, or one tip and they still remember a couple years ago when they made so much money that they didn't know what to do with it all.

So it is largely monetary and sexual frustration and living for the moment with no concept of the big picture or the future.

And Ruby, it is still paradise in many, many ways. As I said, the beaches, the restaurants and the lovely art and style of the place -- all still wonderful. It's just that there are some ugly annoyances now rearing their ugly heads -- almost to the point where I don't have a desire to spend my vacation money there again.

The muzzie thing is particularly disturbing, and my guess is it reflects the Balinese mysticism with regard to appeasing evil spirits rather than confronting or fighting the evil head on. Again that used to be one of the best things about a holiday Bali, traveling from Java, you were also taking a holiday away from the oppressive religious onslaught.

Perhaps they feel, as one restaurateur explained to us about the reason he no longer served the delicious Balinese pork, that they feel the need to do everything possible to avoid "offending" the muzzies -- apparently in order to prevent another bomb. My personal feeling is that you can't appease evil, give it an inch and it'll take a mile! And that evil seems to be creeping miles into Bali, especially in the Tuban area.
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Just here proffering my pearls to swine, my throat to wolves and my trousers to the flagpole.

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#36342 - 18 Nov 06 20:40 Re: Poor, Pitiful Bali [Re: D'ruby]
Polar Bear Offline
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Registered: 23 Nov 05
Posts: 6177
Quoting: D'ruby
Where is Bob? He should make clarification here, why he keep saying it 'paradise'



Where Bob came from, Hell is Paradise smile

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#36343 - 18 Nov 06 20:51 Re: Poor, Pitiful Bali [Re: riccardo]
Polar Bear Offline
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Registered: 23 Nov 05
Posts: 6177
Quoting: riccardo
The men -- even husbands and boyfriends -- are seen as direct competitors, I suppose, and in effect taking potential money and sex away from these rude street guys.



I often worry about how Indonesian men feel every time they see some pot bellied, bald, wrinkled old bule with a cute young Indonesian girl. It must offend their dignity and male ego.

In terms of Bali, I believe Australian bums caused the problem...

It was so cheap, EVERYONE in australia went to Bali. Even umemployed would go for a week or too. Drug adicts, drunks, thugs, kids etc.

The guys shagged all the local girls, as well as the slutty tourist girls. They drank openly, insulted anyone and everyone.

The girls went topless on the beach, and didnt wear much more in the bars.

I rememer watching a documentary on the survivors of the Bali bombing. A group of footballers out for sex, drink and drugs, a group of girls looking for sex.

I thought at the time - they caused the bomb themselves.

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#36373 - 19 Nov 06 11:21 Re: Poor, Pitiful Bali [Re: Polar Bear]
riccardo Offline
Pujangga

Registered: 12 Oct 05
Posts: 2195
Loc: Jakarta
You gotta remember, PB, the bombers came from Javanese villages and according to their confessions and interviews later, they actually thought all the whiteys at the club were Americans!!

As far as White guys with Asian gals, they were very few and far between. Most of those getting abused were fully white Aussie families with kids, Taiwanese families with teenage daughters, Japanese co-ed groups of 5 of 6 uni-aged mates... etc..

But, perhaps you are correct to a degree about the cruddy sort of Aussie 'battlers' or yobbos (sp?) the place has long attracted, and some kind of karma for their stupid behavior.
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Just here proffering my pearls to swine, my throat to wolves and my trousers to the flagpole.

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#36376 - 19 Nov 06 12:24 Re: Poor, Pitiful Bali [Re: riccardo]
Polar Bear Offline
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Registered: 23 Nov 05
Posts: 6177
Quoting: riccardo

But, perhaps you are correct to a degree about the cruddy sort of Aussie 'battlers' or yobbos (sp?) the place has long attracted, and some kind of karma for their stupid behavior.


Yep that was what I meant.

I have never been to Bali. I was put off in my early Sydney days by the slobs and sluts who went there. It was the Blackpool of Australia......

I think they bought about a degree of resentment from Muslims.

To be honest Blok M must be a likely target these days for the same reason. Sooner or later......

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#36783 - 23 Nov 06 22:49 Re: Poor, Pitiful Bali [Re: Polar Bear]
Balibob Offline
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Registered: 14 Jun 06
Posts: 1066
Loc: Bali
I agree with PB that Bali is/was the Blackpool of Australia but if you go outside of Blackpool there are some beautiful little villages and towns on the west coast of England and Bali has them too, I very rarely go into Kuta or Seminyak as it is dirty crowded (or was) and the balinese guys as Ric pointed out are very rude and abresive to the tourists who are there, crime in the south ofd the Island is getting very bad with muggings, breakins and robberies on the street, the Balinese have in my opinion brought it onto themselves thru pure greed, thus letting the Aussies in particular get away with their bad behaviour.

Now that the timeshare/resort cowboys (mostly English) have moved in from Spain and built cheap and nasty villas all along the South of the Island the place is begining to look like Tenerife or Torrimolinos and because the tourist numbers have dropped half of these projects have come to a standstill as sales have fallen right off and they will very quickly become derelicts.

But the reason I am there is beacause I live 70 km from the "Action" on the west coast where they rarely see tourists and so consequently the downturn of tourists have not affected them at all, their lives are carrying on as usual and they are also the only regency in Bali to give free schooling to the kids and free health treatment. Crime is virtually unheard of in my part of Bali and a point to note is that 90% of the local People are Balinese Muslims, who's parents and grand parents came to Bali generations ago, they are in fact more peaceful and polite than the Balinese Hindu's are.

Very little "toursits" when they come to Bali get out of the Kuta/Seminayak area and if they did, then they would see the "Real Bali" and like me they would love the Island, I just hope they don't come to my area
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#36785 - 23 Nov 06 22:54 Re: Poor, Pitiful Bali [Re: Balibob]
Dilli Offline
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Registered: 26 Feb 06
Posts: 8044
Loc: Nearest Bar
You forgot to mention the knocking shop at the bottom of the road!
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#36787 - 23 Nov 06 23:06 Re: Poor, Pitiful Bali [Re: Dilli]
Balibob Offline
Member**

Registered: 14 Jun 06
Posts: 1066
Loc: Bali
dilli I can't give all my secrets away as then every PB, Dilli and Adolph will want to come there
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There is no love sincerer,.. than the love of food

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#36788 - 23 Nov 06 23:07 Re: Poor, Pitiful Bali [Re: Balibob]
Balibob Offline
Member**

Registered: 14 Jun 06
Posts: 1066
Loc: Bali
Probably Ku Ku as well
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There is no love sincerer,.. than the love of food

(George Bernard Shaw)

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#36789 - 23 Nov 06 23:11 Re: Poor, Pitiful Bali [Re: Balibob]
KuKuKaChu Moderator Offline
Pooh Bah

Registered: 09 Oct 05
Posts: 10790
Loc: Centre of the Universe
Quoting: Balibob
Probably Ku Ku as well

along with all the wives and kids ...
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KuKuKaChu: dangerously too sophisticated

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#36790 - 23 Nov 06 23:26 Re: Poor, Pitiful Bali [Re: KuKuKaChu]
Balibob Offline
Member**

Registered: 14 Jun 06
Posts: 1066
Loc: Bali
God forbid KuKu,........we don't want to see your family in the Knocking shop
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There is no love sincerer,.. than the love of food

(George Bernard Shaw)

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#43311 - 05 Feb 07 11:44 Re: Poor, Pitiful Bali [Re: Balibob]
Simon Offline
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Registered: 05 Feb 07
Posts: 9
Loc: Bali
Certainly a different place from the Kuta I was in today. Tourism is booming again, Double Six beach was full and hard to get a spot, as have the restaurants and streets over the past weeks... busier than they've been for years with Europeans everywhere. The beach hawkers (all licensed by the way) were pleasant and clearly doing well. Earlier the Ku de Ta carpark was shut from being full. We had to park on the street for the birthday party I was going to....the place was packed.

I live in Sanur and it remains happy, friendly and buzzing, with five new restaurants opening this week. I try to avoid Kuta ? Legian if I can...its too busy and I don't like the crowds.

I agree, like Jakarta, there are some dodgy taxis and like Jakarta I only use Bluebird. And there are some scoundrels out there, mostly, although not all, from outside the island.

But I think you had an unfortunate experience which is not at all typical of Bali. This island is paradise to many of us, and in a funny way the bombs had a positive effect, in that they improved the quality of the tourists...sad but true, and in a way its a good thing that something worthwhile came out of those awful events. Low end Australia is not coming, but others are.

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#43359 - 05 Feb 07 23:19 Re: Poor, Pitiful Bali [Re: Simon]
KuKuKaChu Moderator Offline
Pooh Bah

Registered: 09 Oct 05
Posts: 10790
Loc: Centre of the Universe
welcome simon.

i'm not sure i can agree with your assessment of bali at the moment. my impression what that the mass tourism was reeling. i've been to bali a number of times of the past few months. in january, supposedly the high season, the numbers of tourists in bali was visibly low. all the empty shops and "dikontrakan" signs along Jalan Legian are testament to the fact that something has changed for the worse in this sector.

on the other hand, residential developments ("villas") by foreigners is booming; this is keeping the bali economy alive and very much kicking.
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#43370 - 05 Feb 07 23:45 Re: Poor, Pitiful Bali [Re: Simon]
Magda Offline
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Registered: 17 Jul 06
Posts: 33
Loc: Bali, Indonesia
my office in central kuta but, to be honest i dont like there place... crowded and dirty, i couldnt sleep as well as every single menutes kuta never asleep... bikes, bilyards, discotique, thats why i prefer to live in North kuta, ... for balinese man for me "no comment yach" i prefer to stay in JImbaran or Sanur perhaps... welcome to my praradise , hi simon lebon

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#43378 - 06 Feb 07 00:07 Re: Poor, Pitiful Bali [Re: KuKuKaChu]
Simon Offline
Member

Registered: 05 Feb 07
Posts: 9
Loc: Bali
Head across to Bali Discovery and look at the arrival figures.
http://www.balidiscovery.com/messages/message.asp?Id=3610

The reeling is somewhat over I'd say. Russian figures are up 249%! There are a number of markets that are roaring.

Your comment about Jl Legian is more testament to the changing market. Most of those shops and the markets catered to low end Australian family tourism which has shrunk dramatically. There is a slow, and obvious move on the street away from that sort of retail as the market goes. A friend of mine, who owns a boutique (2 actually) which caterers to a hip youth market just had his best year ever, and, indeed, is opening another shop in Jl Legian, after trying to find a space for almost a month.

But hell, I had to try three restaurants on Jl Laksamana on Sat night before I could get a table

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#43424 - 06 Feb 07 03:53 Re: Poor, Pitiful Bali [Re: Simon]
doremi Offline
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Registered: 17 Jan 07
Posts: 488
Loc: slouch couch
I was there June last year, noticed no rude comments nor scams as described by Riccardo-not that these weren't happenning.
Shops were bustling with people (locals and tourist alike), though prices were higher in Kuta area than elsewhere in Bali-price gouging.



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#43432 - 06 Feb 07 04:17 Re: Poor, Pitiful Bali [Re: Simon]
KuKuKaChu Moderator Offline
Pooh Bah

Registered: 09 Oct 05
Posts: 10790
Loc: Centre of the Universe
Quoting: Simon
Head across to Bali Discovery and look at the arrival figures.
http://www.balidiscovery.com/messages/message.asp?Id=3610

The reeling is somewhat over I'd say. Russian figures are up 249%! There are a number of markets that are roaring.

Your comment about Jl Legian is more testament to the changing market. Most of those shops and the markets catered to low end Australian family tourism which has shrunk dramatically. There is a slow, and obvious move on the street away from that sort of retail as the market goes. A friend of mine, who owns a boutique (2 actually) which caterers to a hip youth market just had his best year ever, and, indeed, is opening another shop in Jl Legian, after trying to find a space for almost a month.

But hell, I had to try three restaurants on Jl Laksamana on Sat night before I could get a table


tourist arrivals don't tell the whole story. the bigger spending "party" tourists (such as the oz yobbos) are no longer coming, and taking their place are low-spending tourists from China and other places.

kuta is visibly depressed these days. not that i mind. a scaling back of mass tourism could be good for the island. and as i mentioned, the economic engine now seems to be villa construction for foreigners.
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#43441 - 06 Feb 07 04:41 Re: Poor, Pitiful Bali [Re: KuKuKaChu]
Polar Bear Offline
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Registered: 23 Nov 05
Posts: 6177
If Chinese and Japanese tourism in Bali is anything like Sydney, it is tightly controlled to ensure that ALL money spend ends up back in china or Japan.

Chinese and Japanese owned buses complete with Chinese and Japanese guides pick the tourists up en mass from the airport and take them to Chinese and Japanese owned hotels. They are escorted to Chinese and Japanese owned gift shops and tourist sites, where they pay over market prices etc.

Very little of this tourist money ever ends up in Australian hands. Maybe the rates on the hotel and the road tax on the coach…..

If this is the case not many Balinese will get fat on the proceeds.


(On the other hand, they don’t swagger around like they own the place, offend everyone with drunken behaviour and lewdety and generally bring hard line Islam down upon the place….)


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#43450 - 06 Feb 07 05:49 Re: Poor, Pitiful Bali [Re: KuKuKaChu]
Simon Offline
Member

Registered: 05 Feb 07
Posts: 9
Loc: Bali
on the contrary, the big spenders were never the ocker yobbos (who are still coming...its the ocker families that are not), although the story in the Bali Times this week indicates that the forward bookings out of Australia right now have taken a jump too.

I have a lot of friends in the hotel and tourism industry, and they are all smiling. The per head spend has jumped dramatically in the past eighteen months. Its just that you are not seeing it where you used to. The accents you hear everywhere are not strine anymore, they're southern or Eastern European (plus the plane loads of Russian bad boys flying in plane loads of "comfort girls"), and then there are the high end Japanese you see all over Seminyak. Hotel bookings over the past two months were averaging around 90% I'm told.

Don't look around Kuta to see where the money is being spent now...

Trust me, Bali is doing fine..they are in the process of tripling the size of the airport so somebody must be coming.



Edited by Simon (06 Feb 07 05:55)

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