Torrential rains keep us in all day and awake all night But I have to admit to having a bias for Bali. It is, I think, because of the people. They seem to love me. Whenever anyone greets me they do so with a broad smile. They place their hands together in front of their chin in a gesture of prayer and they bow slightly from the waist. It’s so perfect. Obviously they recognise me as somewhere between Royalty and Deity. I feel at home.
But the perfect setting and the lovely people have a couple of problems that are affecting the way I (at least) view this Island. The first is all the bloody Australians that come here. Now I know that if you have followed my blog on previous occasions you are well aware of my feelings towards Australians, and I am aware that I have offended some who are my friends. So I am warning you now that if you are liable to be offended by my generalisation that all Australians are totally without class, style, manners, or dietary restrictions, you should stop reading this immediately.
Not content with ruining a perfectly good country, their own, Australians are now setting out to ruin Bali. Bali is just a 5 hour flight from Sydney and Australians view it as their Hawaii. Only they don’t treat it as well. Forty eight percent of all tourists in Bali are Australians.
The good news is that figure is way down from what it used to be before the bombings of 2003. The bad news is that when you go to a large smart restaurant serving great food in a wonderful setting, as we did last night, 48 out of 100 diners are Australian. You can immediately spot them. Everyone else is dressed appropriately for a nice evening out. The Australians are not They are all heavily tattoed and seem to think that this counts as covering your body: They arrive in large groups, each one under dressed, they then over imbibe and get very noisy. Some wear baseball caps to the table (ok they get extra marks for wearing matching outfits. How adorable is that.)
Some haven’t washed their hair for a decade and find staying awake at the table rather difficultothers have tooth picking contests to see who can dig the most out of their teeth before the next drink arrives. And if you think I am making this all up or exaggerating in any way you can go to: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g608486-d1637473-Reviews-Warung_Cantina-Kerobokan_Bali.html and read what a fellow Australian thought of his dining companions.
The other problem Bali is facing is the proliferation of drug pushers on the street. But Bali is a country of love and spiritualism, so the drug pushers are not selling real drugs – all they have to offer is Viagra or Cialis. These pushers are everywhere, day and night. Almost all of them are young men and everyone of them is better dressed than the Australian tourists.
There is nothing seedy about them, but their persistence is annoying. So is the fact that they think I might need either one of their products! And if I did need them, would I want to buy more on each street corner I pass. And even more worrying is the thought that they might think I am stupid enough to buy such things off the street.
Of course 48 of every 100 tourists that pass them by are from Australia so I am sure they make an excellent living.