Dissecting the Present

I saw this warning notice regarding touts on the back of a slick brochure for local tourist company Krishna Bali Tour:

“Please make a call direct by your self to have the true information and avoid diverting to the other personal. Some case happen because of diverting that make you feel disappointed and you blame us for the problem that we never done. Beware to the person who act and pretend helping you to contact us but you will never know with whom you are reserved”

Bali is an island of tourism.  And it is chock full of tourists, nearly 3 million per year.  But, according to this article, tourists are stingier than they used to be.  In the past an average visitor spent 300 dollars per day, but now that average has dropped to 100 dollars. 

Well, we aren’t spending less for lack of their trying to get us to spend more!  In the comments section of the above article, Lisa had said this to say about the relentless advertising:

“I am tired of being harassed by Bali shopkeepers and taxi drivers. This is the real reason I don’t want to spend any money in Bali. It has been ruined by overzealous touts. In 10 minutes I am harassed by over 30 different offers to look in their shop or for "taxi" or "transport". This why I don’t want to spend any money here.”

Lisa might be slightly exaggerating by saying in 10 minutes she has over 30 different offers, but not by much.  By my count, in one stretch of walking I was solicited for various services 27 times.  Not counting the dozen or so taxi’s who honked their horns at me in passing to let me know they were available.

But I can’t complain.  This time in Bali has been brief, just several days, but they’ve been pretty laid back.  Yesterday just hung out in the water most the day.  It is excruciatingly hot here.  Gotta be over 100.  Tried surfing and caught some waves.  Even was able to stand up.  Once.  It was a lot of fun and I wouldn’t mind doing that more sometime.

The last couple days I’ve mainly eaten local dishes.  Spicy soup-like stuff with various rices, noodles, chicken, and herbs plus who knows what all else.  Fresh cold tea from glass bottles.  Even tried a local desert of crushed ice mixed with avocados, pineapples and other local tropical fruits.  Topping off all this culinary delight I’m back to eating my diarrhea medication.

So later today I have two more flights.  Flying with the Brown family – our flights go through the night.  Then, tomorrow morning we land in Papua (formely Irian Jaya) where I’ll be for an undetermined amount of time…