November 8, 2017

Turd World Walking out of a restaurant without paying the RP3 million you owe is against the law anywhere. It’s foolish, among other things including selfish, dismissive of others’ rights, and a low act that reflects very poorly on the perpetrators. Mostly those who commit such acts are immune to conscience. They are citizens of […]

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October 11, 2017

Living with Vulcan Once upon a time, the activity of a volcano in a distant domestic backyard from which one is temporarily absent would have been something relayed at intervals by news reports, or not at all. Its inactivity ahead of anticipated action would have been even harder to detect through the prism of news […]

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September 13, 2017

Wingnuts Away! When this diary was written, we were supposed to be in Provence, France. Specifically, we were supposed to be in the lovely lower Rhone Valley, at L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue. “We,” in this instance, means The Diary and the Distaff. That’s for any quibblers out there. We had one recently. He seemed to think its use […]

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August 16, 2017

Just Cruising The cruise market is big and likely to grow further, so it makes sense for Bali to have the capacity to effectively service this element of the tourism trade. The port of Benoa is the logical place to site the infrastructure required, and it seems that moves to do this are under way. […]

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July 19, 2017

Who Let the Dogs Out? Eating dog is something we would never do. It disgusts us, for all sorts of reasons. We also understand that this is largely a cultural issue. Eating man’s best friend is not generally a practice of people whose conditioning originates from what is now Europe. The issue has surfaced again […]

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June 21, 2017

Hit Parade It’s always good fun to read the local Bahasa language press, as well as informative. Some people like to criticise the media – well, no, everyone likes to do that – and that’s no less common in Indonesia than anywhere. One of the things about critics is that they always know how it […]

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May 24, 2017

Talk to the Ants Jewel Topsfield, the Australian Fairfax newspaper group’s Indonesian correspondent, wrote a lovely piece recently after an extended interview she had with Prabowo Subianto, who probably likes to think of himself as president-in-waiting. We’ll have to wait until 2019 to find out, but in the meantime he’s an interesting subject. Some people […]

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April 26, 2017

Bali Daze They do things differently there. That used to be something people said of the past, as in its being a foreign country. In the tried and true practice of Bali, however, doing things differently is something those who rule the island prefer to do in the present. The past is historic and mythical. […]

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March 29, 2017

PLN’s Best Day It was Nyepi yesterday (Mar. 28): Bali’s Silent Day. It is celebrated on the first new moon in March – at the same time as Indian Hindus mark their festival of Ugadi – and ushers in the Balinese New Year. It was then 1939 when we were again lawfully allowed to pop […]

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March 1, 2017

A Spicy Date UBUD is the centre of much heritage and tradition in Bali. This remains its principal charm, which is offset only by its other role as a testing ground for the skills – or lack of these – of drivers of huge buses that service the growing Chinese takeaway trade. The narrow streets […]

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