Affordable organic. Canggu Shop sells healthy, fresh food at low prices (Rp26,000-Rp96,000): dried fruit, nuts, seeds, local cheese, coconut sugar, coconut flakes, homemade hummus, flavored kombucha teas, fresh almond milk, probiotics-filled kefir and other specialty items not easily found in Bali. Located Jl. Pantai Batu Bolong 23A, Canggu, Kuta Utara, hp 0859-5378-0775; opening Mon-Sun 9 am-6 pm. *Buy organic nuts, lentils and snacks from the bulk dispensers at Bali Buda (www.balibuda.com).
Bad food. Excess sugar consumption is dangerous. There’s no reason supplemental nutrients need to come in the form of a sugary beverage such as sugar-sweetened sodas that are nothing but liquid candy. Gatorade Quiet Storm contains 16 gr of sugar per serving (roughly four teaspoons). Milo (Rp40,000/kg) is another sugary powder drink made by Nestlé. Vendors set up snack stalls on the sidewalks outside schools hawking soda, chocolates, puffed corn and rice snacks. Indonesian food companies are slow to put nutritional information – the levels of fat, sugars and protein – on their packaging. Supermarket aisles are filled with instant noodles, soda and rows of sugary breakfast cereals which are not part of the traditional Indonesian diet. Even traditional Indonesian cuisines, including coconut cream dishes and other sugar-laden street foods, are key contributors to the high level of obesity on Bali. Nestlé’s Stars (28% sugar) as well as Nestlé’s Koko Krunch and Cookie Crisp cereals, even though they sport the “whole grain” label, are more than 25% sugar by weight. Lack of exercise, even more than diet, is also to blame for rising obesity rates (Indonesians don’t walk).
Protect against accidents. Choose your insurance company carefully. Most won’t insure a car over 10 years old. Also the cost of insurance should not always be the top priority. You’ll be able to find some low premium providers but the true value and integrity of such products will only be discovered after you make a claim. If the car is in your name and if you have a KITAS/KITAP visa, all is well. But if the car isn’t in your name, any insurance settlement for third party liability, driver/passenger property damage, personal injury or death will be made to the registered person who may or may not be the actual “owner.” As a foreigner, you’re always in the wrong in case of a road accident. Although good body work is cheap, in case of an accident your insurance company will choose the repair shop. Find out which repair shop your car insurer uses; an untrained mechanic can do serious damage to your car. Note: Car insurance is only required if your car is financed. If you pay for the vehicle in full, there’s no requirement for insurance.
Certification nil. According to the Jakarta Post, there’s little enforcement of the Indonesian National Standards (SNI) certification, leaving consumers vulnerable to false claims on the labels of 544 product categories including wheat flour, TV sets, DVD players, vacuum cleaners, automotive parts, sauce pans and knives. This means that the high quality of rice that promises to be tender and fragrant turns out to be mushy and tasteless because it was mixed with rice of a different quality.
Forever travel. If you’re planning long-term overseas travel, don’t buy a deeply entrenched investment such as a house and stick to per diem budget, minimize health insurance costs by using local doctors, prepare local food, stay in hostels ($6 to $25) or university housing, get travel insurance that will fly you back home if you get injured or fall seriously ill. *If you don’t like noise, stay away from hostels where a “party” or “night life” atmosphere is featured prominently in their reviews. *Check out George Santayana’s wonderful essay, The Philosophy of Travel. *Lifestraw from Bali’s Kopernik, universal adapter plugs; a portable battery to charge your smartphone; a paper clip to swap out SIM cards on your smartphone; a Kindle or e-reader; a good travel pillow and noise-isolating earphones are all invaluable accouterments for long range travel. *When using multiple airlines through multiple countries, learn the baggage rules of all your connecting airlines and pack your carry-ons and checked baggage to conform to the airlines with the most restrictive baggage policy.
Your Cash. Compare the cost of living in Denpasar with that of the city you’re planning to move to at expatisan.com. *If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. *Never give out personal information over the phone, through email, cash checks for other individuals or wire large amounts of money to someone you don’t know. 99.9 percent of the time, it’s a scam. *Rupiah notes from wet markets have thousands of times more bacteria than clean fresh notes from ATMs. *To prevent skimming, use only ATMs attached directly to banks that have security guards and use them only during business hours. *Tiap orang dibeli. “Everyone can be bought. Everyone has his price.”
Smart Health. Skin-whitening products sold in Indonesia have been conclusively proven to be damaging both physically and emotionally. *For subscribers of Class I (Rp80,000/month) of the BPJS National Health Insurance program, go to your puskemas and ask to be referred to a local hospital, specialist or internist for lab tests that may indicate anemia or infection: cholesterol, PSA (prostate), blood count, blood sugar, blood pressure, etc. *People who sit 9-10 hours a day are more likely to injure their heart muscles and develop diabetes. *In terms of health impacts, use olive oil (Rp200,000-Rp225,000/liter) instead of coconut oil (Rp20,000 to Rp25,000/liter) that contains six times more saturated fat.
Bali roads: New parking rules have been introduced on Jl. Dewi Sita, Jl. Suweta and other busy Ubud streets; noncompliance may mean tickets, towing and locking vehicle tires. *Allow more time to get to and from the airport because of delays caused by the narrowing of the highway due to construction of a new underpass and changes in the traffic flow.
Authentic old fashioned cornbread. Virtually non-existent in Bali, cornbread is remarkably easy to make once you have corn flour. The tepung jagung (Rp5,000/kg) you buy in the market is not corn flour but corn starch. Real corn flour is most easily obtained by first drying corn kernals (Rp3,000/kg), take to a mill (slip) to husk, soak all night, then bring the meal to the mill again to make genuine corn flour. Or buy beras jagung (Rp12,000/kg), soak it all night and then grind it in a coffee grinder or pound (tumbuk) the corn kernels in a mortar and pestle.
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Copyright © 2018 Bill Dalton
You can read all past articles of The Frugal Balinist at www.BaliAdvertiser.biz