June 20, 2018

TED Ed. With millions of channels, You Tube is the biggest media platform in the world. Devoted to products, how-to, personalities and educational subjects that are often aggregated into “verticals” containing similar content. The Ted Ed channel features an ever growing library of video collaborations between talented educators and animators that is highly rated by teachers and homeschoolers to provide additional or specialized information to supplement a child’s classroom work. In this blended learning approach, face-to-face interaction is mixed with independent study via technology. Mostly suited for high school students and middle schoolers, the most popular videos are 2-7 minutes long. My 12-year-old boy spends hours viewing videos related to science. The remarkable content on almost any subject come from some of the world’s best minds. Although some of the subject sections could be filled out with a greater variety of topics, overall these mini presentations are a wonderful teaching tool. Even boring subjects are transformed into wildly engaging content


Garden Ideas. You can grow almost anything if you find the right spot in your home that offers adequate sunshine and air circulation. Amaranth and water spinach are the cheapest and easiest plants to take care of. Find info on how to grow these as well as oregano, thyme, basil, rosemary, vegetables, leafy greens and decorative plants at home from Indonesian-based Instagram accounts @witwikan.Wit and @primrose.garden.


TravelWise. Be kind to our Bali police working in these hot, dry and thirsty conditions stuck in the middle of growling polluted traffic. *Apps that connect you with tech-savvy travelers: Hitchhiker does XML flight and travel agency bookings and connects directly to 116 low-cost airlines; Grabr is used to shop for products that aren’t available in your country or are too expensive to buy locally; BuddyExpress connects travelers who have extra luggage space to people with shipping and shopping needs. *Don’t ever keep your mobile phone under a motorbike’s seat which could cause the gas tank to explode (which blew apart a family of three in Purwosari last week). *Pick up Grab at Singapore’s airport; cheaper than a taxi to get into the city.


Avoid Risk. Rather than taking a chance sending goods through Indonesian customs and being charged outrageous duties or never seeing them again, your item will have a better chance of arriving if you buy it on Amazon Indonesia or eBay Indonesia. *Goods bought overseas with a total value of US$500 are exempted from Indonesian customs duty; over this value travelers are subject to a 10% VAT and 7.5% income tax for those with a tax identification number. *Our dishonest fly-by-night Australian contractor really cheated us by using young uncured wood (kayu mentah) throughout the house; even after 15 years we are still digging out nests of termites (rayap) living well eating away in our and window frames. Never use kayu mentah in the tropics! Buy cured wood (kayu sudah di oven) instead. *Indosida Termisida 99 (Rp50,000/gram) is breathtakingly effective against termite invasion if coated on wood.


Ata Handbags. Wild ata grass root, indigenous to the Bali’s foothills, is so sturdy that it’s said to last 100 years. The material is much stronger than rattan because it is water, heat and insect resistant. On Bali, hand woven ata basketry has been developed into a fine art. Ata products, which come in all shapes and sizes, can take two months to handcraft (harvesting, peeling the outer layer, drying the weed by slow smoking, soaking in honey, weaving, applying protective coating, etc.), and are three times more expensive than rattan items. On the 2nd floor of Denpasar’s Kumbasari market, on the other side of the river from Pasar Badung, many small vendors sell cloth-lined 35-cm-diameter ata cylinder handbags (also called “Moon Bags”) for Rp100,000-Rp150,000 (after bargaining), whereas buying one online, at Ubud’s tourist market and even at the source in Tengenan village of East Bali, costs Rp250,000-Rp300,000. Real ata grass artifacts have a natural warm golden color (rattan appears light beige), retains its tough outer layer (skin) and exudes a faint honey-like aroma.


Banjar Good Manners. It doesn’t cost a lot of be a good neighbor. As a foreign resident, your attendance at certain events and functions in your village or city kampung are important to show your solidarity with the community. These small but considerate gestures will help you blend in by honoring Balinese customs and insure that you earn the respect of the community. 1) If you don’t go to any other village function, go to the death ceremony (group prayers and washing of the body) of a deceased Balinese friend or neighbor. Women should bring white rice, sugar and incense (dupa) and men should bring one roll of kain kasa. 2) Visit Balinese you know who have been taken ill or who have been injured. 3) Pay a small amount (Rp50,000-Rp100,000) for the building of an ogoh-ogoh puppet prior to the Day of Silence (Nyepi). 4) Pay something towards rectifying a problem with infrastructure such as a broken road or bridge. 5) Give a donation for August 17th Independence Day celebratory activities such a lomba (races), tarik tambang (tug of war) and panjat pinang (greased climbing pole) and/or ngoncang (rhythmic rice pounding percussion music). 6) Most important of all is to to adopt an attitude that is not sombong, snooty, haughty, holier than though.


Septic Tank Cleaners. Bio 2000 (Rp65,000-Rp75,000/kg) and Degra Simba (Rp60,000-Rp70,000/500 ml) are chemicals that you put into septic tanks that “naturalize” (dissolves and decomposes) – and also lessens the odor – from toilet wastes. Use these products to save money by not having to empty your septic tank. The chemical process takes about 7 days to work. People have their septic tanks emptied less professionally now because of the availability of these cleansing agents. They act to change wastes into sludge and allows grey and black waste water to flow easier out of the tank and into surrounding earth, drain or leach fields. Ask for: Produk yang bisa cairan pembersih wc atau kuras sepi tank.


Food Wise. Instead of mayonnaise, try mashed avocado because it has more fiber and potassium; instead of dried fruit, try fresh fruit because it has fewer calories and less concentrated sugars; instead of fruit-flavored yoghurts, try plain Greek yogurt with fruit because it has fewer added sugars and more protein. *An under-appreciated activity in Indonesia, jalan-jalan (walking) is probably the single best exercise for most people; walk at a pace that’s comfortable. *Worthy Beans: Lentils, black beans, and other legumes are packed with brain-building nutrients. Many varieties and dishes: kacang panjang as used in gado-gado, nasi pecel and sayur asam; kacang merah as used in soups and sayur santan; tumis buncis is stir -fried green beans. *Peanut butter is fattening if you overdo it. Though it has 94 calories and 8 grams of fat per tablespoon, nut butters give you a lot of nutrition for those calories, including protein, fiber and “good” fat. *The weakening of the rupiah to now over Rp14,000/U.S.$1 dollar has driven up the costs of imported goods like cheese and meat. *Palm sugar (gula merah) has far superior taste and bananas, mangos, ground nuts (kacang tanah) are sweeter and more flavorful on Java than on Bali, but beef, coffee, cacao, durian and cloves (cengkeh) are better quality on Bali.


Please send your budget ideas, bargain deals and money saving tips to pakbill2003@yahoo.com.


Copyright © 2018 Bill Dalton

You can read all past articles of The Frugal Balinist at www.BaliAdvertiser.biz