October 11, 2017

Flashlights. I already have more LED flashlights than makes any sense but am still tempted by the awesome selection at DX.com where one can order anything you could ever dream of, including dimmable LEDs. Free shipping by Hong Kong post. There’s also DX.COM.ID, which is all cellular stuff. Nice flashlights can also be found at Gramedia (Jl. Dewi Sartika, Denpasar) at the same counter with the fancy pens. If you’re using high intensity flashlights you should be using rechargeable Lithium ion batteries that can be bought inexpensively locally. UltraFire 6800 MAh batteries are for sale about 50 yards before Pasar Satria, on the other side of the street at the little electronics store there. Eiger sells a great LED flashlight with an adjustable beam for around Rp250,000. It comes with a charger and 4000 MAh 18650 battery. Zeigler also makes high quality LED flashlights, usually available in Gramedia and to a lesser extent at Mitra 10.


What is organic? Bali’s organic movement is a way to heal the environment, preserve the family farm, expand local access to locally grown food and offer consumers better tasting and more nutritious food. If the food you        buy isn’t from farms controlled and certified by the BOA (Bali Organic Association- https://www.facebook.com/baliorganicassociation), it’s uncertain that it’s 100% organic and as chemical-free as possible. Be suspect of everything that is labeled or declared to be “organic” – even chicken manure. Papayas, which grow like weeds in every yard, do not need to be sprayed. And the organic label used when selling coconut is meaningless. What coconut wouldn’t be organic? Always write the name of the name of the non-chemical product/supplier so you remember to buy the same next time.


Don’t pay surcharge! Few consumers are aware that it’s illegal for merchants to apply a credit card surcharge in Indonesia to cover the cost of credit card commissions or for any other reason. All surcharges are outlawed by Bank Indonesia since 2011 (Regulation 11/11/PBI/2009). Refuse any amount of surcharge, whether it be 1%, 2.5% or 4%. Melarang adanya surcharge dalam transaksi pembayaran menggunakan kartu. When such charges are sought, report the offending merchant to your bank immediately so that their agreement with BCA, BNI, etc. can be terminated. Merchants are also forbidden from stipulating that a card user pay a minimum amount when using his or her credit card.


Agung eruption prep. Before evacuating from Amed, Tulamben, Amlapura and surrounding areas and taking up temporary residence with friends, family or in a hotel, protect your vacated property against break-ins. Cover water tanks and pools with tarps; filter A/C compressor intakes with plastic mesh or put a cover over the tops; stock up with water, LPG and groceries. Ash clouds generally follow prevailing winds, usually to the NW this time of year. The best mask model is the Besten N95 available from Tokopedia (Rp100,500/packet of 20).


e-cards implementation. Effective 01Sept17, no cash payment of toll fee will be accepted by the 52,000 vehicles who use the Mandiri toll road each day. Only non-cash payments via e-cards will be accepted. E-cards are available from Bank Mandiri (E-Money), Brizzi (BRI), Topcsh (BNI), BPD Bali, Blink (BTN), FLAZZ (BCA) and most but not all IndoMarts. Top up your e-card by purchasing value to be stored on the card which never expires.


Best bank. The government-owned BRI (Bank Rakyat Indonesia, “The People’s Bank”), with branches in even the smallest villages throughout Indonesia, charges only Rp5000 to transfer (mengkirim uang) any amount to a BRI account. *BRI also charges a stupefyingly cheap lending rate of only 0,9% per month or 9% per year. Use the money to buy a car, start a business or do a major home renovation. You have to be a resident of the district you live in, own a house or other substantial collateral, have had a steady income (penghasilan) for at least a year from a legitimately registered business and you or your spouse have to be an Indonesian citizen. They’ll want to see your IMB building permit or PMA or P.T. papers/documents, et al.


Air Asia tips. Don’t try to get anything over on this fine-tuned money-making machine. Air Asia’s website is pure slick wizardry. It’s like playing a pinball machine trying to get past all the options without incurring additional charges. When I bought my ticket, I remember being deeply frustrated at not being able to call customer service in Bali to ask about various details of my ticket purchase. When signing up for travel insurance online, it behooves one to read the fine print. Although their flight insurance plan may seem like a bargain at Rp55,000, there are tight restrictions. For one, it only covers a missed connection if there is no other Air Asia flight within six hours of your missed connection. That lazy oversight cost me US$163 because I was forced to buy a brand new ticket!


Plastic galore. Lotte Mart carries a huge variety of plastic ware. Besides the usual plates and bowls there are garbage containers, wash tubs, chairs, pails, racks, etc. For any of these items you have a choice of several different brands in a number of sizes and colors. With its low prices and aisle after aisle of plastic products to choose from, this is go to place for any large size plastic item as most stores in Bali offer only a small selection.


Health is Wealth. The most dangerous animal to humans is the house fly that carries more diseases than any other creature. *Fly paper (Lem Lalat Cap Gajah) is a simple, effective way to keep the fly population down in your house and costs only Rp4,500/3-sheet pack. A dish of coconut water also traps flies. *Balinese swear by Minyak Oles Bokashi (12 ml bottle Rp25,000; 35 ml Rp45,000; 65 ml Rp80,000; 140 ml Rp135,000), a traditional herbal rubbing oil – concocted from a mixture of 315 medicinal plants – for treatment of skin diseases, warts, calluses, new wounds, burns, insect bites, muscle aches & pains. *Columbia University found that one half of 15,500 adult smokers had successfully quit smoking in the past 5 years with the help of e-cigarettes. *Replace your sponge with a new one every week as cleaning a dirty sponge only helps its worst bacteria. *All Indonesians are eligible for free testing services at Bali Peduli (www.balipeduli.org) and fees for foreigners are far less expensive than commercial labs, local hospitals and clinics on Bali. *The women of my family highly recommend Obat Nyeri Haid Feminax for SMS (only Rp2,000/four tablets); their 2nd-choice is the jamu Kiranti (Rp5500/150 ml bottle).


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


Copyright © 2017 Bill Dalton

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