Razia Zebra Gabungan! Big police road blocks will be occurring every day around Bali from 9 am-12 pm, 2 pm-5 pm and 8 pm-12 am. Not just a few cops as in your regular razia spot checks, but multi-personnel checkpoints all across the nation will be set up on major roads checking for payment of the yearly tax (pajak kendaraan bermotor) on cars and motorcycles. Carry your STNK (Surat Tanda Nomor Kendaraan) automobile registration certificate with you at all times, showing that you’re current on your tax payments. If you haven’t paid your tax for three years, your vehicle will be confiscated and you’ll have to pay for a tow truck and storage at Rp400,000/day until the tax is paid. If you haven’t paid for less than three years, your SIM license will be taken away and you’ll be charged a fine.


Home spa tips. Recreate the atmosphere of a spa at home by lighting candles and turning on relaxing white noise or meditative music on YouTube to induce a state of relaxation. *Taking a warm bath is unparalleled in relaxing the body and nervous system. *Try eucalyptus or peppermint oils for a refreshing, invigorating experience. *For a soothing, relaxing experience, use lavender or chamomile. *After a bath, put on a robe and apply a neck pillow infused with aromatherapy that you’ve heated in the microwave for a minute. Lie on your couch, listen to the music, and breathe deeply. *Apply an eye pillow to soothe tired eyes; look for one made of silk and keep it cool in the refrigerator. *Use a cucumber-infused toner to spritz on your face. *To maintain just-left-the-spa feet, use a pumice stone after your bath to polish dry areas, then apply a thick cream and put on socks to let it absorb for deep hydration. *Once a month, heat olive oil in a bowl and soak your feet for 10 minutes, then massage with the olive oil and rinse. Your feet will feel like silk and velvet. *Indulge in a creamy sugar scrub, reflexology massage and a warm paraffin treatment.


Free Wi-Fi: Bandung Regency will become a ‘Smart City’ with free Wi-Fi connections this month through a fiber optic network in time for the October 12th to 14th International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank Conference to allow tourists to share their Bali travel experience in real time with friends internationally via the social network.


Beware fake charities. In Bali youths go around cars stopped at intersections holding charity boxes stenciled Lombok or Sulawesi Relief. Though not all of these yayasan (charity organizations) are a scam, it’s ill-advised to throw money into those boxes because there is absolutely no accountability. *If you give to a charity that purports to give orphans or poor kids lodging and/or education, ask them if you can come by anytime to check them out. If they say no, it’s only by appointment, it may not be an up and up outfit. It’s been found that in some “orphanages,” all the kids live in nearby houses and they have to be drummed up first to make an appearance when visitors arrive. If you just drop by anytime, there won’t be a kid anywhere but they will have all kinds of wonderfully creative excuses.


Money Sense. The cheapest, most trustworthy and efficient way to wire money to Bali is to use Transferwise; transfers at very good rates can be done from Europe to your Indonesian bank account in as little as 5 minutes. *If you don’t pay attention to your finances, there’s always someone waiting to take advantage of your finances for you. * The Indonesian rupiah has declined in value 11.7% since January 1, 2018 and is now trading at Rp14,844 to the U.S. dollar. *A foreigner can open a bank account on Bali with a passport and a KITAS visa. *Because a new import tax of 7.5% will be applied to alcoholic beverages wine, sake, brandy, whiskey, vodka, arak and bitters, it might be the time to switch to some of the new artisan beers appearing on Bali like Stark. *Very few financial problems improve by ignoring or neglecting them. *Pembeli harus berhati-hati. Caveat emptor. *Want a raise? Ask.


Pemutihan. The next several months are the best time to renew your SIM or to buy used cars and motorbikes. Meaning “to cleanse, launder, legalize, whitewash,” the Pemutihan program allows the police to offer new (or renewed) Indonesian driver’s licenses (SIM or Surat Ijin Mengemudi) and sell cars and motorcycles at huge discounts. Ask at the registry of motor vehicles (BPKB or Buku Pemilik Kendaraan Bermotor) if there is a Pemutihan taking place. If you know a cop or have a good Balinese friend who knows one, they can give you access to the program. If you have a vehicle without proper documentation, you have until the program ends in December to get legal registration.


Household Tips. KanGen Water Gianyar, Udayana 162, Buruan, Blahbatuh, Kab. Gianyar, tel. 812-3910-713, delivers water to your door. Many of the new KanGen companies are inconsistent, but this one is on top of it. Ask for Agus who speaks great English. *Just put your empty Bintang beer bottles on the side of the street and a pemulung (trash collector/recycler) will take them to cash in. *Fruits and vegetables will last longer if you thoroughly dry them first after getting home from the market or grocery store. *Store fruits and veggies separately and keep apples and bananas away from everything else because they emit ethylene gas that will make other produce ripen and go bad faster. *Bread ends, that you might otherwise throw away, make great croutons when toasted or sautéed with olive oil and garlic. *The dates printed on food packages have nothing to do with any food safety regulations or scientific testing in Indonesia but are only the manufacturer’s subjective estimate of the optimum level of quality or freshness.


Outstanding street food suitable for vegans? 9 Angels (Jl. Suweta; 10 am-10 pm) and Oman Warung (Gg. Cendana, Singakerta, 11 am-10 pm) in Penestanan and La Sere (Jl. Raya Sayan; 11 am-8 pm) in Sayan. They don’t come any cheaper than these two: Veggie Karma in Ubud (Jl. Hanoman 73, opp. Cocomart Supermarket; 11 am-10 pm) with a tasty all-you-can-eat buffet for only Rp55,000 and Warung Sukun in Desa Les on the main road from Singaraja to Amlapura that serves grilled fish fresh from the ocean at local prices (open every day from 11am-10 pm).


Energy Savers. In the laundry, use cold water instead of hot water and hang clothes to dry instead of using a dryer. *Turn off energy vampires which can consume electricity even when they are plugged in, costing households as much as Rp2,000,000/year; use power strips to turn multiple electronics and small appliances on and off at once. *Turn water heater down to 120 degrees F. *Top greenhouse gas emitting foods, from worst to least bad: beef, cheese, pork, farmed salmon, turkey, chicken, canned tuna, eggs, potatoes. *Microwave ovens use one third less energy than conventional ovens; small toaster ovens use half the energy of conventional ovens; electric kettles use less energy to heat water than stovetops or microwaves.

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Copyright © 2018 Bill Dalton

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