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Ubudian posted on the thread "Living the Dream" on the Bali forum

Indeed Tom, and even a business visa does not allow for earning money while in Indonesia.

The only visa allowable for that would be a KITAS in conjunction with a work permit.

The only thing more difficult for a foreigner trying to get a work permit in Bali within the tourism business is finding a virgin in Banyuwangi!

Ubudian posted on the thread "Living the Dream" on the Bali forum

Good news Edwin, but you wrote something earlier that raised my eyebrows:

“I have committed to help "newbie" Australian tourists in terms of providing a service to help them get to know the best tour operators.”

Two points:

As you yourself are such a “newbie” how can you possibly provide this service you mention?

More importantly, if you receive any monetary compensation for such a service, you will be in flagrant violation of VOA restrictions and at substantial risk (and with very serious consequences), for breaking the law.

No accusations here Edwin, but these points came to mind as I read your posts.

Ubudian posted on the thread Two Excellent Books on Bali on the Indonesia forum

Fred, you could try the e-book route first, and take it from there.

I'm not going to patronize you, but I've been following your "Fred Went a Wondering" thread since first joining this forum, and it's a treasure trove of fun, insight and information.  Of course it will take some serious editing...for example, getting rid of those phrases that only a Brit would understand,   :o   but any manuscript of any book requires professional editing.

Think about it...have you got anything "better" to do?   :/

Ubudian posted on the thread New pilot in forum and Indonesia on the Indonesia forum

A bit OT, the owner of Susi Air was just appointed a Minister by Jokowi.  She is one interesting lady...tattoos and all!   :top:

Of the 180 pilots that fly for her, all but 5 are foreigners...and I can only wonder, how many of them have tats?   :)

If you have a tat yourself, maybe consider including a photo of it with your CV?  It just might help out with those yet to earn flight hours. 

Good luck!

Ubudian posted on the thread Snakes on the Bali forum

Selamat guys, your volunteer group has been getting quite a lot of very positive publicity on the internet…so, “gudonya” and keep up the good work.

Understanding that you work in other areas of Indonesia as well as Bali, I’d like to know if in your opinion the perceptions and treatment of reptiles, snakes in particular, is different here in Bali than in other areas of Indonesia.  In a subtle way I’m alluding to the role of the cobra with Siva, and from what I’ve experienced over the years it seems the Balinese have a respect for all snakes insofar as I’ve rarely seen anyone here go out of their way to kill one.

Although “he” hasn’t been back in recent months, we had a large and quite beautiful reticulated python showing up at one of our temples and making himself home under the rafters of one of the temple bales in our village where he would curl up and simply hang out, presumably digesting one or more of our missing chickens.  Not knowing how long this boy was, his body circumference was easily 10 inches or more.  Of no surprise to you, there was some hotel construction going on nearby and along a river well known in our village to be popular with these pythons.  He was left alone, nobody bothered him or attempted to remove him, and one day he simply moved on. 

Also, I’ve never noticed any handicrafts being made here on Bali from the skin of snakes or other reptiles. 

Do you find this “live and let live” attitude towards these creatures elsewhere in Indonesia?

Ubudian posted on the thread Two Excellent Books on Bali on the Indonesia forum

You know Fred, in all seriousness, your compilations and “diary” of sorts posted over the years here under the title, “Fred Went a Wandering” would make for a very interesting book in its own right.  Food for thought my friend?

Another book regarding Bali that I could suggest, but strictly for fun, is the wonderful spoof on Eat, Pray, Love co-authored and entirely illustrated by my very good friend and neighbor, David Trevelyan.  The book is titled, "The Monster That Ate Ubud" and its subtitle is “A Guide to Enlightenment For The Serious Dim Bulb.”   

I can think of one particular dim bulb who could benefit from this hilarious tale of Chuck Fung and Swami Shoeman.  ;) 


Ubudian created a new thread on the Indonesia forum

Two Excellent Books on Bali

Having frequently been gob smacked by reading completely misleading and untruthful statements about Bali being presented on this forum as factual, I think it’s time to recommend two excellent books about Bali where those who are truly interested in leaning about this culture, its customs and its people can confidentially rely upon.

Those two books are:

- Secrets of Bali: Fresh Light on the Morning of the World by Jonathan Copeland and Ni Wayan Murni. 

Excerpted from my review of this book published in the The Bali Times, 18 June, 2010:

Since Fred Eiseman first published what still remains the most important and definitive English language text on the essence of Bali, his brilliant work, Bali, Sekala & Niskala in 1990, there has been no other tome which has attempted to define and present the endless intricacies of Balinese culture and religion in an understandable and accurate manner.

Authors Jonathan Copeland and Ni Wayan Murni have bridged the gap between the scholarly and excessively detailed analysis presented by Eiseman and all the "fluff only" books subsequently published.

Moreover, Eiseman freely admits in his seminal work that most of what he presents is based on his own studies in Jimbaran and thusly not indicative or representational of other areas of Bali.  Copeland and Ibu Murni present a broader picture, one which is based in what can arguably be called the cultural heart of Bali, which is Ubud.

Secrets of Bali is an insightful book which touches on virtually all facets of Balinese life and religion but it is not a watered down version of Eiseman’s seminal work. On the contrary, Secrets of Bali is a very easy read dealing with an almost incomprehensible and most surely confusing topic. It is well organized, carefully thought out and, most importantly, accurate. It is a must read for anyone who considers Bali as beyond the playground that is Kuta, or who comes here yearning for more than sun, fun and sex.

Every new and aspiring expat to Bali should consider Secrets of Bali as mandatory reading.  And, even those expats who have been on Bali for some time will gain a great deal from this book.

The second book which is referenced in my review of Secrets of Bali is:

Bali:  Sekala & Niskal by Fred B. Eiseman, Jr.

First published in 1990, Fred's book about Bali, the seen and unseen, remains the most comprehensive and in depth attempt to explain the intricacies of Balinese culture.  Even Balinese who read this book have commented to me that they gained some insight and knowledge from its pages. 

This is the book for the seasoned Baliphile or serious student who seeks more comprehensive and deeper analysis. 

Superbly indexed and with an excellent glossary, this book can easily serve as the perfect reference to periodically consult as the need arises.  This book is another "must have" for the library of any expat on Bali.   

"Knowledge, like air, is vital to life. Like air, no one should be denied it."

-Alan Moore

As usual Indo, you have absolutely no idea what you are talking about when it comes to Bali.   

Yes, while cremation ceremonies can be expensive, they in no way lock up a Balinese family with debt for generations.  That concept is ridiculous, and following your distorted  logic, the Balinese would all be bankrupt by now, as each generation will conduct a number of cremation ceremonies during the course of their generation. 

Most Balinese villages have cremation the earliest of either five years, or when the temporary cemetery is full.  Families double and triple up to minimize expenses.  Those large creature like sarcophagus you see at Balinese cremations most often will hold the remains of several departed, thus the cost for that sarcophagus is spread out over several related families. 

"Lacking direct skills, except at the most basic level, they generally but with exceptions, are not the ones directly employed by the tourism and mass construction industry."

Have you gone completely daft?  The more you write, the bigger the hole you dig for yourself.  When was the last time you visited a hotel in Bali?  Duh!  Did you think the staff, very often from the GM on down, were from Java?  Can you even tell a Balinese from a Javanese?  Do you have any idea how many five star resorts are in owner partnerships with Balinese, or how many Balinese owned tourism businesses there are in Bali?  Clearly not...regard the question as rhetorical. 

Do you have the slightest clue just how much monetary wealth is held here by the Balinese?  Clearly not...again the question is rhetorical. 

And regarding construction, again a painful moan from me over the abject ignorance you spew on this forum.

Yes, we employ a great many Javanese laborers here in Bali, and they generally are hired to do the basic work…clearing the land, digging and laying foundations, laying in rebar, pouring concrete, building the walls, etc. etc.  The finish work is almost always completed by highly skilled Balinese artisans…and not imported labor.  In other words, what you wrote is the direct opposite of the reality.  You couldn’t be more wrong! 

Do tell us gurunot, how many buildings have YOU built on Bali?   Why are so many Javanese workers temporarily employed for construction projects on Bali?  The answer is simple economics…they are willing to work for less pay than most Balinese. 

As for your “cultural war” BS, may I remind you that the two terrorist attacks on Bali occurred in 2002 and 2005…12 and 9 years ago respectively, and nothing since.  And there have been no terrorist incidents in Java either for quite some time.

Why don’t you stick to writing about Yogyakarta and leave Bali for those who know it well, and live it daily?  Your BS about Bali is doing this forum a great disservice.   And frankly, I’m getting tired of having to clean up your mess!

A wise move...to get out of Kuta.  :top:

The majority of tourists that come to Bali, especially the younger ones, spend all their time in Kuta and unless they come back for another visit and go elsewhere, they live with the misconception that they've been to Bali.  They haven't been to Bali...they've only been to Kuta.

Allow me to expand on precisely why this prior quote is so utterly wrong when it comes to Bali…that quote being:

“The increasing crime rates in Bali are due to the lowering of barriers of respect of personal space between people.”

Anyone with a modicum of knowledge of Balinese culture understands that “personal space” is a non sequitur and a concept which is not at all embraced or valued by the Balinese.

All over Bali, indeed, even in the grotesquely westernized areas of southern Bali, the Balinese predominantly live in family compounds where it is typical to find three or four generations all sharing the same living space.  These compounds are normally connected, linked together and in sum, constitute the village, (kampung) and from which the workings of adat emerge.  For the Balinese, it is the embrace of family, and extended family (the village) which is the nucleus of their lives. 

There is little or no “personal space” in these compounds, and aside from married couples (sons of the patriarch of the family), even sleeping rooms are shared along with the kitchen, mandi (bathrooms), bales, etc.

This choice of close communal living is not a result of economics, or any other misunderstanding by western ideologies, rather it is an essential aspect of Balinese culture which has been a key aspect of Balinese culture way before the first westerner ever sat foot on Bali over four hundred years ago.  Western influence has virtually nothing to do with how the Balinese continue to live.  And, it never will. 

Crime in Bali, and its perceived increase has absolutely nothing to do with “lowering the barriers of respect of personal respect between people.”  That idea is simply ridiculous. 

Furthermore, it is also completely inaccurate to proffer the misconception that crime is on an increase in Bali.  It isn’t.  All one needs to do is to study crime statistics for Bali in relation to population, and in so doing, come to the accurate conclusion that crime is very much in the same relative proportion to population here as it has for many decades.   

Sorry to say, but little else bothers me more than when those who would mislead others in their views of Bali (distorted and terribly inaccurate) unabashedly spew their ignorance within a false cloak of truth. 

Sure, I embrace the right of free speech as much as anyone, but I despise purposeful false comments that are tendered without any documentation, supportive data or personal experience.

One more point.  For those who don’t know (like newbie spammers), this forum has a large number of Indonesian members. 

Point in fact…whenever the BS slings and arrows, and derogatory comments about Indonesians are posted here…you never hear them firing back.  You’ll never hear them telling the bule expat…”go to hell.”  In short, their restraint is remarkable and for certain, most admirable.  Too bad that so many foreign expats lack a tenth of the character of most Indonesians.  And thank God that most Indonesians don’t judge us all for the ugliness one can all too often find here among some expats.

How hilariously disingenuous for an expat, supposedly from the US, to be bemoaning crime here in Indonesia.  Having lived in several areas of the US, this is by far the safest place I've lived for the past 17 years, and among the only place on earth I'd raise my family.   

And truly, if Indonesia is the “gateway to hell” what the heck are you doing here anyway?  Are you preparing for your final trip…now being at the gateway? 

And this is just more baloney from someone who obviously has zero understanding of the Balinese:

“The increasing crime rates in Bali are due to the lowering of barriers of respect of personal space between people.”

Clearly the author of that gem of ignorance has never been inside a Balinese compound, let alone understand a flip of how the Balinese live.

What will be most interesting to follow in the "murder for hire" case will be how her defense attorney approaches the "legitimacy" of having her husband killed.  In US criminal law, this would be called motive and mitigating factors.

Her conviction is a certainly as she has confessed, but her sentence could range from as few as five years in Kerobokan to as harsh as the death penalty. 

If her husband was abusive, openly unfaithful, and she had legitimate reason to fear for the safety of their two sons, she will not be severely punished.  If she was a Rhangda incarnate, she will get a long prison term, or even the death penalty. 

As for those two who carried out the deed, they are in deep and will be lucky to get life in prison.  Murder with money being the sole motivation is viewed as particularly heinous in these parts. 

Trials in Indonesia are particularly interesting in my opinion.  One of the customs that I particularly like here is having the person presenting testimony facing the judges directly, eye to eye, and seated openly in a single chair.  This has got to be far more intimidating, and perhaps likely to produce discovery of the truth than say in the US where the witness sits to the left of the presiding judge and is somewhat sheltered by the witness booth. 

Anyone with interest in this case will surely find it fascinating to read the accounts of the trial, and its outcome in both local and Australian press.  For certain, there will be little consistency and agreement between those two venues.

I agree, I also think the trial of the two love birds will be here in Bali.  It will be a news spectacle for sure, and the Balinese will love it!  But, that might be just what we need to compete with the hugely popular Mahabharata series!   

Instead of "Let's Throw Mama from the Train" it will be "Let's Pack Mama in a Suitcase."  :o

Agree Tom, it can happen anywhere in Indonesia, but of course this happened in Bali which is precisely why the Australian press is running strong with it...they acting as the vocal arm of DFAT intending to convince their populous of the dangers of Bali.

As for that American woman who was killed by her daughter and her daughter's American boy friend, I haven't heard much about it lately.  There was a move afoot to have the US authorities come and take the two back to the states for prosecution (Bali doesn't need a live TV OJ type of trial) but the crime occurred here, and the opposing view is not to abdicate on the right (and responsibility) to prosecute.  It's a tough call and I can see plenty of merit in both arguments.

As a quick follow up…here's another link to this news story:

http://www.smh.com.au/world/robert-kelv … 19k5q.html

A great quote within it:

"Who knows what happens. If you piss the wrong person off in Bali, or if you do the wrong thing, weird things happen. This is a very weird island, things happen for very stupid reasons or no reason at all," the friend said."

YUP!  That is indeed the way it is with life in the jungle!