I am an expat


Latest Activity

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!

Check your link Tom...it doesn't take me to the story. 

Ironic...re-runs of "A Murder She Wrote" are now popular here...but of course not quite as popular as Mahabarata!

BTW, my devotee wife of that Indian saga that has captured the Balinese by storm was among invited guests to the Indian Consulate to meet some of the actors a week ago. 

But back to murders here on Bali...should there be any surprise that with the ever increasing numbers of westerners calling Bali "home" that the number of crimes involving westerners (including murder) rises?

Ubudian posted on the thread Indonesia visa in Singapore on the Indonesia forum

Actually Priscilla, having these sort of tips periodically showing up on the regular forum is an excellent idea. 

Anyone with experience dealing with the Indonesian embassy in Singapore regarding visa matters knows very well just how valuable and useful a good local agent in Singapore can be.  And isn't that the whole point of this forum...to share tips? 

In fact, dealing with immigration and visa matters year after year after year has become quite an incentive for some of us to take on full citizenship!   ;)

Ubudian posted on the thread welcome mr president joko widodo on the Indonesia forum

It seems to me that Jokowi is a indeed a master at keeping his friends close, and his enemies closer.

Being the magnanimous sort of fellow he is, he would surely thank you for your advice.   ;)

Ubudian posted on the thread Extend 30 Day Visa on the Indonesia forum

Yup...just as Tom says. 

The main immigration office is in Denpasar (Renon) to be specific...or you can also go to the airport immigration office located before you enter the terminal areas on the right.  Kantor Imigrasi is what to ask for if needing directions.

You do need to move quickly to renew your current VOA as it runs out this Friday, the 24th. 

Dress nice...long pants and a short sleeve shirt (no tee shirt, singlet or speedos), have alcohol free breath, be polite and you'll find the folks at either office to be very helpful.    :top:

Ubudian posted on the thread Extend 30 Day Visa on the Indonesia forum

Refer to your other post.  25 September arrival and 25 November departure is 62 days...not 60 days.  Your date of arrival counts as day one, and you must depart on the 60th day (after getting the extension on your initial 30 day VOA).

Overstay fees can be a nasty surprise at Ngurah Rai.   ;)

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

Edwin, if you arrived in Bali on the 25th of September on a VOA (visa on arrival) then you can extend that here in Bali for another 30 days, but you need to get moving on that ASAP as it's already the 21st of October.   

Secondly, both your initial VOA and its extension are only good for 30 days, and your date of arrival counts as day 1.

Therefore, there is no way you can arrive on the 25th of September and leave on the 25th of November without being two days overstay (even if you arrived on a 60 day visit visa). 

In addition to the excellent advice offered by the prior poster, be sure to simply click on the Bali link to be brought to all the past topics relating to Bali. 

And lastly, just for the record, the "Bali dream" will never be found in Kuta!   That's were you find the "hangover dream."   :D


Ubudian posted on the thread are u looking for job overseas on the Indonesia forum

Here we go again!   :(

YO!  Please leave our Indonesian women alone.  They are used to human rights, being treated with respect and dignity, not having to dress in a tent, driving their own cars, and being with any man of their choice wherever and whenever they want.  :top:

Ubudian posted on the thread Presidential election on the Indonesia forum

Pak Fred, IMHO, thus far, and in the face of "slings and arrows of outrageous misfortune",  Pak Jokowi has handled himself very admirably. 

This of course also speaks well for the people of Indonesia who elected him.   ;)

Monday will be a proud day for Indonesia!   :top:

Ubudian posted on the thread I hope everyone sharing at this on the Indonesia forum

OK, so why on earth would you want to die as a warrior?

Isn't peace better than war, and isn't dying peacefully in bed surrounded by beloved family also better?

Most folks I've run into in my life who glorify war have in fact, never worn a uniform, never fired a weapon in anger, and surely have never lived with the ghosts of those they killed while at war.

Just some "food for thought."

Ubudian posted on the thread Australian owning Property in Bali on the Bali forum

Canggu is a good choice.  It's one of the few areas down south where all the land hasn't already been paved over and developed.  With land conservation and preservation becoming an increasingly important issue for the Balinese, there is a chance that some parts of Canggu will remain undeveloped. 

" it seems everyone has a different view regarding taxes etc."

Not really.  The only view that matters is the view held by the Kantor Pajak (tax office) for each Regency. That's the view you need to know.   ;)

Ubudian posted on the thread job vacancies in bali on the Bali forum

"There goes a job that may be difficult to fill from local labour..."

Actually Fred, you might be surprised to know that there are quite a number of Balinese who are fluent in Japanese, the result of need to the high volume of Japanese tourists to Bali.

Ubudian posted on the thread Experience with Okusi Associates? on the Indonesia forum

We've never used them, but from others who have...primarily to set up a PMA business, we've only heard good things about them.  Setting up a PMA isn't a cheap process by any means, but from what we've been told, their fees were reasonable and their work highly professional. 

"lafoto" if you had a bad experience with them, it is only useful to comment about that if you are more specific and honest with your criticism.   ;)

Ubudian posted on the thread ISIS Presence in Indonesia on the Indonesia forum

It's a tough nut Tom.

If they've served their prison time, then they have to be released.   

On the other hand, hopefully Intel will be keeping an eye on them.

One has to admit, in recent years Indonesia has been doing a good job regarding terrorism here on the home front.  Let's hope this continues.