The first time I was in Bali I ended up in a culture shock.This was in 2008. The culture shock lasted two days. My aunt finally managed to convince me how I could see the beauty of the country through everything. Then I could only enjoy the holiday.
As a third generation Indo I thought to be prepared for everything.I knew the pictures and stories of family members and acquaintances who had been there before. And by my Indian upbringing I thought the cultural aspect would not be a problem.
Nothing seemed less true.
It started all our arrival at the airport in Denpassar.In a small, hot room (without air conditioning) The tourists were waiting in a row to wait for a visa. The visa was provided by two Balinese employees. One opened and controlled the passport. The other one put a punch in it. The staff looked slow and dreamy for themselves. We were in line for almost two hours.
Our suitcases were already removed from the tyre.We were met by our driver who brought us to the hotel. Outside came me a warm, moist and otherwise smelling air accomodate me.Around me, locals were constantly talking to me with: “Miss, Miss, transport?”
The car was narrower than we are accustomed to in Europe.It struck me that all cars were narrower. In addition, there drove scooters everywhere.Really everywhere. Whole families were transported on one scooter. Everyone rode Scooter, everyone honed while driving, people collited against each other. No one bowed it on an irritated look.
At the hotel the driver warned us that the sidewalks were not as in the Netherlands.And binoculars, there were complete holes in the pavement.Some so deep that you did have to break something if you fell into it. Tiles were loose, sometimes there was no pavement and oh, if you wanted to cross it didn’t make sense to wait until car and Scootermobilisten stopped in front of you.No, you jump on the street, walk confidently and go to the traffic that one has to stop for you. And wastelag everywhere.
Stray dogs and catswalked everywhere.On the street there are small sacrifices and everyone speaks to you that you can offer a certain service.
Once in the hotel I plopped down on the bed.On the wall for me a small lizard shot away behind the air conditioning. I did not see the whole holiday anymore. I wanted to go home.
I have been to Bali three times now and find it an accessible island for people who like to go to Asia but still want to eat and stay In a Western way.Since I got my first time Bali the airport has greatly improved.
However, I find the number of tourists very high and because of this you miss an authentic Balinese experience.For a more authentic Indonesian experience I would recommend other islands of Indonesia.
Other tourists, mainly.
And I mean mainly that of the Australian variety, but nowadays there are also many Russians and Chinese.
From locals you can hear serious stories about (especially young) tourists and their behavior.But don’t worry, these stories are usually milder versions of reality.
been in Indonesia and Bali for about 20 years.If you had been there in 1991 you would have been amazed by the tranquility and brilliance of the Balinese culture… Welcome everywhere.. Politely asking if you could be there was enough to undergo an overwhelming experience… School classes full of joyful.. Smiling children who wanted to see such an orang asin.. And the sweets did the magic.. High-level art to feast on… A walk from Tampak Siring to Bangli was a journey in a Wonesome world… I can continue to do so… With the offer of cheap flights and increasing tourism especially from Australia everything else was… Drink.. Drugs.. Prostitution and rock and roll.. Hotels like mushrooms.. Import of Indonesians from Java.. An increase in population from barely 2 million to 8.5 million now..
If you come there now the best impression is still overwhelming.. The hospitality and tolerance still so.. Only traffic is definitely in the South Murd.. Beaches polluted by plastic.. Go for that overwhelming experience to the middle and northeast.. There you can still see the villages.. Desa’s saw’s and schoolchildren like then.. Beling Bing.. Singaradja.. It’s all there yet but you shouldn’t disturb the crowds.. Mosques.. and scammers.. Have fun.. You can still enjoy it..