Thursday, June 28, 2012

Expatriates in Bali

The man who invented Bali

How we can recognize a seasoned expatriate in Bali?

a)      he is projecting an image of a guy who invented electricity, rice and corals
b)      his ego is so overinflated that guy is floating 10 cm above the ground
c)      his Indonesian is so heavily accented nobody understands it, but in front of the peers he will stick to Indonesian
d)     he is not just convinced, he is the centre of the Universe

Are we, expatriates of Bali, all the same?
Definitely not!

I wouldn’t like to be compared to a guy who started a hotel in Pemuteran, invented electricity and brought the light to poor natives…
Or to a lady who on her own bombed the beaches here and invented “eco breaking and replanting method” for building of private coral reefs. Or something like that…
Or a guy suffering severe hydrophobia and yet day after day fighting the dangers of the sea, exploring, discovering and creating new tourist destinations, all for the benefit of humanity…

Here is my humble story, a story of a man who eats his humble pie for breakfast, lunch and dinner…

When I started business here, there was nothing yet in Pemuteran, except me… Shit, shit, shit! Wrong…
I’ve been the only educator and guiding light for the desperate local population… Shit, shit, shit! Wrong…
I’ve helped to put the village on a tourist map and make it prosperous… Shit, shit, shit! Wrong…
My divine presence made them the happiest community in the world… Shit, shit, shit! Wrong…


Sorry for a delay. I’ve been intensely searching for at least one humble fact from my history.  No results found.

Probably I have the same problems as Atila the Hun, when he wanted to start preparing his humble C.V. when applying for a job as a social worker “I’ve been born to a poor, yet honest family of…”

All this may sound hilarious, however, there are some strong seeds of this mentality in each of us, seasoned expatriates in Bali. And a rather good remedy for this pathetic state of mind is to buy ice cream for all, sit down with our staff, have some good laughs – and enjoy the good life :)

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Pleasures of diving business

Red-taping into Bali sunset

What drives some people to abandon their lucrative sinecures and start working in diving industry?

a)      zillions of paper tasks you are allowed to do
b)      solving “Mission Impossible” tasks on daily basis
c)      freedom to say: “To hell with weekends, public and religious holidays! I can work seven days a week!”
d)     or is it fantastic dives you do and fascinating people you meet

Anybody with IQ just slightly above room temperature would jump to the answer d.
However, answer d comes only in a package. Package consists of answers a, b, c and d.

As it is, most of the things we envy to our “betters” are package deals as well.

A new Toyota Land Cruiser taking the owner to his mountain resort – a dream life…
Do you see hips of shit served by his boss he has to eat with a smile on his face?
Are you aware of the huge portion of his life thrown away on moronic meetings?
This and much more is the price he has to pay to drive his shiny toy into the sunset.

A cute, fabulously looking young thing passionately enjoying the ugly presence of an older guy?
Do you see the bills he has to pay?
Do you hear her moaning in the evenings: “Oh, my headache…”

You can think of anything you envy and if you look below the surface you will see the package deal. Maybe it’s not so rewarding a deal anymore.
As one of my students in my previous life said: “Think twice before you make a wish.”

Another very important aspect is, can you become affluent in diving business?
You have about the same chances as in any other business.
As long as you are craving for a bigger plot of land that the one you have, for a fancier car that the one you are driving, for a more luxurious mistress… you will not be affluent despite your earnings.
Affluent means you are happy with what you already have :)

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Magnetism of Bali

Elderly lady diving

What makes Bali so attractive people are coming back over and over and over again?
And some worst cases even stay here...

  1. pristine, secluded white beaches with dancing young girls or boys (depending on your preferences) serving mysterious tropical cocktails to blessed tourists
  2. vast tropical jungles teeming with wildlife and with unobtrusive huts for spa for tired explorers
  3. quiet, remote villages, waiting to be discovered and villagers living their lives in a hope you will some day found a way to their humble homes
  4. temples and ceremonies that can absolve you of all your sins

Well, close, yet not really close.
Matter of fact, totally wrong answers.

Rough, high volcanic mountains give a mark also to Bali beaches. Black, rugged stones, dark pebbles, dark gray sand – not exactly the picture from a commercial for a new credit card…

Small and overpopulated island of Bali can not offer much in terms of huge preserved natural sanctuaries, one of the last not endangered wildlife species (drunk Australians) you can see on streets of Kuta.

Quiet villages? Well, in a country where men strongly believe they can cure impotency by driving as loud a motorbike as they can get their hands on you can not expect to find a real peaceful village :)

Do you need an absolution from your sins? Your sins are a part of you. You are loved (or hated) for your virtues and for your sins.

But the fact remains.
We are still drawn to this wild, loud, rough, strong, passionate… magical island.
From where its charm, charisma, magnetism is coming?
Same as for humans it’s not necessarily derivation of youth, cuteness, superficial good looks…
It usually comes from the inner essence.
And this attraction will feel as a heavy chain if you try to resist it and as a gentle embrace if you accept it.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Are you a diver?

A journey into the blue
In a very unlikely event, you would have to answer no, I am not a diver, what message you are sending to your social environment?

a)      I am a homeless, jobless bum and I can not afford diving
b)      it’s beyond my abilities to understand – open the valve, breathe in, breath out, press this button – I don’t get it
c)      I do engage in several outdoor activities, I am surfing the net for hours every day, however, to strap on SCUBA gear and swim – that is way to much
d)     well, I am a looser

These are the images sellers of mobile phones, soft drinks, travels, cars, diving services etc are trying to trigger (usually successfully) in your minds.
And, as you have some money, good brain, you are physically fit and definitely not a looser, you will prove it by doing what you are expected to do.

As much as I love diving I hate the wrong marketing techniques aimed to spread diving even among the people who simply do not have any interest in this activity.

If you are a little hesitant whether to try your first dive in your life or not – great! We will start slowly, gently, you will be safely introduced to a new experience.
If you decide time is not yet ripe for this – enjoy some snorkeling and fruit cocktails on the beach, also an excellent choice.
If you are diving already for a while and want another dose of pleasure – perfect.

Just never use the diving to prove something or to impress somebody.
If you are a decent citizen you have so many other ways available to follow the path of multinational brainwashers (oops, marketing departments). Just buy a newly advertised toy and you will be a respected member of the system.

And we can keep SCUBA diving for our pleasure, new sensations, new experiences, as a reward and not as a task we have to accomplish.