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Bali – the island of the gods… and the tourists

“Hello? Bali Airport?”, he said in English and was told to immediately identify the airplane if they did not want the Indonesian army to shoot them down.
“My name is Dollars”, said Allan. “One Hundred Thousand Dollars.”
Not a sound came from the tower…
“Right now the flight dispatcher and those around him are calculating how much it is per person”, explained Allan.
“I know”, said the captain.
A few seconds later the flight dispatcher said:
“Hello? Are you there, mister Dollars?”
“Yes, I am here”, said Allan.
“I am sorry, but what was your first name, mister Dollars?”
“One Hundred Thousand”, said Allan. “My name is One Hundred Thousand Dollars and I am asking permission to land at Bali airport”.
“I am sorry, mister Dollars. I cannot hear you very well. Would you be so kind to say your first name one more time, please?”
Allan explained to the captain that the flight dispatcher had started negotiating.
“I know”, said the captain.
“My first name is Two Hundred Thousand”, said Allan. “Do you we have your permission to land?”
“One second, mister Dollars”, said the flight dispatcher, got permission from those around him and continued, “You are very welcome to Bali, mister Dollars. It will be our pleasure to have you here.”
….
“You have obviously visited this part of the world before”, said the captain and smiled.
“Indonesia is the land of possibilities,” said Allan.

One of my favorite parts of the Swedish book “The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared” by Jonas Jonasson (the loose translation is mine). It is quite funny and I highly recommend it. It is certainly not only about Indonesia (I have to say that before some Indonesian official declares the poor author persona non grata).

My first two months in Indonesia started in Bali and ended in Bali. Flights to Bali are the cheapest.

Most tourists in Bali stay in an area known as Kuta (best avoided!) and nearby Seminyak and so on. These are all places close to the airport and it is one of the world's worst demonstrations of what mass tourism can do to a place. South of Kuta and the airport there is a peninsula with a few incredible beaches like this one.

Most tourists in Bali stay in an area known as Kuta (best avoided!) and nearby Seminyak and so on. These are all places close to the airport and it is one of the world’s worst examples of what mass tourism can do to a place. South of Kuta and the airport there is a peninsula with a few incredible beaches like this one.

On your way to the beach you will be greeted by many signs (did I mention how well organized Indonesia was). This one is my favourite. I wonder if they have cameras in there. Or maybe someone goes after you and tries to sense the smell? How much would they charge for a quickie? So many questions, so few answers!

On your way to the beach you will be greeted by many signs (did I mention how well organized Indonesia was). This one is my favourite. I wonder if they have cameras in there. Or maybe someone goes after you and tries to sense the smell before they do the billing? How much would they charge for a quickie? So many questions – so few answers!

Bali is certainly a magnet for tourists worldwide. It is quite beautiful indeed, although (more…)

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