Of expatriots, tourists and forums.

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Py

Member
Nov 11, 2002
100
0
16
Br. Basang Kasah, Bali
We, tourists and residents both, just have different points of view looking at the same subject.

For the visitor this is a place that represents two weeks(?) of unparaleled liberty and exotic sensorial experience. It is a breakaway time, far flung from the orbit of the daily grind and all that entails.

For the resident, this is the grind, this is life. We don't only deal with the face presented to the buyer of paradisiacal images/experiences. We deal with the full, multi faceted nature of the beast in all its moods and incarnations. Some are not so pretty.

Something as annoying as the ridiculous traffic scenarios here can seem to the visitor, rinky-dink, laughably quaint or dangerously third-world and definitely something for the stories back home. To the foreign resident, particularly one who has grown up in a well thought out civic infrastructure, this is the day in, day out reality that colors a lifetime.

It is natural that somebody who views a place through the prisms of pleasure and play would look at the writings of someone like Bert and wonder in baffled horror. I have actually directed several expat friends to this site in order to read his stories and they all found them vastly amusing, but more to the point, they echoed much common experience. Yes they are dark, yes they are morbid, but this is the essential point. If they were published, say, in Australia, they would be seen for what they are, and different tastes would respond in accordance to their individual whim. To live here is to 'be', that is to 'be' who you are as a living, breathing creature between birth and death, and always in response to your immediate environment. To visit here is to live a delicious but fleeting moment as a joyous construction of ones own fantasy. It is also a compressed absolution of a pent-up back-log of incrementally built up frustrations.

The expatriot inevitably sees the 'groping', 'ignorant' and 'gormless' tourist as 'lightweight'. In turn, the visiting tourist sees the 'holier than thou' expat as willfully standing between them and the 'real Bali' they strive for, all the while reminding them, school bully style, of their reduced status. Not pleasant or desired. They are both, in mutually distinct ways, threatened by one another.

Certain things on this forum will appear absurdly inappropriate to the more casual Bali visitor. Those that partake regularly on this forum right now, are for the most part somewhat isolated in odd and far flung corners of the province. Zontius, for example, lives on the Island of Nusa Lembongan and god only knows how remote that must feel in the off season. Gloria and Bert both live in the north, not exactly a hot bed of international exchange. I, in turn, live in my studio and often kick around the www. waiting for paint to dry. We are all to some degree displaced twice and though we have chosen this diasporas life, there is 'always' a need to create a society and a culture of sorts. Some need to write, some to kvetch, some just be heard in a familiar cultural language.

That a rather juvenile and persnickety competition should have evolved between two forums is, certainly from any distance, rather silly. I am as guilty as the next in abetting this outcome. I will stop. This forum was never going to be fast, no one ever thought otherwise. It can become what it is best suited for and has seeming already started in that direction. It has not yet been advertised nor set up with the necessary conduits that will feed it new blood, this will happen in time.

The fact is expatriots, for the most part, don't have, nor do they want to give, answers to questions concerning room rates and drivers. I personally have no Idea and it just makes me think of masses of pink people who appear at various times of year. Recent and regular visitors have this information fresh on their minds and can recall it in an instant and what is more, they probably take a certain nostalgic pleasure in the sharing of it.

The truth is that what we regulars on both of these forums have in common is compulsion and an addictive personality. That certain individuals have a natural chemical friction with others is as old as time and deeply inscribed into the very success of life itself. That is not of importance here. What is impotent is that expatriots and visitors should sometimes see at cross purposes is ultimately inevitable. It is not bad, but it is inevitable.

So let us allow this forum be this forum and the BTF be the BTF, a sometimes mundane chain of repetitive questions, sometimes highly informative and well intentioned and periodically a beehive of amusing and adrenalized repartee. I would like to think all are welcomed on each.
 

Gloria

Member
Nov 5, 2002
128
0
16
Forums and people

Thank you Py...your words are our words...why else would each and every one of us almost sneek into each forum having a squiz at whats going on...not to pick up a titbit of something detrimental to add fuel to past fires but to genuinely seek interesting facts and thoughts. We all have thought provoking messages to offer,which is precisely why we are "forumites" .We are all the THINKERS of society. The tourist section....they think carefully about their holiday...where they want to stay,what to do about taxis etc...they are ,to a certain extent...the planners who, quite rightly want to get as much as they can out of their well earned holiday...they want to know this island but not the way others do who live here, who are bonded to the Bali magic...expats and the like . Expats are , as you said, of a different species,they are "the prefects of the school" or believe they are...Bali really is just that....a school.....of thought. Theres those who want to play....and theres those who are serious students....However...theres lots to learn from all angles in life....this uneasy World situation we are ALL caught up in could easily become gravely serious for everyone....and Forums may turn out to be a vitally needed connection to the outside World....just as the BTF was in the early days of the bomb....it played a very important role in speeding up co-ordination with Australia and Indonesia,government and volunteers, it started the SOS for medicine and medical personell ,it put people back together,it warned...it healed...it hurt...it cried the emotion of thousands and united the World to Bali...without the BTF it would have been impossible for us to have told the story....I personally thank the BTF and its members for the "special " time ...post bomb...when things were different...and love and trust was still intact.ALL OF US SHARED THE GRIEF ....remember. I will still pop in to your Forum and invite you to mine...just to see whats going on...maybe ,in time ,there will be an acceptance of both...more than that...a respect of both....support even...you never know, we may need each other again one day...very soon I,d say....Anyway thankyou again Py...your picture of the scene was perfect...best of luck to all....G.....
 
Nov 20, 2002
53
0
6
Melbourne, Australia
Thanks

Thanks Py,
I too have been guilty of forum bashing and as a passive poster but active observer I enjoy reading both forums. Although I find this forum more interesting and informative this should not negate the postives of the BTF. I look forward to reading your's and others thoughts on life etc etc

Lauren
 

Ringo

Member
Re - of Expats, Tourists and Forums

OM Swastyastu

Although not an expat yet it has been a long time since I looked at Bali through the eyes of the average tourist :)

I guess that the idea of "living in Bali" often turns out different than one originally expected, that is, if the pitfalls are not discovered in time.

You leave the rat-race of the Western World behind merely to find new challenges on your path of life: the world behind those Smiles :)

It's like the Balinese Upacara, the religious ceremonies.

These ceremonies are attractive events for the tourists, but are certainly not a touristic attraction! They have a very important meaning in the lives of the Balinese.

Although seen and discussed by the tourist, seldom a word is spent on that mysterious world that is behind the outer appearance of what was seen.

Why should we refer to 'that other forum', any of us, be it here on on 'that other one'. The only difference between 'this one' and 'the other one' is that 'out there' you are in the jungle, not protected by any rules.

But if there is an inner-balance inside of you I'm sure you will survive

;-)

OM santi santi santi OM
 

marcia

New Member
Nov 5, 2002
26
0
1
onya Py

i'm sick of the attacks against either forum. Each have something to offer. Personally. i'm a 'light weight'. I don't come here or go there for any great intellectual stimuli. I go to forums to play, and if i happen to learn something worthwhile while playing, it's a good thing.
Now, about the more important things like the price of ikat lately? If you wanna throw in how it's made, that's fine with me . :p
As for Bert's story, i've really enjoyed reading it. That pic though... Hope ya don't do pics for a living Bert!
 

Lothar

Member
Nov 16, 2002
188
0
16
Malaysia
Well well well

nice to discover that you all are kids like me .... forum here forum there, tzt tzt... guys/gals, it's just 2 rooms in 1 house, that's how I see it afar from Malaysia....
oh yes, and I'm now in the kitchen, cooking mooh pad per waan, ped ped :)
 

Thorsten

Member
Nov 30, 2002
632
1
16
Germany
Py's posting here and mine at the BTF

Py congrats to your great posting.

When Lothar and you asked me to join this forum, I was surprised and asked why, had no idea, what I should contribute here, because as everybody knows, I'm neither an expat nor an very good connoisseur of Bali.
So well, you opened this forum also to people which are not directly involved into Balinese matters and I agree with you, that sometimes its good to have a cross-over of thoughts and different points of view, that's what I always appreciated.

I feel like Marcia in this case, it makes me sick, when I'm told at the BTF "go & stroke your ego with them",
I don't know, why the one should exclude the other.
There are very bright people over there, there are experts over there and there decent and friendly people over there, but there are also some trash-talkers and ignorants, like everywhere you go.
I also liked to read Bert's Harry stories here, they are simply reflecting the truth, if somebody likes this or not,
at the other hand, not every posting at this forum was able to delight me, but that's also normal, different people have different opinions, some more tolerance would sometimes facilitate a lot of things.

What I wanted to express in my posting at the BFT was the following, I don't expect that there is a really improvement of the situation on Bali the next time, I don't expect, that the masses of tourists will return due
some very serious developments on this planet.
I think that the people in and out Bali should be prepared for this situation, but if there are suppliers outside, they should be informed about the circumstances right in time, the BTF is more proper for this, simply because its
more frequented as this forum.
The bomb changed the life at Bali and it will effect the situation there longer, than the most people expect.

In the opposite to the terror attack, now there would be time to develop a strategy for the case, the things get worse, a travel forum without travellers makes no sense anymore, but maybe I'm also wrong with my estimation,
I hope so.

Regards

Thorsten
 

Lothar

Member
Nov 16, 2002
188
0
16
Malaysia
likely you are not wrong at all Thorsten

the tourism industry world wide is anticipating the worst downturn since WWII.
A likely Iraq war end of Jan/start Feb 03 will let all hell break loose around the world, with a never before thought possible escalation of terror attacks. Everywhere, anywhere, any time. Nowhere will be safe, and airplanes are one of the weakest links to travel on anyway.

I would not write this down if I wouldn't be damn serious what I write. So, I am very serous.

I agree with you Thorsten - the Kuta Bomb was just the beginning of long-lasting, changing times for Bali - and the world.
 
Old conversation threads....

....do hang around here for quite a while. Some interesting people contributed to this one.. Where are they now?

At first I could not figure out what BTF was, and then as I read more, I think I figured it out. Bali Travel Forum, Right? I guess that was "an issue" back in 2002.

The Western preoccupation with analysis and self-analysis is obvious in this thread. After being in Bali for a while, this analysis does get tedious. Has anyone else noticed that?

Ken
 

JPB

Member
Jan 7, 2003
39
0
6
Perth WA
Yes - think it is called "navel gazing". It has been around with expats for at least 18 years that I know of - we live here and know it all - rather than making contact with the tourist who has nothing to offer my ego.
Some of us tourists have been coming regularly and helping the economy greatly - we can't all of us give up our day jobs to follow the rainbow. And we don't all stay in Kuta and drink ourselves silly or stay in Sanur and not spend any money.

Bert's blog gave an insight to day to day living - where are you Bert - hasn't the novelty worn off yet!!

Have been following Nick on Baliblog who does give a day to day plus photos although all of the West side. His trips up and round country are interesting.

hopefully the posters in this thread will come back.

cheers
Juliette

PS Don't forget Bert -
 

Roy

Active Member
Nov 5, 2002
4,835
1
36
Ubud, Bali
Dunno Juliette, but maybe I sense in you a little jealousy? Not able to “chase your rainbow?” Why not? The day job has you by the…ah, well anyway.

Really sorry, I am, if I’ve hit some sensitive cords, but you know what? We’ve all had them hit really hard. Every surviving expat I know has passed the gauntlet of life on Bali.

It’s not an ego thing that defines the difference of an expat from a tourist. It’s commitment, resolve, and a love of our new home. We work as hard at this as tourists work at home in their cubicles or offices, prisoners of a world that leaving it, only brings on incalculable fear.

You, and others like you, come and go like the tide, ebb and flow, but there is no real commitment, nor is there any passion. I’m totally unimpressed.

"Navel gazing" is NOT a pastime for us expats. By that, I of course mean, not our own navels anyway! :lol:
 

Sparky

Member
Aug 9, 2004
110
0
16
england..LONDON
As much as i admire people who have 'taken the plunge' and moved lock stock and barrell to their paradise risks, worries and all, i also think that there is also a certain 'them and us' way of life when it comes to ex-pats and tourists anywhere in the world. I have been to certain places where the ex-pats think that they have a divine right to everything and that the tourist is nothing but a nuisance who is invading their space. This aspect of ex-pat snoberry always irritates me when it pops its ugly head up :evil:

Regs Mark
 

drdana

New Member
Jul 28, 2005
26
0
1
san francisco bali
wow py i have just read your reply about the them and us of ex pats and tourists, and read through the forum.

my problem is i do not feel as if this place is "paradise" and what gets boring are all the people who seem to walk around blinded by rose colored glasses. When tourists gush at me about what is it LIKE living here in this paradise...I say: Hmmmm. I think I would rather be a tourist like you than live here. And ... which paradise would you be speaking about?

But it is true that tourists just wanna have fun....and some get captured by a Bali Fever that: in the case of one woman who sold everything she has in Milwaukee, and came here to have a son with no father yet have a baby ceremony...Her eyes close in dreaminess as I listen to her inanely saying something about "Everyone's reality is different." And she insists on walking around publicly here in Bali, her dreamland, with no underwear on, and stark naked....And this leaves me wondering: well: where is her respect for the culture she is so enamoured of? Does she even think about where she is living, and how many Balinese women or men for that matter walk around publicly with no clothes?

This "tourist" soon to be expat I might add is actually only a hunk of meat the dutch daughter in law has dragged home for the family to feed from, but I wish her sweet dreams may they last forever, because waking up is going to be painful.

But Roy has a point: ANYONE who has lived here for any length of time has gone down the gauntlet, and knows what happens in real life.

Unfortunately I have to deal with tourist issues every day and I get so utterly bored at times. But I cannot help but feel bad for the Milkcows on this island who are milk and madu and might someday wake up to a different reality, which is REAL.
 

Roy

Active Member
Nov 5, 2002
4,835
1
36
Ubud, Bali
Without question, we all miss Py. I wish I was at liberty to disclose who he is, but that would be a violation of the first rule of conduct among expats. If you knew his name, and googled him, you'd get some 4 or so pages, (20 sites a page), but in reality, that doesn't mean much to him, nor should it to us.

Sparky wrote of "expat snobbery." I don't see it that way, and it's been my pleasure to personally host several of Bert’s forum members here in Bali, who post here regularly. I don't think any of them considered me a snob, but then again, who knows?

Protectionists....now that's something I think all of us expats could be called. But that is understandable, or at least, it is to me.

Waking up to a different reality? I can see that for some folks. I've always said about Bali, "many are called, but few are chosen." Another of my favorite lines about expats is that they "ebb and flow like the tide."

The fact is, Bali is not for everyone to call home. For those that call Bali home...they are no more special than one who calls anywhere else on earth home.
 

Thorsten

Member
Nov 30, 2002
632
1
16
Germany
Py brought me to this forum, when it was once started, never dreamed to join an expat forum, why should I?
What could I share with an expat on Bali, what could be of any interest for an expat on Bali, that I could contribute, why should I bother them?
Py came over with this thesis, that it’s insignificant where somebody is physically present, he meant the willingness and the ability to get another perspective, apart from our daily, well known environment would lead to a crossover, an exchange of different positions regarding many things, by this we would absorb a little of everything and so we would all become a kind of expat anywhere.
(I know, this might sound strange and it took me some time to understand this, don’t wane bother you with an essay for further explanation).

For me personally, I’m glad to have joined this forum, I have met a lot of very interesting people here on this forum, I got to know a different perspective due many things, I had myself and I have monitored some very interesting discussions here, I have learned something here.
I consider this as enrichment and during the time, I have sometimes changed my personal view on the one or other thing, the crossover works ;-)

There was a time, I had also some private conversations with Py, of course I know who and what he is, but my admiration for him has nothing to do with his work, although it’s impressing.
I miss him, his sharp intellect, the ability to get the things exactly to the point, to analyse, to describe (he is also a painter with words).

When I will return to Bali in December/January, I hope to meet and get to know some people of this forum personally, don’t know if you are still in contact with him Roy, but maybe there’s a chance to have the one or other drink together at Nuri’s?

Best regards
Thorsten
 

jill

Member
Jul 30, 2005
159
0
16
Alexandra new zealand
well this is very interesting subject . starting with who should read what :shock: no one has that right ?

as for expats being snobs :shock: ???? all my mate's in bali are expats not one snob .
they are all to busy with life

But may be what was ment there ... that some times you for get you to where once a big eyed tourist ha ...

as for the LUCKY ones that got to follow there rainbow ... well if you want something go do it , dont make excuse's we are only what we let our self's be

go roy keep checking out the navel's ... just don't get cought :lol: