“I never wear a helmet”, brags the expat on one of the more combative Bali forums. Let’s call him Bazza. “Nobody can tell me what to do. It’s my bloody choice if I wear one or not.” Some Indonesian participants agree. “We only wear helmets on long trips. No need around town in
Bali.” Others, perhaps of a more practical bent, chime in with warnings about the huge cost of medical treatment, the fact that insurance won’t pay, the police stings, the enormous risk to him, and … well, you’ve heard all those reasons before.

But Bazza is intractable. “If I get hurt, that’s my business. I’ll pay for my own hospital treatment.” He admits that he has no medical insurance. And he forcefully says that, no, he doesn’t expect  … [READ FULL POST]

[28 Jul 2014]


28 Jul 2014: Why Your Choice Not To Wear A Helmet Is My Business
24 Mar 2014: Judgement – With An Ironic Twist
6 Aug 2013: Watering The Seeds Of Religious Intolerance
19 Jul 2013: Why Do Parents Insist On Killing Their Kids In Bali?
15 Jun 2013: The Problem With High-Mileage Bodies
9 Jun 2013: Your Call Is Important To Me
8 May 2013: How Hot Should The Fire Be To Burn Witches?
5 May 2013: More Phallic Language Pitfalls
4 May 2013: On Being A Cat In Bali
1 May 2013: The Marquee Job – A Metaphor For The Planning Process In Bali?
29 Apr 2013: The Great Nyepi Escape
24 Apr 2013: Insensitivity, Victimisation and Compassion
20 Apr 2013: More Than A Pat On The Head
18 Apr 2013: The Changing Of Lovina
16 Apr 2013: The Collateral Damage From The Van Der Speck Sting
12 Apr 2013: The Tangled Skein of Bali’s Rubber Time
11 Apr 2013: Does ‘OHS’ in Bali Mean ‘Ostrich Heads In Sand’ ?
6 Apr 2013: The Anxiety Of Being Untethered
12 Oct 2012: Is Sari Site Sacred – Or Just Another Shakedown?
10 Oct 2012: How To Upset A Bali Taxi Thug
12 Jul 2012: Lies, Lies, Lies – The Devalued Currency Of Politics
12 Jul 2012: Attracting The Elderly Tourist
28 Jun 2012: Solve Bali’s Problems By Changing A Deeply Flawed System
22 Jun 2012: A Nasty ‘Win A Car’ Scam That Breaks Hearts
19 Jun 2012: Do Smart Phones Make You Smarter?
17 Jun 2012: Installing Democracy Is Never Bug-Free
10 Jun 2012: Gaga Saga Is Over, But Reverberations Continue
20 May 2012: The ‘Express’ KITAS Renewal Process
6 May 2012: A Bali Urchin’s Early Start To Unreal Expectations
29 Apr 2012: Stingy Tourists? Or Stingy Government?
14 April 2012: When Security Sanctions Sabotage Smooth Sending
26 Mar 202: Suffering In Silence Behind The Smile
25 Mar 2012: Some Post-Nyepi Reflections
18 Mar 2012: One Day, Will We Commemorate Nyepi Day With A Minute’s Silence?
12 Mar 2012: Cruise Customers Climb, But Venal VOA Vexes Visitors
2 Mar 2012: Security Strictly By The Book At Denpasar Departures
22 Feb 2012: Crooked Money-Changers In The Island Of Temples
19 Feb 2012: It’s Official – I Have Acclimatised To Bali’s Officialdom
13 Feb 2012: A Staff Profit-Sharing Scheme – Bali Style
7 Feb 2012: Tap, Sniff, Shake And Squeeze – The Durian Ritual
30 Jan 2012: Tradisi – Women Working Without Weeping
21 Jan 2012: How My e-Cigarette Made Me Wet My Pants
15 Jan 2012: Will It Always Be Life In The Trenches, Or Do We Start Building The Future?
12 Jan 2012: In Their Own Words – The Wisdom Of The Elites: Part 3
9 Jan 2012: For Balinese, Soon There May Be No Time Left For Work
30 Dec 2011: The Downside Of Flying No-Frills – No Plane! (Part 2)
22 Dec 2011: The Downside Of Flying No-Frills – No Plane! (Part 1)
11 Dec 2011: Bali Bogans Are Not Always Foreign Imports
9 Dec 2011:  Fire – But What Happens After The Inferno?
5 Dec 2011: The Secret Language Of Survival On Bali Roads
2 Dec 2011: In Their Own Words – The Wisdom Of The Elites Part 2
2 Dec 2011: In Their Own Words – The Wisdom Of The Elites Part 1
30 Nov 2011: Draconian Anti-Smoking Law Hits Bali
26 Nov 2011: When Shockingly Shoddy Workmanship Can Kill
23 Nov 2011: Schoolies In Bali Struggle Without Safety Net
20 Nov 2011: Puzzling Packaging Of Pies And Other Palatable Products
16 Nov 2011: Lombokschwitz, Indonesia’s Ahmadi Shame
7 Nov 2011: Fighting The Fear Factor – Phobias In Paradise
3 Nov 2011: There’s Something Disturbing About Food That Looks Back At You
27 Oct 2011: The Trouble With Onions, And How Carolyn Webb’s Terrible Touts Saved The Day
23 Oct 2011: The Heat Is On, And The Animals Are Attacking
15 Oct 2011: Shaken – And A Little Bit Stirred Too
10 Oct 2011: Indonesia’s Silent Majority Silent While Country Is Hijacked
1 Oct 2011: Bali: Land Of Business Dreams And Disasters
25 Sep 2011: Please, Someone In Indonesian Politics – Take The Final Step
19 Sep 2011: Making Nutty Assumptions Can Make You Sick
16 Sep 2011: One Person’s Normal Is Another’s Neurosis
12 Sep 2011: So This Drunk Comes Into A Bar
5 Sep 2011: The 800 Pound Gorilla Behind Bali’s Beach Warungs
29 Aug 2011: The Island Where Air Means Water
17 Aug 2011: The Inadvertent Travel Ban During Your KITAS Renewal
9 Aug 2011: Think Differently, Everyone Else Does Here
7 Aug 2011: Oleh-Oleh – Obligation Or Obsession?
30 Jul 2011: Australia Is So Like Bali Now
10 Jul 2011: Blokes Swap Bars For Bali Beauty Salons
4 Jul 2011: The Indo-Strayan Cultural Divide
29 Jun 2011: How To Stave Off Total Gridlock In Bali
22 Jun 2011: Begging in Bali By Breastfeeding Borrowed Babies
19 Jun 2011: Fire! Unity in Adversity in Bali
16 Jun 2011: Bali – The Shangri-la Of Stridency
6 Jun 2011: Let’s Keep Cycling Fun And Lycra-free In Bali!
29 May 2011: Washing My Naked Aphrodite’s Bits
22 May 2011: Coffee Spills, Hungry Dogs And Serviettes In Bali
15 May 2011: The Sate Was Flaming Good
8 May 2011: How I Escaped From The Parking Maze At Centro
27 Apr 2011: Dancing the Traffic Cop Tango in Bali
6 Mar 2011: The Post-Nyepi Breakfast Debacle
3 Feb 2011: Bali’s Snake of Greed Is Consuming Its Own Tail
15 Jan 2011: You’ve Got Mail – Well, Two-thirds Of It Anyway
13 Jan 2011: How To Go Clinically Insane Paying a Water Bill
30 Dec 2010: The Bogans Are Here Again
19 Oct 2010: The Bali Incendiary Wallet
17 Oct 2010: FISKAL: It’s on, it’s off, it’s on again 
14 Oct 2010: Up the Rear For Money
11 Oct 2010: How To Get Run Over In Bali
26 Sep 2010: Peeling Back The Layers Of The Bali Onion
18 Sep 2010: Keeping Your Eyes On Those ATM Bandits
12 Sep 2010: Round The Island – Getting Away From It All
5 Sep 2010: Bali Villa Guests – You Get All Kinds
29 Aug 2010: The Faustian Bargain Which is Ruining Bali
22 Aug 2010: Sob Stories and Scams in Paradise
14 Aug 2010: Balloons, Broken Broadband and Bill Payments in Bali
8 Aug 2010: The Great Bali Airport Bottleneck
1 Aug 2010: A Mistake That Was Meant to Be
4 Jul 2010: The Other Bali – Life Outside Greater Kuta
2 Jul 2010: Lazy Expat Days in Bali
30 Jun 2010: Babysitting the Dog – Masuk Anjing?
29 Jun 2010: Close Encounters of the Snake Kind
27 Jun 2010: Great Balls of Fire! The Gas Bottle Regulator Scam
16 Jun 2010: How to Fix Bali’s Parking Chaos
13 Jun 2010: How to Make Tourists and Expats Disappear from Bali
3 Jun 2010: Anatomy of a Motorbike Accident in Bali
28 May 2010: How Occupational Health and Safety Works in Bali
23 May 2010: A Bule by Any Other Name is Still a Bule
16 May 2010: In Search of the Perfect Massage
9 May 2010: How To Purify Your Villa and Blow Up Your Light Fittings
2 May 2010: The Death of a Thousand Cuts
25 Apr 2010: Shopping, Memory Loss and Mice
11 Apr 2010: Why the Police Will Never Get “Safety Riding” to Work
3 Apr 2010: When Your Pool Leaks, Admit Nothing
27 Mar 2010: Why the Bluebird of Happiness is Under Attack
21 Mar 2010: When ‘Bums on Seats’ Is More Than a Theatre Term
13 Mar 2010: How to Get Rid of Hornets Without Lifting a Finger
7 Mar 2010: Life Without Consequences
27 Feb 2010: Rain, Rain – Go Away!
21 Feb 2010: Money, Money, Money
11 Feb 2010: JETPLAN – Bali’s Strange Design and Construction Philosophy
3 Feb 2010: How The Little Things in Bali Can Bug You
31 Jan 2010: The Only Watch You Will Ever Need in Bali
24 Jan 2010: Pacific Blues: Virgin on the Ridiculous in Bali
17 Jan 2010: Take a Walk on the Mild Side
10 Jan 2010: Like a Candle in the Ear
3 Jan 2010: Oh Telstra – please learn from Bali!
21 Dec 2009: Department stores blues – with tinsel
10 Dec 2009: Food – from mild to wild and back
6 Dec 2009: Fit happens, right?
29 Nov 2009: My villa is broken
23 Nov 2009: The Gap – it’s bigger than I thought
13 Nov 2009: More power to the people – please!
8 Nov 2009: A Super Natural Experience
30 Oct 2009: Bali – Contrasts, contradictions and rubbish
25 Oct 2009: The Zen chaos of Bali traffic
14 Oct 2009: Sex, money, lies and desperation
11 Oct 2009: Mind-reading, teleporting pembantus
4 Oct 2009: Bribery, opportunism, corruption – or just economics, Bali style?
27 Sep 2009: Saya lupa? I forget
16 Sep 2009: Serendipity – meeting the Muse in Bali
12 Sep 2009: Why you shouldn’t buy a villa in Bali
7 Sep 2009: R-E-S-P-E-C-T, Respect (just a little bit)
31 Aug 2009: Visitors at my Bali villa
21 Aug 2009: Strange language experiences
25 Jul 2009: Buying a motorbike in Bali
7 Jul 2009: 20 signs that you’ve become used to living in Bali
6 Jul 2009: Medical insurance in Bali
5 Jul 2009: The fauna that lives around my villa
29 Jun 2009: Going shopping on a motorbike
28 Jun 2009: Yikes! I have to pay FISKAL to leave the country!
27 Jun 2009: The joys of collecting unaccompanied baggage
27 Jun 2009: Settling into the villa
27 Jun 2009: The Bali Visa maze
26 Jun 2009: The journey begins

29 Mar 2010: How I was ripped Off by Chantel Sim
8 Dec 2009: The bullshit about climate change


  1. I found your site for the first time and found it great also noticed alot of remarks / comments you made on Bali Expat. Well I am concidering moving to Bali myself have been there 9 times and love it each time more and more. Hope to be able to chat some more with you to see how your life is going.

    All the very best


  2. Let me congratulate you on your informative website!

    I liked the way you structured the information in order to give useful tips for visitors! I was happy to see your commitment and ability to write interesting posts about everyday life in Bali.

    • Thanks for your comment Philipp – I have shortened it for brevity, and added your networking site for Bali expats to my blogroll. Cheers!

  3. Incredible blog – I loved reading your info

  4. Hi Vyt,
    Really enjoy your blogs – and we were looking for a something similar tone to put into our monthly pubication, The Mag.
    If you are interested, drop me a line back, and we can arrange a phone call/meeting.

  5. I discovered your blog using google and I must say, this is without doubt one of the best well written ones I have observed in a long time. I have bookmarked your site for other posts.

  6. I tried to view your blog on my new MAC running chrome and it isnt coming up right. Is there anything you suggest I can do that would fix this? I came here quite often on my windows PC and it all looked good. I appreciate it.

    • I believe that some versions of Chrome for Macs do have issues with WordPress. WordPress says it is a Chrome problem. It may be that the latest version of Chrome has fixed this.

  7. New to your blog, but not to Bali. Enjoy the BT column.
    Keep sharing – common grievance is good for the soul…

  8. I really like this website! I love the content.

  9. Im addicted to this Vyt, so much and your not giving me my fix on a regular basis sometimes!! Im a borborigmus addict going through withdrawals..

    • Oops, sorry … been away for a while. Back soon with more stuff and nonsense.

      • no excuse!!! you cannot possibly have your own life when you are such an amazing entertaining writer!!

  10. Hello there, your one of my favourite websites that i have kept for my resource list for my huge project i have to investigate. Im currently a HSC student and i have an assignment where i have to investigate a topic which i chose to do it on Bali and why Australian Tourists go there, i would really love to contact you and ask you a questions because as i can see you would know a lot more information then most people would of living in Bali. Your information you provide will definitely be incorporated into my project.

    Hope to hear from you soon,

    • Thanks Meagan. Good luck with your project – it’s certainly a big one. The difficulty is that there are hundreds of thousands of people who come to Bali, and they will have lots of different reasons for doing so. Probably the easiest way to contact me is via Facebook. Cheers, Vyt

      • Yes, im very much interested in Bali, I think you would provide a lot more information as you live in Bali and your blog does include a lot of information which shows you know a lot which is valuable. Would you mind giving me your email address so i can contact you and ask questions.

  11. dear vyt……………despite only having scratched the surface of your blogs i noted tht you make a lot of intellectual observations abt the pitfalls of living in Bali esp on the ownerships of villas, permits, visas and corruption but i have to assmue its worth it as yre blog page on who u are ends with a very happy sloth living in gluttony. thts a good thing surely

    • It is a good thing. Yes, I highlight some of the difficulties, absurdities and strange things here because I believe that anyone looking for information about Bali living deserves to know about the whole spectrum of life here. If I took a pollyanna approach – i.e. that everything about the place is absolutely wonderful, my blog would be just another piece of tourism puffery and worthless as a reference for those who want to know about a place, warts and all.
      I am willing to come across as a hyper-critical, negative old grump simply because I love this place, and because my whingeing usually contains an element of constructive criticism, there is a slight chance that my maunderings might even be read by those whose have the power to change things.
      That’s my excuse anyway 😉

  12. Vyt .. you owe it to you literary fans to start back up again. Please mate, we are beginning to worry about your health etc since your last post was in October & they were a regular fixture ….

    • Coming soon to a computer near you …

  13. Hi,
    Seems now the dept of immigration staff have developed a NEW SCAM.on my last two returns from Oz a couple of higher ranking officers wait in the Airport arrivals area for Bule with Kitas. They are Super friendly they escort you through the side of the counters take your papers & Passport into their office. Returning a few minutes later, and requesting Rp 100,000 for their Drink money.
    I refused to pay took my papers and walked away

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