20 signs that you’ve become used to living in Bali

July 7, 2009

Twenty sure-fire signs that you’ve become used to living in Bali:

  1. You see an Australian-sized banana and say: “Wow! That’s big!”
  2. You think a Suzuki Swift is a big car
  3. You don’t even blink when a motorcyclist rides out of a shop door
  4. Hawkers and touts become miraculously invisible and incapable of bothering you
  5. You stop having a Bintang with breakfast
  6. You put on a jacket on those freezing 26 degree days
  7. You cross busy streets by just stepping out and expecting the traffic to flow around you
  8. The gang leading to Poppies I seems perfectly adequate for two motorbikes and two pedestrians to pass each other at the same time
  9. You never even think about having a potato with your meal
  10. You think that power outages are completely normal
  11. You completely ignore tourists who are about to pay ten times the going rate at a market stall
  12. You pretend you can’t understand the locals when they talk about you, even when ‘bule gila’ features prominently in their conversation
  13. You see nothing unusual about a motorcyclist with a filing cabinet strapped to the pillion
  14. You would be lost without your pembantu
  15. You stop getting bent out of shape about the driver who always parks his huge BMW half a metre from the kerb in Jl. Legian near Jl. Nakula
  16. You think that any trip to the Immigration office lasting less than an hour seems swift and painless
  17. You refuse to buy overpriced sachets of what appears to be sugar, but claims to be a mosquito-killing confection from official-looking people waving official-looking documents
  18. You no longer think that reaching a speed of 70kph on your motorbike feels like Mach 1
  19. You refuse to get in your pool if the temperature outside is less than 31 degrees
  20. Local warung food seems a tad expensive

More sure-fire signs from readers below – see comments and leave your own!



  1. More sure-fire signs from readers:

    #21 from @lenva –
    You understand that a pedestrian crossing is merely a road decoration

    #22 from @lenva –
    You don’t have to say ‘oh bugger’ after you have cleaned your teeth with tap water

    #23 from Gabriel Zemkalnis Snr –
    You appreciate that mange actually looks good on a certain type of dog

    #24 from Gabriel Zemkalnis Snr –
    You stop shopping at Bali Deli

  2. #25 When it’s your own cousin who owns the restaurant at Jimbaran Bay

  3. #26 You start believing in ‘Masuk Angin’ and get someone to ‘krok’ your back with a coin.

  4. This is spot on, I;ve been tryin for a while to nail this, and you have. Well done sir.

    check out my effort at http://baliliving.wordpress.com/2009/10/02/you-know-when-youve-gone-native-if/

    great blog, kudos

  5. You totally ignore police signaling you to stop or pull over as the small likelihood of them ever giving chase has diminished even further with the increased cost of bensin.

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