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How To Upset A Bali Taxi Thug

October 10, 2012

So I’m finishing off my coffee in Melasti Street, enjoying watching the chaotic procession outside, when I see a young couple trying to hail a cab. They seem unaware that Bali’s taxis are divided into two distinct groups, the good (Bluebird) and the truly abysmal (most of the rest), and keep trying to flag down the latter.

Each cab that stops seems unable to understand their request to be taken to a particular restaurant, which is not too far away as the crow flies. But with the rat’s nest of one-way streets here, it’s a tortuous drive, but still a reasonable fare of about 12,000  rupiah.  Three cabs stop, their drivers eyeing the couple, their three small children and the collapsible pusher. None have ever heard of the restaurant. All shrug unhelpfully and drive off.

I drift over and ask whether they need any help, which they gratefully accept – just as yet another taxi mafioso pulls in and winds down his window. It’s too late to wait for a real cab, because the passengers have already flagged him down. The boys here take any subsequent refusal to engage their services as a mortal insult.

“Do you know where Restaurant X is?”, I ask. The driver shakes his head and looks blank, so I explain where it is. “Yes, yes, yes!” he snarls, pretending he knew all the time. “Put your meter on please”, I request, only to be met by a scowl and a brusque injunction to get in. As the passengers open the back door, the driver leans out of the window again and says: “30,000 rupiah.” I tell him no, I said we want the meter. “No meter, 30,000 rupiah”, he yells louder.

I tell the family that this is not going to work, and that I’ll get another cab for them. The driver is incensed. “OK, 25,000 rupiah”, he snarls. When I tell him his services will not be required, he turns nasty and starts hurling abuse. Then, as we all move away, he suddenly reverses his cab onto the footpath, nearly hitting the family’s pusher. He leans out of the passenger window and accosts me, giving me the classic middle finger salute and yelling: “You get fucked! You fucker! Fucking bule!” The little kids are listening to this tirade, wide-eyed. They will probably remember this.

I move in close to him and look at his upraised middle finger. I must be telegraphing what I am thinking – which is that his finger is such a tempting target, and that I would love to bend it back to somewhere near Jimbaran – because he suddenly pulls his hand away. I tell him firmly, but still politely, that he can go, and that these passengers don’t want someone who is going to rip them off for three times the normal fare. He keeps swearing at me.

I shrug. “OK”, I say. “I’ll call the Tourist Police.” He loses it completely. “I will kill you! I will kill you!” He looks dead serious. Boy, I really know how to win friends and influence people. Must be my engaging personality. As he drives off, he keeps glaring back at me, repeating his death mantra.

So I flag down a real cab – a Bluebird – whose driver is not only happy to take this young family to their destination, but seems grateful to be told the location of the restaurant. He puts on the meter without being asked. Bluebirds have the real, certified meters, not the double-speed rigged specials employed by the thugs.

I am left pondering the reasons as to why the first driver arced up when he failed to browbeat the family into paying an exorbitant fare. He obviously didn’t like the idea of someone with some local knowledge advising visitors, because this severely erodes his profits. Flipping the bird was juvenile, but sort of cute in a way. The threat to kill me was less so, particularly after hearing the venom and sheer hate behind the threat. Even so, one could dismiss it as an explosive outburst by someone with a mercurial temper.

Except for one little thing.

The driver concerned was in full ‘Islamic’ garb, or at least in the sort of Saudi-influenced garb favoured by hard-line extremists elsewhere in Indonesia. It was as if a fully-fledged member of the FPI was suddenly teleported into the streets of Bali, instead of extorting people in Jakarta as those thugs usually do.  Should his attire be relevant to any discussion of his suitability as a taxi driver? Of course not. Should his behaviour be relevant to his suitability as a taxi driver? Most definitely. And so we come to the crux of the matter – what is acceptable public behaviour of a person who clearly and visibly chooses to identify himself as a particular type of Muslim, especially in the light of recent events?

We’ve all heard about the world-wide episodes of violence involving some radical Muslims, who chose to show their disapproval of an amateurish satirical film by an Egyptian non-entity living in California. Some of them killed an innocent diplomat, some ran amok in the streets, and here in Indonesia, some inexplicably attacked a hamburger shop owned by locals in Surabaya. Rage knows no logic, as evidenced by the unrelated targets and the one common thread in all these protests – the repeated refrain of ‘Death to all Westerners’.

So given the current volatile situation, when an angry man in ‘Islamic’ garb threatens to kill me, a Westerner, I probably should take it a little more seriously than I normally would.

But I won’t, of course, because I don’t generally pay much attention to raving nut-jobs, even if they are dressed in white. A local Muslim woman came up to me after the maniac’s  cab had departed, saying, “I’m so sorry. We’re not all like that”. I know that – but she helped reinforce my view that Islam is not monolithic, and that crazy people come from all walks of life.

But, you know, just in case my headless torso is found in the morning – ask the police to check out a wild-eyed, foul-mouthed cabbie dressed in white …

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27 comments

  1. This problem is further exacerbated by how convincing the fake blue bird cabs appear these days.

    The top photo is a real Blue Bird Taxi. They are best distinguished by the location and cab ID numbering system used by Blue Bird…the location being on the top side of each rear passenger door, and the numbering system being two letters followed by three digits.

    The bottom photo is a fake Blue Bird taxi. In the fake cab, the cab ID is given on the rear window…this is never done by Blue Bird. Also, the phone number is wrong. The phone number on the fake taxi (724724) is one of the numbers used in Bali by the dispatcher for independent cab drivers. The phone number in Bali for Blue Bird Taxi is 701111. One can also note the slightly different type of cab lights on the roof used by fake Blue Bird cabs.

    The incidental tourist has little, if any chance of being able to readily identify the real Blue Bird cabs from the fake ones.

    Why this problem is allowed to persist is beyond me and it would also seem to me to be in the best interests of the Blue Bird Group, based in Jakarta, to be jumping all over this problem as it only hurts their fine reputation.


    • A good spotter’s guide Roy – thanks.


  2. welcome back! we missed your blog so much. I’m glad you posted this article after your absence, or I would have been very concerned!


  3. A quick follow up Vyt.

    By Jalan Malasti (Melasti Street) one would normally assume that you mean in Legian.

    While that sort of “running amok” by an Islamic brother (or otherwise) might be tolerated down there, in no way would it be tolerated in other parts of Bali…the remaining “real” Bali. The local Balinese would “handle” the problem quite nicely and most effectively, no police necessary thanks. This reality is perhaps best known by those who would “run amok” on a tamu (guest) themselves, and undoubtedly that is why one seldom would ever hear such a story emanating from other parts of Bali.

    In fact, I wonder what the chances are of a similar story coming out of Jakarta, Yogyakarta or Surabaya would be? The local Muslim woman who came up and pronounced, “I’m so sorry, we’re not all like that”, is right of course. The overwhelming majority of Indonesian Muslims are indeed not like that at all.

    Clearly, you understand that, but in this day and age of extreme sensitivities regarding Islamic relations, why was it necessary in your blog entry to make the point of this Mafioso taxi driver likely being a member of the FPI? Are you playing into the West’s Islamaphobia, or are you trying to make a further statement about Muslims?

    You title your blog entry, “How to Upset a Bali Taxi Thug” but in reality, the message in your blog entry isn’t about Bali taxi Mafioso at all, is it?


    • Well spotted Roy. Yes, of course it’s a dual message here, with the subtext addressing the very sensitivities of which you speak.

      I did not say that the driver was likely a member of the FPI. My point that once someone chooses to adopt a visible identity (which is also used by a fanatical sub-sect of a religion), AND displays certain behavioural traits which are thuggish and anti-social, the game changes.
      If I choose to walk down the street wearing a Nazi uniform, that would be an insensitive and unwise choice – but it is my right to do so. If, while wearing such attire, I also shout anti-Semitic slogans and threaten to kill people, then my actions are completely unacceptable. It is the combination of a visibly ‘in-your-face’ identity and a behaviour pattern that is the issue, not either one separately.

      I don’t accept your point that “in this day and age of extreme sensitivities regarding Islamic relations” it is my responsibility to back off, bow down and say nothing that might possibly ‘insult’ or upset a group of people who are very quick to take offence. ‘Taking offence’ has nothing to do with ‘giving offence’, a point completely missed by those who demand that ALL should follow their rules.

      Or are you suggesting that, in the interests of Western ‘Islamic relations’ anyone confronted with a hostile, threatening person – who chooses to wear symbolic attire that identifies them as a member of a particular fundamentalist group – should avert their eyes, accept their behaviour and never, ever comment on their behaviour?


  4. “I did not say that the driver was likely a member of the FPI.”

    Vyt, this is what you wrote:

    “The driver concerned was in full ‘Islamic’ garb, or at least in the sort of Saudi-influenced garb favoured by hard-line extremists elsewhere in Indonesia. It was as if a fully-fledged member of the FPI was suddenly teleported into the streets of Bali…”

    That’s pretty clear, isn’t it? And btw, that “garb” is also favored by seriously devote Muslims who may, or more likely, will not be “hard-line extremists.” When you encounter an Indonesian Muslim woman here dressed in a burqa, do you automatically assume she is an extremist as well?

    Not to get pedantic on you Vyt, but the fact is that walking down the street in several EU countries (France, as just one example) wearing a Nazi uniform will only land you in jail…and no, it’s not your right to wear a Nazi uniform in public in those countries. In many of those same countries, wearing a full on burqa is also against the law, but not because of the Islamic identity it speaks of, but rather because it hides the physical identity of the person.

    Vyt, you further wrote,

    “I don’t accept your point that “in this day and age of extreme sensitivities regarding Islamic relations” it is my responsibility to back off, bow down and say nothing that might possibly ‘insult’ or upset a group of people who are very quick to take offence.”

    That is not at all my point. I never stated nor even suggested that it is your responsibility to back off, and I sure wouldn’t have either.

    You continue with,

    “Or are you suggesting that, in the interests of Western ‘Islamic relations’ anyone confronted with a hostile, threatening person – who chooses to wear symbolic attire that identifies them as a member of a particular fundamentalist group – should avert their eyes, accept their behaviour and never, ever comment on their behaviour?”

    On the contrary. My position is hopefully now clear…it doesn’t matter if the offensive person is butt naked or fully dressed in a Ku Klux Klan white robe…it’s the behavior of the person that needs to be dealt with, not the trappings of what religion or ideology that person is wearing, or says about their beliefs or ideology. THAT is the issue. Moreover, the wearing of traditional Islamic clothing DOES NOT automatically identify the person as a member of any group.

    I apologize for my previous shortcomings in articulating this point.


  5. Thanks Vyt you are back again – I missed your blog. 3 month without Borborigmus – not nice. It made me worried


  6. Welcome back Vyt 🙂 It’s great to have your take on Bali return to my inbox. I was concerned you’d fallen foul of something or someone…

    My Balinese/Javanese partner also looks forward to your writings; as he spends more time in the NZ he finds himself seeing his own country from a different perspective which is healthy all round.

    The Muslim debate above is important. Half my ‘in-laws’ go through some Muslim motions but adamantly Javanese first, Indonesians second then coming in at third, Muslims. The other half are Balinese/Hindu first (they can’t separate the two), then Indonesians.

    I picked up a book at Ganesha Bookshop a couple of years ago which does justice to the Javanese struggle with Islam: “A Shadow Falls in the Heart of Java’ by Andrew Beatty, ISBN 976-0-571-23586-5. Get it before books and free-thinking are banned. I’ve spent enough time in Malaysia and the Middle East, to worry for Indonesia and in particular Bali.

    Cheers, Philip.


  7. I read that book and …
    (comment deleted by moderator)


  8. Please explain the reason for your deletion of the comment which read, in whole, as follows:

    I read that book and … (rest of comment deleted by moderator)


    • Roy, I moderate the comments on my blog. In general, this includes deletion without specific explanation if they are off-topic, or contain ad hominem attacks, or do not address issues in my original posts, or (in my opinion) include material I regard as trolling.
      In short, this blog is not a democracy.


  9. Comment deleted by moderator, except for:

    “So, what’s “the deal” now Vyt? Are you going to remove posts which don’t affirm your own personal opinion or view on things…or are you going to allow for opposing views that don’t (and never will) dovetail with yours? Are only those voices which affirm your position welcomed to reply?”

    Roy: Most of your latest comment has been deleted as a personal attack on many fronts, including my right to delete your comments. My right to do this is non-negotiable.

    I will continue to welcome comments that address the issues and rationally argue the points raised in my articles. I will continue to delete comments that are sneering or patronising in tone, or argue from a standpoint of “I am right, and everyone else is wrong”.

    I delete comments, not because they disagree with my view, but because their wording is offensive, snarky or supercilious. I delete comments that have no other purpose than to attempt to highlight the moral superiority of the writer.

    Re-submitting your original comment (for the third time!) serves no purpose. I canned it as inappropriate the first time and will continue to do so.


  10. WOW Vyt, what an ego you’ve got there! And btw, I didn’t make the above post, you did so why does it say “by Roy?”

    Back to my post, which you keep removing for no reason, it was in direct reply to the one made by Philip about the book, A Shadow Falls in the Heart of Java by Andrew Beatty. It was neither off topic, nor was it an “ad hominem attack” as you put it. Moreover, my analysis of the book is supported by two genuine western scholars of Indonesia, namely, Jesse Grayman, and Nicholas Herriman. You can do your own homework and easily discover for yourself what they had to say about this book by Andrew Beatty.

    So, here again (and for the fourth time) is the post you feel somehow compelled to remove over and over:

    I read that book and … (remainder of comment deleted by moderator – as it is identical to the post which has already been rejected)


    • OK Roy, apparently you are a very slow learner, so I’ll spell it out for you in point form so that you can understand it.

      1) Yes, I have a healthy ego.

      2) You DID make the post in question. I deleted all of it EXCEPT for one paragraph for the reasons I stated before. While that paragraph was both rhetorical and somewhat supercilious in nature, I am happy to allow it. This is consistent with both my moderation philosophy and my ego. That is why it says “By Roy”, because it is the remnant of your post.

      3) Your fourth attempt at submitting the same post, despite being told that it was not acceptable, has not been removed “for no reason”, it has been removed for the following reasons, alluded to generally before, and specifically below:

      a) It IS off-topic, because it addresses a peripheral comment about a book, which is not a reason to hijack the thread. The topic was “How to upset a Bali taxi thug”.

      b) It IS an ad hominem attack on the author of the book. You demean his qualifications and make a gratuitous comment about his narrative style which you claim is the only thing that fools the reader into believing his claims.

      c) You describe your post as an ‘analysis’, which it is definitely not. You make no attempt to address the content or argument, merely sneering that a mere two and one half years living in East Java renders him incapable of understanding the complexities of his environment. Perhaps you should not judge others by your own limitations; just because it has taken you decades to understand some aspects of village life in Bali does not mean that others are incapable of learning faster.

      d) Your qualifications to patronisingly dismiss the work of a respected anthropologist are not made clear, nor is your expertise in the cultural life of East Java. If you are in fact a respected anthropologist, and you had spent at least the same amount of time in the area of East Java that he has, you might have a slightly better case.

      In short, your opinionated troll about the book is rejected yet again – for the fourth time. And for every subsequent time. Stamping your foot and calling me names will make not one iota of difference. To you at least, this thread is now closed.

      One obvious solution – if my blog bothers you so much, why the hell do you bother reading it? Just stay away like many others who don’t like it do. We can all get some peace then.


      • OK Vyt, let’s talk about your last post:

        a) It IS off-topic, because it addresses a peripheral comment about a book, which is not a reason to hijack the thread. The topic was “How to upset a Bali taxi thug”.

        That’s not true. My comment about the book was in response to Philip’s reply which stated the following:

        “I picked up a book at Ganesha Bookshop a couple of years ago which does justice to the Javanese struggle with Islam: “A Shadow Falls in the Heart of Java’ by Andrew Beatty, ISBN 976-0-571-23586-5. Get it before books and free-thinking are banned. I’ve spent enough time in Malaysia and the Middle East, to worry for Indonesia and in particular Bali.”

        Note his phrase, “which does justice to the Javanese struggle with Islam.” Vyt, even you admit earlier in a reply that the subtext of your post is about Islam in Indonesia:

        “Well spotted Roy. Yes, of course it’s a dual message here, with the subtext addressing the very sensitivities of which you speak.” So Vyt, how is my post “off topic?”

        b) It IS an ad hominem attack on the author of the book. You demean his qualifications and make a gratuitous comment about his narrative style which you claim is the only thing that fools the reader into believing his claims.

        Baloney. My comment was simply my opinion about the book, which by the way is shared by two recognized scholars on Indonesia, namely, Jesse Grayman, and Nicholas Herriman. You can do your own homework and easily discover for yourself what they had to say about this book by Andrew Beatty.

        c) You describe your post as an ‘analysis’, which it is definitely not. You make no attempt to address the content or argument, merely sneering that a mere two and one half years living in East Java renders him incapable of understanding the complexities of his environment. Perhaps you should not judge others by your own limitations; just because it has taken you decades to understand some aspects of village life in Bali does not mean that others are incapable of learning faster.

        I did not describe my post as an analysis, nor did I even use that word. Why the need for outright lies Vyt?

        d) Your qualifications to patronisingly dismiss the work of a respected anthropologist are not made clear, nor is your expertise in the cultural life of East Java. If you are in fact a respected anthropologist, and you had spent at least the same amount of time in the area of East Java that he has, you might have a slightly better case.

        Oh, so from now on we need to submit our diplomas and CV before offering an opinion?

        “One obvious solution – if my blog bothers you so much, why the hell do you bother reading it? Just stay away like many others who don’t like it do. We can all get some peace then.”

        I don’t plan on staying away, quite the opposite in fact. And I might suggest that you get up to snuff on sedition laws.

        So, for the fifth time, here’s the post that you so adamantly object to, and since you’ve gone out of your way to address it, you really ought to now allow it if only so others can understand what your comments were about:

        I read that book and … [Remainder of post deleted by moderator, for the same reasons it was deleted FIVE times previously 😉 ]


      • Tiresome as it is, I’ll respond for the final time to your denials and evasions.

        I wrote: a) It IS off-topic, because it addresses a peripheral comment about a book, which is not a reason to hijack the thread. The topic was “How to upset a Bali taxi thug”.

        You replied: “That’s not true. My comment about the book was in response to Philip’s reply which stated the following:

        “I picked up a book at Ganesha Bookshop a couple of years ago which does justice to the Javanese struggle with Islam: “A Shadow Falls in the Heart of Java’ by Andrew Beatty, ISBN 976-0-571-23586-5. Get it before books and free-thinking are banned. I’ve spent enough time in Malaysia and the Middle East, to worry for Indonesia and in particular Bali.”

        My response: You don’t get it. Philip’s comment included a section that was peripheral to the topic. This did not make his whole comment off-topic, so didn’t invalidate it. Your response, on the other hand, was purely about the book, or more specifically, a rant about the author’s cheek in daring to write about Indonesia without having spent enough time living there (according to your narrow view of what that should be.
        ————–

        You wrote:
        “Even you admit earlier in a reply that the subtext of your post is about Islam in Indonesia”, quoting me as replying: “Yes, of course it’s a dual message here, with the subtext addressing the very sensitivities of which you speak.” So Vyt, how is my post “off topic?”

        My response: Back to reading and comprehension classes for you Roy. I state clearly that my subtext addressed ‘the very sensitivities of which you speak’, and you change that to my allegedly ‘admitting’ that my subtext is is “about Islam in Indonesia”. Then you claim your criticism of the book is on-topic, because you have chosen to distort my words. Fail, Roy. Your post about the book is a nasty little rant, and off-topic.
        ————–

        I wrote: “b) It IS an ad hominem attack on the author of the book. You demean his qualifications and make a gratuitous comment about his narrative style which you claim is the only thing that fools the reader into believing his claims.”

        You replied: “Baloney. My comment was simply my opinion about the book, which by the way is shared by two recognized scholars on Indonesia, namely, Jesse Grayman, and Nicholas Herriman.”

        My response: Baloney, Roy. You did not address a single issue discussed in the book, choosing instead to attack the author’s credibility and bona fides on the basis that he, according to you, spent a mere 2.5 years living in the region about which he wrote. You try and legitimise your direct ad hominem attack on the author’s credentials by claiming that two scholars share your opinion. Really? Did they actually endorse your nasty little rant, or were their reviews, unlike yours, based on something more tangible than blind hate of anyone who writes about topics that don’t meet with your approval? There are many legitimate reviews of this book. Why did you deliberately choose two that were critical of the book? Very selective, Roy.
        ————–

        I wrote: “c) You describe your post as an ‘analysis’, which it is definitely not.”

        You replied: “I did not describe my post as an analysis, nor did I even use that word. Why the need for outright lies Vyt?”

        My response: Check your logs. You tried to post a number of bleating comments insisting that I publish your ‘analysis’ of this book, none of which gave me any reason why I should cave in to your repeated and petulant demands. I did not allow them, but kept copies. One states:

        “Moreover, my analysis of the book is supported by two genuine western scholars of Indonesia, namely, Jesse Grayman, and Nicholas Herriman.”

        Why the need for outright lies, Roy?
        ————–

        I wrote: “d) Your qualifications to patronisingly dismiss the work of a respected anthropologist are not made clear, nor is your expertise in the cultural life of East Java. If you are in fact a respected anthropologist, and you had spent at least the same amount of time in the area of East Java that he has, you might have a slightly better case.”

        Your reply: “Oh, so from now on we need to submit our diplomas and CV before offering an opinion?”

        My response: No, you don’t. It might be useful if you could. But you still don’t offer any reason why your opinion in this matter – village life in East Java – trumps that of a respected anthropologist. You may be a self-proclaimed expert on life in one village in Ubud, but I suspect you know diddly-squat about the cultural specifics of the village where the author lived, otherwise you would have trumpeted your qualifications to all and sundry long before now.
        ————–

        I wrote: “One obvious solution – if my blog bothers you so much, why the hell do you bother reading it? Just stay away like many others who don’t like it do. We can all get some peace then.”

        Your response: “I don’t plan on staying away, quite the opposite in fact. And I might suggest that you get up to snuff on sedition laws.”

        My reply: So you plan on continuing to read a blog that you hate, by a person who is “an ingrate” and who writes “lies and distortions”? OK, I’d better add masochism to the list of your attributes. Sedition laws? Hahahaha! Now I know you are flailing. Better read up on them Roy, and see what the government thinks of ‘sedition laws’ in the recent case of the Papuan High Court judge. You really have no idea, Roy.
        ————–

        Anyway, enough of this frivolity – I’ve had enough of this thread being hijacked by rants, both mine and Roy’s. I won’t mention this ridiculous topic again, and neither will Roy – because he’s now blocked. Bye Roy, go vent your spleen somewhere else.


      • So, I see you don’t have the balls to post this as it obviously makes you look bad being so wrong with you prior a, b, c and d notes about my earlier post.

        Surely this entire experience has been illustrative of just what kind of person you are. You can dish out all sorts of criticism about the local people in Bali where you now live, but you sure can’t take any of what you so freely dish out.

        Maybe I should write a new blog entry for you: How To Upset A Bali Blog Thug?

        [Remainder of post deleted because it is just a repeat of Roy’s previous post – which apparently did not pass through the moderation queue fast enough for him.]


      • A fascinating insight into your character, Roy.

        Your post HAS gone through moderation. Maybe not as fast as you would have preferred, (which I guess explains your abusive little tantrum), but it has gone through. It is utter crap, but it has gone through.

        It has so many strange assertions and lack of logic that I will respond to that post separately – and in my own time, not yours.

        But this, your latest little attack: viz “Surely this entire experience has been illustrative of just what kind of person you are. You can dish out all sorts of criticism about the local people in Bali where you now live, but you sure can’t take any of what you so freely dish out” is a masterpiece of irony and self-delusion.

        Given you have spent years criticising any expat who dares to open his mouth and express an opinion contrary to yours, and have publicly gone on record with your obsessive vendetta against the Bali Expat Forum, and more recently, my blog, your comment above is hypocritical at best and shows a blindness to your own behaviour bordering on pathology. You criticise my blog as “full of complaints, distortions, ignorance and never once a word of how lucky he should regard himself being able to call Bali home.” It is clear you have never read my posts, or if you have, you are unable to even remotely comprehend their content. In fact, having read your many posts on other sites, it is apparent that you are unable to sustain even the most basic dialogue with anyone who disagrees with you. Has it ever crossed your mind why you have been kicked off so many sites? Do you honestly believe that they are all wrong, and you are the only one who is right?

        You insult and demean those who write about Bali as having a “self perceived credibility, spouting off in the most incredulous (sic) manner about Bali, and Indonesia as a whole.” [http://www.homeinbali.com/forum/topic/6421-im-getting-pissed-off/]

        You dismiss all those who have not spent 14 years sequestered in a little village, and have the temerity to speak out about some of the realities of life in Bali as “ingrates”. Then, unable to cope with the possibility that others have valid opinions, and that you are not the only font of self-professed wisdom on the island, you ask: “how do we get rid of them?” Wow! What arrogance! What hubris! What a sadly distorted view of life you have.


  11. Hear hear, well said Vyt. Given Roy’s comment about you being an ingrate on the home in bali forum, http://www.homeinbali.com/forum/topic/6421-im-getting-pissed-off/, I can’t believe he’s still allowed to post on this blog. Hats off to you for your relative tolerance and allowing, within proper reason, the discussion to flourish.


    • Well, everyone is entitled to their opinion, including Roy.
      Except me of course (in his eyes) because I’m a moaning, bitching ingrate who is supposed to write only Pollyanna puff pieces and ignore anything that might put Bali in a bad light 😉

      Despite my last reply to him stating clearly that “To you at least, this thread is now closed”, he is still sending diatribes, justifications, sneers, and now, darkly ominous threats about my risking sedition charges, no less! LOL! And of course yet another demand that I allow his original post. I wonder which part of NO he doesn’t understand – the “N” or the “O”?

      Some people just don’t get it.


      • Hang in there mate, and keep writing. I personally think that your points offer interesting food for thought, even though not everyone would agree with them. But that’s what free speech and spirited debate is about, isn’t it? As for Roy, he clearly has some serious issues for which I hope he eventually gets help. Your blog is not the first where he has tried to impose his narrow and biased view of Bali and the world on everyone else and then menacingly threatened those who disagreed with him. Online, as in life, the only way to defeat a bully is to stand up to them.


      • You know Vyt, I don’t find much on Bali to be more disgusting than the attitudes of neo-colonialist “Canggu Club expats.” They are a scourge on Bali and the only reason the Balinese even put up with them is for the money they bring. But even the Balinese are starting to learn that the negative impact on their existence here far outweighs the benefits from the money they bring.

        Working illegally, building tacky villas wherever they please (most often in white trash ghettos), treating their staff like slaves, you can easily pick them out in any gathering, as they are the ones who are always complaining about their pool boy, cook, driver, the locals, the government, the corruption, etc. etc…and sometimes they write blogs like this one. Ingrate is just one word that immediately comes to mind when considering this sub species of humanity, like you and your twin, Royster.

        And yes, you’re right, it would be wonderful to find more creative and effective ways to get rid of them…but of course not before they’ve spent all their money here.

        Ta ta, until your next blog entry.


      • My first thought on reading your toxic diatribe was to delete it, but then I thought that exposing your warped logic and hate to the light of day would be more effective in alerting more people to the sort of person you are.

        “They (expats) are a scourge …”
        So expats are the reason for all of Bali’s problems? What a wonderfully simplistic explanation, not shared by anyone with any understanding of economics or the effect of the expat demographic. You make fundamentalists sound rational.

        “… even the Balinese are starting to learn …” So you speak for all the Balinese do you? You even manage to insult the Balinese themselves by using the loaded terms “even”, and “starting to learn”. How patronising. Your banjar must be ecstatic at your words.

        “Working illegally, building tacky villas wherever they please …”
        So when I, and many others, write about these very same problems and offer solutions, we are being complaining ingrates – but when you do it, it is a perfectly valid stance to justify your virulent hate of expats? You would get thrown out of any elementary school debating team with inconsistent tripe like that.

        You keep claiming a non-existent status as a fully integrated member of the Balinese community, and claim the right to pontificate, abuse, denigrate and attack all those who are mere expats (a “sub-species of humanity” as you put it), and all those who disagree with you. The Balinese I know are, by an overwhelming majority, polite, tolerant, thoughtful and intelligent. You, on the other hand are not.

        You are a bule, and one of the very expats you constantly demean. You display a massive attitude problem, an unshakeable belief in your own superiority, and a bullying attitude – the same characteristics you deride in other expats. You show none of the wonderful qualities that have made the Balinese people who they are, and you back-pedal from and hide your own expat status at every opportunity.

        You are unrepresentative of either the Balinese, or of expats, inhabiting a sad twilight world of bile, hate and self-importance. And as much as it terrifies you to lose your self-appointed guru status, most people can see right through you. You must find that terribly disturbing.


  12. Vyt, you really love having things your way, don’t you? You have cut to shreds most all of what I have posted, and that’s clearly because my arguments and corrections were just too much for you to take. You present only those aspects of what I write that suit you best. Hell, you’d make a great candidate for a job with Sean Hannity on Fox News.

    You even declared your singular right to edit at will with your famous line,

    “In short, this blog is not a democracy.”

    I wonder how many of your supposed fans are in reality just you posting with other names and identity. That’s a trick Mark Andrew Austin used to use with regularity on all of his old blogs.

    So, there is no surprise that when someone (like me) takes you up on the BS you often write, and points out why it’s BS, and why you are a bigot and a racist, of course that is all going to be deleted.

    No, not all expats on Bali are a scourge, just the ones like you, the ones I like to call the “Canggu Club Expat” fit that mold…and you fit perfectly.

    As for my banjar, yes, they are in fact very ecstatic with my ideas and warnings about neo-colonial Canggu Club Expats and in fact there is quite a process in place in our banjar to keep those low life scumbags out of our village. Come on up and see for yourself! There are no pith helmet wearing (let’s make our pembantus wear uniforms) expats in my village, and I am very confident there’re never will be either.

    Yes, I am a bule, but I am not an expat, not anymore. And as for you, and your kind, you aren’t an expat either, at least not in anywhere near the meaning of how I define an expat. On the contrary, you and those like you are here only for your own benefit, pleasure and comfort and they don’t give a shit about Bali…yet alone understand one iota of what Bali and the Balinese are about.

    So, let’s see if you have the balls to let this post ride. Fat chance, right? Right.

    Please don’t embarrass yourself with pretensions of knowing the Balinese, their culture, their society, their ceremonies or Bali Hindu Agama as you only make yourself appear more foolish. You haven’t a clue, and that is painfully obvious in most every blog entry you make, which by the way is pretty much par for the course when it comes to Balipod…the Bali “expat” forum.


    • Dog with a bone Roy, dog with a bone.

      Ignoring all the usual personal vilification in your comment (which is par for the course for you) and your rage at my right to moderate my own blog (a right which you freely use on your own blog, where you close comments after getting two which agree with you), let me point out even more of your hypocrisy:

      You say: “I wonder how many of your supposed fans are in reality just you posting with other names and identity.”
      Well none, actually Roy. That would be the mark of an insecure idiot. I notice though, that on various forums you have used a vast variety of pseudonyms which you hide behind, especially when taken to task for your offensive remarks. Oh well, one rule for you; one rule for me I suppose …

      You say: “So, there is no surprise that when someone (like me) takes you up on the BS you often write, and points out why it’s BS, and why you are a bigot and a racist, of course that is all going to be deleted.”
      Well no Roy, those terms, while potentially offensive, have no sting coming from you, who exhibits the same attributes in almost every one of your posts.

      You say: “Yes, I am a bule, but I am not an expat, not anymore.” That remains to be proved. You now have Indonesian citizenship, but other Americans have pointed out that you have not renounced your American citizenship – something easily checked on electoral rolls. If true, isn’t that illegal? And if true, it makes you an expat regardless of whatever posturings you engage in to the contrary.

      You say: “Please don’t embarrass yourself with pretensions of knowing the Balinese, …”
      When did I ever claim to do that? We all know that you are the only person in Bali, perhaps in the entire archipelago, whose knowledge of the Balinese is vast, wide-ranging and never, never wrong. Oh, wait – this is a classic Roy-style straw man argument: invent some bullshit, attribute it to someone else, then proceed to knock them down based on your spurious accusation. Silly me.

      At least every post you make further cements your reputation as someone utterly out of touch with Bali.


      • Out of curiosity, what is Roy’s blog? Interesting reading im sure


  13. you guys should get a room 🙂



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