As Nick mentioned, I am back. Returning into this country felt a bit like coming home. I knew exaclty where I was going this time on arrival at the airport. Pre-paid blue Taxi to Seminyak. Ebong set me up with a ride back to his place (it is great to have friend and contacts…thx ebong) On arrival at Internet Outpost, Ika greeted me with a hug and “you look wide” comment while giggling. All that red meat, beer, wine and whole milk added a few pounds. We laughed at me together while I patted my belly. It felt good and hot to be back.
The Qantas flight I took from Sydney was full. 400 people as well as a China Airlines flight arrived around the same time and made for long lines on the way in through customs. So it seems like more folks are finding their way back to Bali vs. my first flight in which was 15% full. Of course, my sightings are not scientific.
While I was in Oz, the talk of potential War with Iraq and a special on the Bali Bombing (a 4 Corners report) gave me another point of view on what appears to be going on around the world. After watching the special on the Bali Bombing, even I was a little bit scared to come back. The scary music and the way the program was laid out definately made me feel like Indonesia, for that matter, South East Asia is a hot bed for terrorists and tourists should avoid at all costs. To top it off, the Oz government was mailing out terrorism packets on safety. I also hear from some friends in the US, that it’s “Code Orange” in the US whatever that means…something like watch out!
Now that I am back, I realize that the program, media, governments help instill fear. There is nothing to be scared of here that you would not be scared of wherever you are from. The same threats exist here as they do in Western countries. In many cases, it may be less safe in the Western country…
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All this build-up definately affects me and others. We are a product of our environments and since a lot what we read talks of war, terrorism and potential threats, we are afraid. I think that the reality of the situation lies somewhere in the middle between the panic merchants and the folks that think it is all propoganda. I am sure that there are folks all over the world, in every single country, that are disturbed and considering some terrorist type activity. Whether it be fundamental radical Islamists, Palestinians and Israelis, IRA folks, pissed off at the US folks, religious groups, minority groups that feel wronged, their governments….all it takes is a few individuals from one of these groups to be willing to blow some place up or kill some folks to get their point some publicity.
I am not trying to spread terror by saying this, but every place in the world is a potential target and is not potentially a target. I reckon the best thing to do is to keep talking with each other and think for yourself. Listening, learning, be open to ideas that are not your own and be aware of your surroundings. If something bad goes down, it will be dealt with at that time. In the meantime I am going to use my common sense as much as possible while I keep traveling/living. Hopefully I will make intelligent decisions and continue to learn about the world through all the people that I have and will meet.