How’s Bali right now?


At the moment Bali is in a kind of transition. The wet season is dragging its feet to a close and the tourists are dragging theirs. Things are looking up, with new businesses opening, but so far Bali hasn’t kicked it into gear.

Writing this from an internet cafe in Seminyak at 10pm on a Tuesday night, there are 5 other people in here, all Euros. Earlier in the evening on Jl. Double Six, I hit a warung for some nasi campur. The place was half full with a mixture of Indos, Euros and the odd Aussie.

Here’s a bit of local insight. The stereotypical Indonesian dreams of a new motorbike and cell phone. My wife told me that the motorbike dealers will sell you a new bike with only 750,000rp down for the first 3 months. Some people will buy a new bike, put the 750,000rp down and ride it for 3 months, before returning it. They know that 250,000rp per month is cheaper than renting. The bikes often get sold to smaller second hand places, who knock the price down and use the motto ‘second hand but still new’.

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Last week my brother-in-law who earns less than 900,000rp per month signed a leasing agreement for a new motorbike, 600,000rp per month for 3 years. His sisters told him not to do it, but he wouldn’t be put off. He is going to have a really hard time for the next 3 years and I have a feeling I know where all this is heading. My advice is to hand the bike back and cut your losses. I don’t tell other people what to do, I just tell them where to go when they drag me into their problems.

Carrefour update: The new modern supermarket in Kuta / Denpasar is a great place for once a week shopping. Ika reports prices are either lower than at local friendly Alpha, or quality is much better. My thoughts are that Carrefour makes a good ‘once a week’ shopping place, but a lousy ‘quick stop’ shopping place. First off you have to get on the Sunset Rd and drive to Kuta. Then you line up for a parking ticket (500rp). You dodge cars in the parking lot to get to the escalator and ascend to the supermarket on the top floor. Do all that in reverse and line up again for your parking stub to be checked. Nipping over to Bintang is way faster, even though the check out at Carrefour is fast.