I get it, Bali is fucking awesome! In the eyes of Aussies Abroad its the land of no rules, wild parties, cheap beer & good weather. It’s all true and like almost every Aussie who’s visited I am in love! There’s just a couple things our inner Bogan should know before jumping on that plane to this Indonesian Island Paradise.
Don’t confuse the zeros
1,000,000 Indonesia Rupiah is about 100 Bucks. Not confusing right? Wrong. Sometimes I just get it, sometimes I think someones trying to charge me $7 for a water when its actually 70c! Watch how many 0’s you’re handing over and try to keep the brain in check even after a few too many Bintangs.
Don’t show off on your scooter/motorbike
The freedom of jumping on a cheap rental bike in Bali where there are barely any road rules is epic! Unlike Australia where there are more rules than people, here you have the freedom to go where you want, drive in the wrong lane, cruise the wrong way down one way streets and ride without a helmet. But don’t be a dick, don’t show off. Due to there being barely any road rules it can be (and usually is) crazy, the roads are covered in potholes & hidden bumps and more than likely there’s another tourist being a dick just around the corner. The only times I’ve seen my life flash before my eyes on a scooter in Bali is when I’ve almost been hit by a fellow Westerner being a twat. Scooter injuries are common in Bali, so just relax, take it easy and go with the manic traffic without showing how “fully sick” you can ride a bike.
This is not the Western World
Things aren’t the same as home. Deal with it and enjoy it! Bali is cheap, wonderful, crazy, beautiful, wild; everything you want in a holiday. So don’t get a hernia over the fact that something mentioned on the menu isn’t available or the waitress can’t figure out how to replace your salad with veggies as a side to the meal you’ve ordered. If the price says 125k on a dress in a store and they tell you its actually 150k, it just is. Buy it or not, your choice.
This goes without saying, but I’ve seen Aussies disrespect the Balinese people/traditions more than anyone in my time in Indonesia. Balinese culture is a mix of Balinese Hindu-Buddhist religion and there are things you can do that can be seen as disrespectful. For example wearing your Bikini in the streets/villages or riding around on your scooter. Save the bare bodies for the beaches ladies! Cover up as much as possible when visiting temples & mosques. Also, depending on where you are it can be really disrespectful to wear your shoes inside, for example day spas, some stores, peoples homes. Try to spot the stores lined with shoes out the front and whether the staff are wearing shoes or not.
Drugs are not cool, man
We all know Schapelle Corby and the Bali 9 right? This also goes without saying, but sometimes you can be tempted to dabble in the narcotics on a night out on the town (like the night I tried to source drugs when I was self sabotaging.) Just don’t do it! Save the party drugs for when you’re on Aussie soil people, a Balinese prison would probably worse than your worst nightmare.
Chill out dude
Balinese people don’t like confrontation and they are in no way aggressive in general. Sure some street vendors in Kuta can seem to be this way, but for the most part they are gentle and relaxed people. Don’t ever yell at someone, no matter if you’re bartering (and probably losing), you feel you were ripped off, you’re drunk, someone pulled out in front of you on the road, whatever. Just chill out and let it go. They don’t respond to anger, its not the way they are. No doubt you are in Bali to chill, so just do it!