Life, News, Photography and Reviews from Ubud: The Apple of Bali's Eye

The Old Bali Blog « Watch out! There's a foreigner about...

On an island whose income is largely derived from the kickbacks of wholesale tourism, the Bali Police throw a curve-ball and warn the island's inhabitants to "remain alert and actively protect the island from various security threats, including foreigners in the province" - and warns that "not all foreigners were in Bali to enjoy the island's beauty; instead, some planned to commit crimes..."

Nobody's perfect.

There were 8,400 crimes recorded on Bali in 2013. Foreigners were suspects in 83 crimes - which means that the rest of the crimes were committed by...

Tell me where this is going, Chief.

Senior Commander R. Umar Faroq - Bali Police Director For Vital Object Security - sheds some light:

"Some of them are also here dealing illicit drugs, defrauding people, hiding from their country's law enforcers or laundering money."

All the time. When I can fit it in between my Wet Pussies and Hot Bikram Yoga classes.

'According to Umar, the Bali Police are planning to establish a Foreigner Community Club (FCC) that would assist non-natives - who they consider "important people" - with various issues.'

Does that include my personal issues that I've come to Ubud to sort out in an Eat, Pray, Love kind of way?

And if I'm not in the Club, does that mean I'm not on the Safe List?

Do I need to pay a visit to the local shaman first and tell him that I'm only here for a massage and a takeaway, or do I just spill the beans to the lady behind the Visa on Arrival desk at the airport? She might get bored with my divorce story...

'"Tourists must also obey tour guides and not feel like they know everything," says Sr. Comr. Umar.'

So when my tour guide tells me he wants $200 for a morning's hike up Batur followed by a visit to his antie's clothing shop, I just roll with it? Hm. Seems like tough love to me. Let me just check my wallet first.

'Ida Bagus Ngurah Wijaya, head of the Bali Chapter of the Indonesian Tourism Industry Association (GIPI), acknowledged that many foreigners used the country's weak security measures at international gateways. He said that the government should be more selective in deciding who could enter Indonesia, including by having advanced security equipment, such as retinal scanners, to check a person's records.'

You mean like the x-ray machines that were supposed to stop terrorists and drug smugglers at Padangbai and Gilimanuk and never got used? I thought having my passport confiscated for five months before getting finger-printed for my year's work permit was pretty comprehensive?

'Ngurah added that many foreigners entering the country had no money, dangerous diseases or were fugitives.'

Thanks for the personal info!

'"Here", Ngurah presses, "anyone can come in as long as they pay the VoA. Some are retirees on limited budgets who die in their rooms. Their embassies won't pay for this, nor do the families. Who will?" he questioned.'

God, there's nothing like an embarrassing smell in the morning.

But hey, TII - This Is Indonesia - and it all makes perfect sense when you read the small print.

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