I’ve been to Bali too

A nice change of pace (and something for TIMDOG) a retro eighties look at the Holiday Destination of choice for successive bogan generations.  Some nice shots of 80’s Bali and it’s amusing to listen to the vocalist pull the p*ss out of the tourists.






About Oigal

I have kicked a bag of spuds over the River Murray. I was the bloke who turned their heads for home. They called me Co when I worked with Mr Cobb and it was my house that was just a bit further on from the Black Stump. I was there when the Breaker called it rule 303 and once wrote a letter with a thumbnail dipped in tar.
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29 Responses to I’ve been to Bali too

  1. avatar David says:

    I’d never seen that video, it is fun, I do like going to Bali not so much for Bali itself but the people, and I don’t really mean the Balinese, if you like observing people it’s a great spot for that; the Australians there I feel a bit alienated from, they seem to be a certain type of Australian which isn’t me, not saying I’m better than them or anything mind. It’s like on the rare occasion that I speak to one of my sisters on the phone, I’m usually a little taken aback at the way they talk, the accent mainly, I lost mine largely, and again not being snobbish because ultimately they’re my lot and I’m more like them than unlike them even if I have trained myself out of saying things like ‘I seen him yesterday, he..’. And the way they look, kind of wild haired and spotty and really not that attractive… someone’s going to lay into me for this…I mentioned this here once before that I was sitting in a waiting room in Ngurah Rai and I just blurted out ‘they’re so ugly’ to the missus, one young lass near me unfortunately overheard me and looked at me dolefully, felt bad about it then…

    And then walking around Kuta, you pick up snippets of conversations, …aww yeah and then some Indo bitch and her bloody kids.. – still remember that one.

    There was a boy at my primary school named Richard Borg, he went to Bali too… after he got back the kids at school thereafter called him ‘Bali Borg’, maybe they were jealous…

    When I first arrived in 98 I had 7 hours to wait for a flight to surabaya so decided to go for a walk, ended up at Kuta Square and sat down on the beach, some massage ladies talked to me and when they heard I was going to surabaya one said ‘but there’s nothing there’, while another seemed to want to console me and said something about ‘the girls’, with a wink. Anyway when I was on my big walk I was assailed about every five paces by sellers and touts and a la ET – ‘transpot missa’ guys, if I go there now hardly anyone comes near me, I think the sellers have a good sense as to whether you’re fresh meat or not, clearly I’m no longer fresh, which is telling me something.

    Obviously I’m rambling…

  2. avatar Lairedion says:

    Interesting comment David, a little more information on who’s this Patung guy really.

    In general, it’s striking to see many expats will criticize Bali for various reasons but cannot get over her altogether… :-)

  3. avatar Oigal says:

    Rambling??… Nagh, perhaps it’s as L try as hard as we do sometimes Bali gets under your skin and drags the tourist in loud shirts and poor decisions out of us no matter how hard we fight it.

    Ya I have always thought it was a natty little song and little bit lighter than their usual sometimes angry stuff.

    The band is REDGUM, who were one of those socially aware, anti big business, anti establishment band that seem to breed in Melbourne during the early eighties. In my wilder more erratic days (I still have those just at far slower rate) used to spend far too much of a meager wage tripping from pub to pub listening to bands like this, in the all too often vain hope of snaring an earnest young lass about to save the planet.

    Still all in all Redgum were a pretty good band with some pretty slick lyrics. For the Republicians amongst us try POOR NED, the ballard of Ned Kelly.

    • avatar ET says:

      those socially aware, anti big business, anti establishment band that seem to breed in Melbourne during the early eighties.

      Ah, the good old days of the Espy. I heard it had been scheduled to be torn down but finally has been revamped, probably lost its soul too.

      • avatar Oigal says:

        I was big wraps for the Prahan hotel on Saturday Arvos, always good band, earnest young things and leave sloshed by 5 then onwards up to Collingwood and there was a pub there (forget) red brick joint. That pub was the ‘punks’ watering hole, not that I was a punk but for some reason punks were always pasty, short little things and you could always reach over them to get a beer no matter how busy.

        Of course, the ‘local’ was the Royal Hotel in South Melbourne, owned by ‘Knackers’ ex old time slaughter man, who contracted cancer of the testicles and the chemicals they fed him caused his breasts to grow like a woman’s ( kinda ironic considering his man’s man background) hence the nickname Knackers… now I am rambling..

  4. avatar Chris says:

    One interesting tidbit is that the singer of Redgum ran for Parliament (with the Australian Democrats) and almost defeated then Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer in his local electorate of Mayo at the 1998 Federal election. I’m sure Bali/Indonesia would have been happy if he had.

  5. avatar timdog says:

    Great video Oigal…
    I like it when David rambles. And I’ll pick up on the comment, but I’ll go gently and won’t lay into him 😉

    On the “they’re all so ugly” thing, everyone’s human, and you can’t do anything about your own sense of aesthetics. I remember once sitting with some (bule) friends in a café near the beach in North Kuta, watching an oversized Australian in conversation with a local hustler. The Indonesian guy had draped himself decorously over someone else’s motorbike, at perfect ease; the bule was standing as if suffering from piles, legs firmly splayed, arms tensely folded.
    “They’re just so much more comfortable in their own bodies than we are,” I commented, and everyone agreed.
    And I always used to get this moment of horror on the first tube ride across London after touching down at Heathrow from somewhere far away – “God, we’re an ugly people…” (unless I was arriving from Uzbekistan).
    But the funny thing is, as the exotic has become less exotic, that’s faded away completely. I don’t think it’s so much that I now think that the British are a race of great beauties; it’s more that I’m less inclined to see “the Other” as an amorphous mass, and therefore I can spot the ugly ones!

    Seriously, anyone who ascribes a sort of blanket designation of “sensuous beauty”, or “dreary ugliness” to any particular nation (except Uzbekistan) is clearly wandering around with very selective vision.
    Go and take a walk through your local pasar. Take a look at the ibu2 there, and even at the gadis kapung, and tell me honestly that you’re surrounded by any more “fragrant sensuousness” than you would be in an Aussie or English supermarket.

    That this stuff is entirely in the eye of the beholder ought to be obvious to anyone who’s ever talked to the Indonesian “man on the street” about “the girls in your country”. Those hulking spotty beasts in Bali that leave David shuddering would have the average Indonesian male slack-jawed with hand straying crotch-wards. And then don’t forget the endless Indonesian consternation at the alleged fact that the resident bules always go for the ugly black girls…
    (An interesting question is just how much these ideas – “Asian girls” as all beautiful/white girls as all super-sexy – are fuelled by underlying orientalist conceptions of a sensuously sexualised east on the one hand, and on the other an occidentalist fantasy of wild free sex where you can be asking any girl and she will be f*cking… but I think I’ll leave that tangent alone for now).

    Purely in terms of personal opinion I’d say that young Southeast Asians, both male and female, are often very beautiful in a soft kind of way, and probably have the edge on their western counterparts. But once you head towards a more mature age the balance tips back the other way. Atrocious diet, zero exercise and endless recourse to dubious beauty products probably has something to do with that; so does not having the bone structure to support an aging complexion, I guess.
    On the flip side, size certainly counts against us bules. Just imagine if you could scale up those ibu2 in the pasar up to full European height – now that’s a scary thought…

    Apparantly I’m rambling in a thoroughly illiberal fashion, so I round off with a little something from history.
    A VOC governor-general once complained that the only Hollanders who actually wanted to work in the East Indies were “the scum of the earth”, and no decent white girls ever shipped out east. As a consequence the early generations “made do” locally, and by the 18th century there were huge mixed race Indon-European populations in all the major towns. It was from their ranks that the colonial wives were usually drawn. European visitors passing through and not in need of a wife were generally unimpressed:

    Women of fifty, in Europe, look younger and fresher than those of thirty in Batavia… Beauties must not be sought amongst them; the handsomest would scarcely be thought middling in Europe…

    The one point that counted in their favour, apparently, was that they had “very supple joints”…
    They were slightly more impressed by the native women, who were “proportionally more comely than the men, and are very fond of white men.” Still, it paid to be cautious:

    They are jealous in the extreme, and know how to make a European, with whom they have had a love-affair, and who proves inconstant, dearly repent his incontinence and his fickleness, by administering certain drugs, which disqualify him for the repetition of either. People of the utmost credibility at Batavia have related too many examples of this refinement of female revenge, to render the circumstance doubtful.

    Plus ça change, as they say…

    • avatar David says:

      I didn’t exactly mean all Australians, I meant “a certain type of Australian” which I think of as the Bali going type, whether this would hold up to thorough scrutiny I don’t know if you did a demographic study of it, but anyway I’m thinking Anglo+ocker+lower middle class, to spell it out, by lower middle class I mean in a sort of cultural sense not economic because you might be a tradesman but you work on a mining project and get paid $$$$$$ so you’re not really working class economically but culturally probably.

      It’s probably a lot to do with how they’re dressed as well, can’t believe they actually get on the aeroplane looking like that..

      If I walk around the CBD in Melbourne or some malls I do have selective vision, it’s for the very attractive women, there are loads of them certainly, so.

      Not exactly relevant but your Tube anecdote made me think of my returning to oz after having spent a year in London, walked into the parents’ house and was immediately struck by the brightness of the walls, so asked them if they’d had them painted, but they hadn’t, I just wasn’t used to the cleanliness and brightness. Mind you I lived in dumps in London so don’t exactly have wide experience there.

      • avatar timdog says:

        Oh I hear what you’re saying, David, and I personally find the sight of the anglo-saxon race at play on the beach a particularly disturbing one. And specifically when it comes to Bali, how can these people not understand that hair braids are for black women only? They look truly horrific, without exception, on bules… 😉

        But the fact is that your average Indonesian bloke would still, with absolute sincerity, have been misty eyed at all the “sexy ladies” if he’d been sitting next to you in that same airport lounge. And he’d still have been all contemptuous bafflememt if during his visit to Bali he’d spotted some of the resident super-kaya bules with “ugly black kampungan” women on their arms.

        Even in the extremes, this stuff is in the eye of the beholder.

        On the other thing, a dump in a cold damp climate is much more depressing than a dump in a bright and breezy one. I mentioned a certain flat in Dee-Why the other day; now that truly was a dump, but with sea and sunshine just outside the door the cockroaches, empty beer bottles and cigarette burns on the sagging sofa were noway near as grim as they would have been if there was an endless vista of wet greyness beyond the door…
        I don’t like London much myself. There’s a sort of pervasive dirtiness to it that they just can’t wash out no matter how much they improve the refuse collection and street cleaning….

        • avatar Lairedion says:

          I personally find the sight of the anglo-saxon race at play on the beach a particularly disturbing one.

          Quoted for truth. And it doesn’t matter what beach, Kuta or Mallorca/Andalusia. :-)

  6. avatar timdog says:

    And then walking around Kuta, you pick up snippets of conversations, …aww yeah and then some Indo bitch and her bloody kids.. – still remember that one.

    My favourite was overheard in a Kuta Circle K – “Hey, you got any of that Balinese money? I’ve only got dollars…”

    I’m also fascinated by the “tourist pidgin” version of Indonesian you get in Bali, especially amongst the surfers – “Apa kabar, mate?” “Bagus bagus!”, “Bagus Bagus ombak di Uluwatu hari ini! Jiggy-jig!” You could actually do a serious study of that.

    And I find the Bali expats fascinating and hilarious. In other parts of the country there are some fairly seedy bules with about as much innate cultural sensitivity as Ghengis Khan, and all the active interest in the country in which they find themselves of a Kuta piss-head, but who, through circumstances, are remarkably well assimilated, who speak Indonesian decently, and who actually know – through passive exposure probably – a good deal about what’s going on around them.

    In Ubud, meanwhile, there are ostentatious white folks who’ve been camped out there for 30 years, who are self-proclaimed connoisseurs of gamelan and dance-drama, who like to reference Walter Spies in every conversation, and who talk endlessly about the sensuous spirituality of the culture surrounding them.

    Their Indonesian stretches just about as far as an excruciating “Satoo martini laggee” between English conversations about art in Naughty Nuri’s warung…

  7. avatar Oigal says:

    Oh Timdog and David :-) What fun we could now have… I could have sworn I was on that silly but hugmonous D-I-G thread. However I cannot let it pass, like a trout rising to a fly…

    they had “very supple joints”

    Purely for research purposes of course, I have chanced upon David’s Indonesia Girls Dating link. It was curious how many girls described themselves as “Open minded, attractive and supple” mmmm :-)

    cultural sense not economic because you might be a tradesman but you work on a mining project and get paid $$$$$$ so you’re not really working class economically but culturally probably.

    Aww now that’s a bit tough, I come from a blue collar background and while I might be pushed to name a dozen pieces of classical music and do tend to fit a few more “bloody” into conversation than you would hear at the GG cocktail night. I would venture that I am more culturally attuned than 95% than the higher end social twits swirling around Ubud (Oh call me Made’).

    • avatar David says:

      Aww now that’s a bit tough, I come from a blue collar background and while I might be pushed to name a dozen pieces of classical music and do tend to fit a few more “bloody” into conversation than you would hear at the GG cocktail night. I would venture that I am more culturally attuned than 95% than the higher end social twits swirling around Ubud (Oh call me Made’).

      The people I’m talking about are me in a sense, that is my background as well, I just drifted away from it or wasn’t that much of a good fit; nothing wrong with being working class economically/culturally or both, my err leanings have me regarding the university educated well dressed types with horror and loathing, it’s just in Bali, where admittedly they’re often just having a piss up holiday so can’t expect wonderful behaviour or appearance, that I’m just struck by the other lot’s peculiarities.

  8. avatar berlian biru says:

    Why are we picking on the Anglo-Saxons? I’m in Bali at the moment and trust me the Scandinavians, Russians, Germans and if it comes to that the newly arrived Chinese won’t be winning any beauty competitions any time soon.

    I do agree though that it’s a toss up who are the more irritating the Bir Bintang singlet wearing bogan (is that the correct term?) tourists or the long term expats single-mindedly busting their balls trying to make it clear that they aren’t tourists.

    But hey listen, when did we judge people by seaside resorts, Tenerife, Blackpool, Atlantic City don’t show off their visitors to their best effect and if it comes to that I would hate like hell for foreigners to judge Indonesia by the sights at Anyer or Ancol on a holiday afternoon.

  9. avatar berlian biru says:

    Oh and while I’m at it, I remember the “yeah they’re hot looking now but wait until they’re middle aged then see how they end up” remarks as a youth holidaying in Spain, Greece or Italy, the implication being that those delightful young Latinas grew up into the massive ol’ biddies and crones in the marketplaces.

    For some odd reason that always seemed convincing but in hindsight looking at the truly dreadful state of middle-aged and elderly women in the UK and Ireland I can’t imagine what sort of gorgeous “cougar”-like elderly women inhabited my fevered brain back then.

  10. avatar diego says:

    I guess some people here will like this : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3PFcwThRMx8&feature=related


  11. avatar ET says:

    After all the years I’ve spent on the island I’m beginning to get the knack of immediately guessing where tourists come from, even before I hear them speak.
    Although in the clothing department – including dreadlocks, tattoos etc. – they may stick out like a sore thumb, the Aussies are certainly not the most obnoxious or pretentious holiday makers in Bali. This title goes undoubtedly to the Anglo-Americans. The majority of Australians come across as easy going, friendly and generous, be it somewhat boisterous and sloppy. Only when they get inebriated they often become a pain in the ass, acting like Bali is an extension of their homeland and supposing everyone else’s reason for being here is to join in the pub crawling booze frenzy. But what I find particularly annoying is their taking for granted that each bule should speak English fluently and has no difficulties in understanding their – let’s admit it rather incomprehensible – accent, mumbling and lingo. Believe me or not, in order to get around I even bought The Penguin Book of Australian Slang, A Dinkum Guide to Oz English.

  12. avatar SP says:

    One shock is hearing your own accent for the first time… and realising how nasal a performance it can be in the palate of a strine-master.

    The mining boom, and the generally strong economy (although these things are relative), together with the stronger $AU and cheaper flights means that international (or is it domestic?) travel is affordable to every “bogan”.

    My impression is that Bali has become an annual migration, almost as if the pubs are empty at home and new fresh drinking holes, possibly to help fuel the mating rituals of the neu-faux riche are sought. And, just as Lone Pine at Gallopoli has become a cheap nationalistic “hajj”, so in a sense has the monument in Denpasar.
    The people going there now are probably just following the lead of the end of season footy trip, several of which were present when the Bali Bomb occurred.

    If the Bali bombing had happened in Sanur…

    Before they are allowed to depart the Australian Govt. should really require that they undergo some kind of behavioural counselling … a bit like those from the kampung, before getting on the plane to Mecca.

    Then again, shame is not a fashionable behaviour/emotion in the just do it, be now, me culture.

  13. avatar Mauricio says:

    That’s a pretty rough and broad brush, there, Timdog. Some of the Ubud-based expats introduce budding travel writers to Ubud-based editors of the major English language newspapers in the country.

  14. avatar Lairedion says:

    Testing over here as my comments on IM seem to get autodeleted for spme reason…

  15. avatar Lairedion says:

    Hmm tried it again on the main site but to no avail. Browser puts me back at the top of the page.

    Yup Happy New Year too.. 😉

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