Monday, August 22, 2005

Mourning for Bali

Another Australian has been arrested for drug possession in Bali. Fortunately she is a gorgeous Adelaide model so publicity is guaranteed. This girl is accused of having two ecstasy tablets in her bag at a party in Kuta - two little tabs wrapped up in a piece of paper. Now, one does not know if she is guilty or not - only that both the girl and the tabs were in the same place at the same time. In Kuta.
As far as I am concerned, people who go to Kuta are not going to Bali at all. They are going to sleazy night clubs and boozy parties. They may as well go to the sleaze streets in their own cities. They are all much of a muchness. Kuta is a ghetto of the worst of Western decadence. It is a tropical dive in which inane young people indulge in excesses they would not contemplate at home. There are not so many Balinese left in Kuta. The Javanese long since have moved in to extract their pound of flesh. They are Moslems and far less tolerant of Western immorality than the Hindu Balinese. Not that the Balinese approve of the behaviour of the guests in their country. They are just very polite. I have heard them, though, the girls scrubbing clothes at the well, laughing about how appalling they find some of the Westerners. The joy of learning their language was being able to eavesdrop on just such commentary.
I have not been to Kuta in aeons. The last time I went, I was simply sad and disgusted. It is a place to avoid. A clamour of pestilent hawkers and strips of loud and crude booze joints.
And the people who choose the cheap Kuta holiday tend to be the worst kind of tourist. They are not interested in the profound culture of the island, only in their own base, narcissistic urges.
The absurdity of it is that Bali itself is the ultimate drug - if only those morons had the wherewithall to clue up. Bali is a wonderment in itself. It is as intense in sensory and spiritual stimuli as an acid trip. It has a strange power which it is happy to share. I know, because I miss it terribly.

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