Lies, the Devalued Currency of Politics

Lies, the Devalued Currency of Politics We expect our friends to tell the truth, because it forms the core of trust. We are disappointed if they deceive us and betray that trust. We expect a little less of big business, knowing that the “truth” for them is sometimes a malleable commodity. But we can still […]

Frontier Bali, with an Eye on the ‘Elderly’

By Vyt Karazija Bali’s grand plan for tourism seems to be a bit of a dog’s breakfast. It doesn’t really seem to be a plan as such – it’s more a series of somewhat reactive slogans that sound plausible until they need to actually be implemented. For years, the driving principle seemed to be “let’s […]

Bali as Jakarta’s Cash Cow

By Vyt Karazija Bali’s popular and caring governor, I Made Mangku Pastika, is again in the news as being concerned about the effect of tourism on the island. “Tourism has been a disaster for the poor,” he said. The number of people living in poverty in Bali has jumped by 17,000 to 183,000 over the […]

Driving Away With a Dream

By Vyt Karazija Her eyes are alight and she is suffused with a joy that I have rarely seen before. Her usually stoic nature is transformed by the radiance that today illuminates her spirit, spilling on to those around her. She has worked very hard for years, rarely complaining, and constantly dreams of being able […]

Do Smart Phones Make You Smarter?

By Vyt Karazija I resisted. God, how I resisted. I kept saying to anyone who would listen, “Why would anyone need a fancy phone that lets you get emails, access Twitter and Facebook and surf the web – no matter where you are?” I would proudly show off my little dinosaur of a Nokia that […]

Gaga Saga Is Over, but Same Old Song Is Sung

By Vyt Karazija The shouting, threats and moralising are over. The vicious little thugs of the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) got their way, of course – there is no one left in Indonesia with the balls to stand up to these extortionists. They employed their usual tactics – threats, the promise of violence and lies […]

On the Fast-Track Out

By Vyt Karazija Knowing that I could not travel for a few months, I grudgingly surrendered my passport and soon-to-be-expired KITAS residency permit to the Immigration office. Of course the usual raft of paperwork had to accompany this, including solemn written promises that I will employ Indonesian staff, that I will live in an approved […]

A Bali Urchin’s Early Start to Unreal Expectations

By Vyt Karazija The tourist wheels into the coffee shop at a pace faster than is customary in Bali. His face, though kindly, is flushed with a tinge of annoyance and a hint of desperation as he takes his seat. Two steps behind him is a street urchin, stridently yelling, his face contorted and streaked with […]