Bali, particularly for an introvert, is very difficult. I’ve had to leave the Hotel in “time blocks”, so I can have a break between dealing with the public. I feel like a celebrity, constantly having people vie for my attention, to talk to them, look at their stuff. Kids run up to the Taxi window in the middle of incredibly busy traffic, attempting to sell you bracelets or handing out pamphlets. Everyone is selling, all of the time.
I really, really enjoyed going into nature, seeing animals, exploring rice fields and volcanoes.
But it doesn’t make up for the crap. I miss cleanliness, no cars beeping, being left alone on the street and in stores, knowing the price without adding in the ‘tip’, 10% tax and 5% service fee or bartering, fresh and clean water, safe showers, proper pathways and roads, safe buildings and salads!
I think some Balinese, particularly those with jobs in service, are really, really lovely. So kind and friendly, in a genuine way. But is that enough? I realise this may offend Balinese people, but it’s my opinion. Sure, there are nice bits of green, but there’s so much ‘other stuff’. Even little villages are filled with rubbish.
I would say, that I don’t like Bali that much.
- When I walk around with my partner, locals call him “Boss” and talk only to him. They ignore me for the most part, even though I’m carrying the money. When I walk around without my partner, those same men become seedy and touchy.
- You literally cannot walk more than two metres without being pestered or harassed. Everyone on the street wants you to look in their shop despite all selling the same thing. Or hire out transport. Or get you in their restaurant.
- You are constantly ‘beeped’ at by Taxis wanting to offer a ride. If you catch the wrong kind, they’ll try to rip you off.
- There isn’t much salad, and when you eat it you get sick because it’s grown with dirty water and cleaned with dirty water.
- Most food is super oily.
- Nothing is truly sanitary! Sure, some people may wash their hands, but do they use soap? My partner is throwing up in the toilet, so I’m being particularly thorough with my hand washing. But is there a point when the water is filled with Bali-Belly-Inducing gunk? I’m washing Bali Belly off me, by washing self in Bali Belly.
- The water issue means everyone lives off bottled water. The huge amount of plastic adds to the problem of rubbish in Bali. I don’t believe there’s any rubbish collection, or even bins on the street.
- It’s not even cheap! Meals are only a few dollars less, with less healthy options. This works out the same, anyway, because of the small serves. I get tired of bartering and being followed at every store. I wanted to buy 4 shitty dresses today, and the guy started the barter at R700,000 and wouldn’t go below R350,000. I could get better quality for cheaper at home. Every item I’ve purchased in Bali has torn – a pair of pants tore when I was at my cooking class and I didn’t notice until the end. I am quite sure that I spent the entire cooking class like this – a tear from back to mid thigh, exposing my bum and thighs.