A family abroad

September 20th, 2010 September 20, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — mcchez @ 10:18 pm

Letter from Bali – III

There is an eclectic mix in today’s ramblings.  If time permits we might touch the staff… question, bathe in the subject of Indonesian toilets, sneak a visit to immigration and visas, fill up on the rice question, renew our acquaintance with energy and, since that is quite the workout, give the doctor a visit.  We’ll see how far we get…

We begin with a brief mention of staff.  Staff are a feature of the expat experience in this country.  It is a coin with two sides.

The benefits are obvious: Cooking dinners?  Doing dishes?  Making beds?  Cleaning toilets?   Truth be told I have scarcely ever done any of these things!  Bali, however, has transformed me into an even lazier bugger.   Let the rest of humanity fret over the laundry –  I have moved on.  I hardly wipe my own arse anymore.

Meet the staff



September 4th, 2010 September 4, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — mcchez @ 8:41 pm

Letter from Bali – II

And jungle greetings to you all!

My buddy Ketut

It was only after about one week that the novelty began to, statistically, seem less like coincidence and more like a bizarre ritual or national joke invented to make fun with the tourists.  Presumably at some future date, when judged worthy, the Balinese would let me into the secret.  What was going on?  Well, as one carts around a family in the jungle you find yourself using a lot of taxis.  These fine fellows take pride in pushing a business card into your hand with the hope of repeat trade and you begin to amass a fair pile.  “Ketut – Good Drive and speak ok inglish”  “Putu – Tour and taxi for you!” – “Made – Driver you choose” etc..  The point, though, is there was no “etc.”.  Yes the cards kept coming, ten, twenty, and the resume had its variations but the name at the top?, the driver’s name?  “Putu” (Pronounced Poo Two, to much amusement), “Made” (Mad Eh?), “Ketut” (Kay Toot – yes very funny too boys, settle down).  And then the school; it wasn’t just the drivers.  Head of admissions – Putue, a lady this time, and back at the ranch we had the staff – “Hello Made”, and and and and…  I exaggerate a little , there were three or four more, but you get the point, and here is the reason: