They're swarming.....

Trip Start Jul 05, 2011
Trip End Jul 29, 2011

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Flag of Indonesia  , Bali,
Thursday, July 7, 2011

Decide to spend a couple more days near the beach….largely because of this friend of a friend I want to meet…and then of course, there's the beach. And she’s great….owns an upscale massage spa and offers me a massage by Made….the place is beautiful (Jari Menari if you’re ever in the neighborhood)…it’s put together with thought and loving care.  And the treatment really gets the flight muscles out of my body….afterwards we visit Uluwatu (a temple on the cliffs above the ocean).   It’s dominated by monkeys….they’re in a finely tuned symbiotic relationship with the local men whose job it is to get your stuff back for you after the monkeys swipe it…all for a fee.  We end the day with an ex-pat dinner/birthday celebration…always fascinates me to see what brings/keeps people in a country other than their own and why they never go back.

I explore the beach the next day but learn pretty quickly that Americans aren’t the only ones who can be ugly tourists…this place is swarming with Australians…someone said there are 75 flights/week from Australia to Bali.  And on holiday, I’m sure I’m not getting them at their finest….time to leave when there are more vacationers than locals…….off to Ubud.

But let’s talk about some environmental concerns for a minute.  Because it’s easy to worry about what appears to be happening here.   We’ve got an island…finite land area…limited water supply…inadequate waste treatment.  Far too many people and LOTS OF GARBAGE PRODUCED…and no good place to put it..unless you consider 'over the edge' a good place.   And construction continues….seems there are no high…build right on the beach….build it and the tourists will flock…and consume…and make more trash.  

That question about what happens to all the old offerings is a good one.  Today’s beautiful expression is tomorrows waste.  But at least offerings are largely natural materials…except for the spare piece of candy wrapped in plastic…mostly flower petals, leaves, bananas, palms, inscence….easily broken down.  But still trash …worse yet are the more noxious forms of trash

In so many ways, the paradise that is the essence of Bali is becoming destroyed by its magnetism.   I don’t believe that the island has set limits to growth….or limits to foreign investment (and there are always ways around those).   Somewhat like a microcosm of the world at large.  When I see tourists circling a dressed up little monkey on a chain doing it's monkey thing on the hot sidewalk, it moves me.   And when I walk by some hedonistic resort with mountains of trash piled high out back, Im saddened.  So where is all this headed?  Personally, I think water will provide the ultimate limit.  Altho i heard that the son of some politician is building a desalinization plant near the tourist area....plenty of water to desalinate.   Reflections of Easter Island....hopefully Bali will find it's own way... 
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