BaliNovember 1, 2012 at 10:43 am | Posted in Mind, People, Recreation, Society, Threats | 9 Comments
Tags: asperger, aspergers, aspie, Bali, holiday, nightmare, poem
There’s a high chance you won’t like Bali.
The reasons are almost too numerous to describe, but here are a few.
When you land at the airport and stare bewildered at the queues, an airport official will spot your distress and approach.
But instead of helping you, he’ll extort money from you to ‘process’ your passport.
When he snatches your documents and vanishes through a door, leaving you to the hostile stares of a thousand angry, sweaty tourists, you’ll know the true meaning of fear.
If you get your passport back, another trial awaits.
When you see the luggage carousel with nothing on it, it’s not because your bag hasn’t been unloaded.
Rather, it has been taken hostage by a local ‘handler’ who also demands payment to give it back.
Then he’ll want to carry it for you. More exhortations for money.
Next, a deafening gauntlet of currency changers will harangue you for custom.
Next, the taxi driver who beats all the others to you will drive you through a sea of humanity moiling on packed, narrow streets with smashed, gaping footpaths.
On arrival, he won’t be able to change your smallest banknote, forcing you to give him a very large one.
When you finally gain the sanctuary of your villa, the close cries of rice farmers fending off birds will make you wonder what the hell you’re doing there.
Everyone told you Bali was wonderful, amazing.
But all you see is the chasm between rich and poor, and the endless devices of the latter to glean from the former.
You’d rather eat alone than have four staff fawn over your every mouthful.
You’d rather savour your accommodation in peace than traipse the steaming island to have temple monkeys claw out your eyes.
But if you stay put, the servile staff pile up at your door – desperate to please and stunned that you don’t enjoy lording it over them, like so many guests before.
They’ll get upset – though they hide it very well.
And the fact even you can detect their displeasure will make you realise how frighteningly deep it goes.
So you’ll get upset too, and feel trapped among foes.
And the positive feedback loop will continue.
Your sole, cold comfort (when the host, the receptionist, the gardener, the pool person, the path sweeper, the snake catcher, the house people, the deity offering preparer – and all their retainers – have finally left your compound) may be to transmute your pain and disappointment into searing, staccato verse:
I hate Bali
I hate Bali.
It is f*cked.
All the mopeds.
All the trucks.
All the bullsh*t.
All the scams.
Grin at me through
Take my money.
Plus plus plus.
(Plus plus plus plus,
Plus plus plus.)
Yes I am a
First World prick.
I deserve your
Third Class shtick.
Bend me over.
Call me ‘Sir’.
Now do her.
Charge us double.
Give us half.
Laugh and laugh.
Show us pictures
Of the sun.
Swipe our visas.
Wipe your bum.
All is fiction.
Bait and switch and
Steal steal steal.
Send us packing.
With your curse.
Now we see there’s
So much worse.
Dress your gods, but
Strip us bare.
Wish that we were
Despite your rage, you’ll know deep down that it’s not Bali’s fault.
This means the problem lies with you.
And the wait for your non-transferrable flight home will be very,