This post won't make sense unless you first read Carolyn Webb's magnificent piece on Bali entitled “I went to a foreign place and it wasn't like where I live. I hate the world, by Carolyn Webb” (I think that was the title—I could be paraphrasing.) It's here: http://www.theage.com.au/travel/travel-news/bali-why-bother-20111024-1mf...
Thank you, Carolyn Webb for saying what we've all been thinking.
Those Balinese are a brown lot, full of accents and rice and just damn otherness. Ugh. How revolting. I'll bet none of them have ever been to a Golden Door retreat or taken a limo to the Melbourne Cup. But Carolyn Webb is the first one brave enough to say it out loud.
Why the hell can't the rest of the world be just like us? And if it's not exactly like us, why can't it be perfect and why can't the foreign people learn my culture instead of me learning theirs? For crying out loud, I made the effort to come visit them, the least they could do is learn to speak without an accent. (“Miiiiisss, miiiiisss”, ha ha ha! Carolyn! You're so right! They DO say it funny!)
Thank god we've got Carolyn to defend us white western women who are scared of brown people who talk to them. I completely freak out in Bali when I'm asked if I want a taxi. I know I could just keep walking, acknowledge that it's a bit annoying and toddle off to my private villa, but honestly, it's not that simple. The brown people talk to me and my imagination goes haywire. I have an over-developed-victim-trigger-response (I blame my mother), so every time someone looks at me, I default to defenceless, helpless, weepiness. It's all I can do to find somewhere that sells good mojitos and calm down again. None of this is my fault, the brown people should know this. We got rid of them where I live, thank God. I live in Fitzroy and we were so scared of Aboriginal people hanging out on Smith Street (they drank alcohol!) that we passed a law to make them go away. Phew!
And don't listen to a damn thing Andrew Bolt says, there are still brown Aboriginal people out there and sometimes they will look at you and sometimes they will ask you questions. And it horrifies me.
Although, I'm really disappointed that I didn't know that the only women who get on the back of a motorcycle are prostitutes. I've been getting on the back of motorbikes in Bali for ages and stupid me, I've been paying the driver. Little did I know I was supposed to be earning money. Bloody hell, if I'd known I could have turned my Bali trips into Bali tricks, I would have been legs akimbo ages ago.