On our very first trip to Bali, we were extremely excited about everything. Since we’ve never been to Indonesia before at all, we all expected it be a once in a lifetime journey. The reason we chose to take a Bali tour was because I was in love with the island ever since I first saw a documentary about Bali, it’s temples, nature, religion and everything that makes it a paradise on earth.
I knew we were going to have a great time, but I really didn’t expect that I’ll end up perceiving myself as a mean western tourist. So, here’s a funny story.
We got picked up by our driver from in Tuban, as we were planning to head to Candidasa. The trip started well, we were all in a great mood, even though the traffic jams were often, so we had to make stops every once in a while. Somewhere along the way, on the road, still amongst traffic, there was this boy holding a wad of newspapers, which I imagine no one would think anything strange of it, but I did, because I never saw that before. I mean, I did see people doing and selling all kinds of things by the road to drivers, but never in my life have I seen anyone selling newspapers. Ok, washing windscreens in Joondalup in Perth yeah, but newspapers?? Oh well, then I thought nothing special about it, as we continued, only registered it as peculiar.
Anyway, we stopped at light, since the jam broke, and that guy got right up close to my window. He started knocking on the window, so me being a bit naive, I went and opened my window. And that was my first mistake.
He asked me where I was from, so I responded that I’m coming from Australia, and then just like that, he pulled right out of the middle of the pack a West Australian newspaper. What a coincidence, I thought rather amused and ironic at the same time. I figured I might as well check out what’s going on back home. I asked how much it was, he sad 4.50 RP, so I started fumbling about in my bag looking for change of exact amount, but at that moment the traffic lights changed. And we went on!
I haven’t paid and I started thinking frantically how I’ll end up in a Bali prison because I stole a newspaper, which was the dumbest reason anyone should go to prison for. I turned around and I saw the guy running alongside us for about 100 meters, or even more, keeping up right to our tail. He could easily compete in the Olympics, that’s how fast he was. His face was red and was shaking due to the speed he was running, amongst all the traffic. He definitely didn’t need a moped.
As he was running after us, he was constantly yelling "Boss! Boss! Wait! Money!" and I really felt sorry for him. But then we had to stop because we entered in yet another traffic jam, which I was thankful for at that particular moment.
By that point I was able to find the money I needed, so I opened the window and handed it to him, when he came up to the window again. I felt so relieved because I really felt bad for him, since that was what he was doing for a living, and god knows how much he could even earn like that.
Luckily, it all ended well for the boy. I was so basking in my relief, that, at first, I didn’t even remember to look at the date. The next day saw that it was 22nd of December, a month earlier! I became annoyed, and than even started thinking about the price, because let me tell you, the 4.50 RP for a newspaper is a rip off!
But, at the end of the day, even though I got scammed, I’m glad my conscience is clear, and that at least I’m left with a great story to tell.