Thursday, January 01, 2015

Millions and millions and millions of rupiah

Counting out the shekels too see if we need to make another trip to the ATM. How the machines store an adequate supply of bills is beyond me! 100000 rupiah amounts to about $10.00, the price of a mumu or a glass of bad wine.

Bills out of the ATM aren't too bad. What you get for change in the stores is worn almost to shreds. Barely lasting for one more transaction, the bills feel as fragile as tissue paper. Occasionally we get a few coins that we leave behind; they aren't worth toting around.

Few things are a bargain in Bali anymore. Finally the pall of the bombings so long ago has lifted and the Australians are back in large numbers. Now that gasoline subsidies have been withdrawn, the hospitality sector here will have to compete with the rest of the world for tourist dollars on the strength of the personal warmth of the Balinese, the beauty of the countryside and rice fields; the unique Balinese architecture used in hotels and villas; the fascinating culture and the spiritual allure the island offers. Bali fever grips some people permanently; they never get over it and no matter the millions and millions of rupiah it requires to visit, they'll return over and over again. 

To us as casual observers conditions in Candidasa have improved. Fewer people are hawking things on the street. There are still drivers asking you "Transport?" on every block and the sunglass salesmen are out in full force. But....far fewer dogs run around loose, the streets are cleaner, the cars and motorbikes are newer. 

We wonder how the AirAsia disaster will affect tourist numbers. Everywhere we go television sets are tuned to the channels showing flower draped coffins and messages from various officials.

We'll see how conditions look in Ubud and Tanah Lot. Goodbye Candidasa.

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