Only a few days left in Bali! It’s been unreal that this paradise has been my home for the last 6 months. It hasn’t been all smooth sailing though…
Here are the top 10 things I hate about Bali…
- Traffic – Everyday it feels like I’m in one big game of Mario Kart. You have to constantly be on the lookout for aggressive drivers on bikes/scooters, aggressive drivers in cars who drive like they’re on bikes, potholes the size of manholes and construction/garbage trucks that always spill their cargo on the road. Not to mention the fact that there is no Air Care here which means it’s a regular occurrence to drive through huge black clouds of exhaust fumes. Despite the fact that there are traffic lights here (when you can find them since they are regularly hidden by trees or 15 ft. back from the intersection), most drivers seem to consider them as suggestions and only follow them 50% of the time. Also, forget driving during 8-9am, 3-6pm, and 10-11pm – traffic is at standstill at most major roads (Sunset, Seminyak, Kerobokan, Merthandi, and Bypass).
- Slow internet connection – If you’re lucky, and I’m talking extremely lucky, you’ll be able to find 1Mbps for internet speed. If you’re unlucky, like 99% of the population, the fastest speed you’ll be able to get is about half that. If you’re a homeowner and would like internet at home, expect to shell out anywhere from $60-$700(!!!!) depending on the speed you want.
- No hot water – I’ve been living without hot water the entire time I’ve been here and despite Bali being a tropical, humid climate, there are several times when you just want a hot shower! Especially if you just spent 20 mins riding through freezing rain. And yes, I could have spent a couple more hundred bucks a month to have hot water but even that isn’t reliable. If an upscale place like the W Hotel has constant hot water problems, I’m positive a koskosan would have them as well.
- Lawlessness – Rules are for chumps and poor people. Traffic lights are suggestions. Anything is possible here as long as you pay off the right person.
- Corrupt officials – Don’t trust any authority figure here as they will try to rip you off. Cops will constantly pull over bules (foreigners) for the slightest infractions and threaten them with a ticket, court date or even jail in order to make some money. Same thing with immigration officials, custom officers and the like. This brings me to my next point…
- Everyone trying to rip you off – It doesn’t matter if you’re a local or a bule, you will still get ripped off. I’m not even sure family members are immune from this.
- Bureaucratic BS – If you ever need to get anything official done, like renew your visa or sort out your immigration problems, have fun! Rules are archaic, inefficient and ever-changing. You can follow every process and every step and still something will be wrong with your application.
- Pollution – There is a complete disregard for the environment here. This paradise island is slowly dying to the amount of waste and pollution. Obnoxious tourists, who would never litter back home, have no problem littering here. Locals will throw their garbage anywhere and everywhere. The garbage will clog the ditches which causes the roads to flood whenever it rains. The garbage also finds its way to the beaches and ocean. There’s next to no recycling and you can forget about Air Care. You can’t completely fault the locals however as environmental care has never been in their culture or upbringing. That’s something that needs to change in their education system.
- Lack of professional pride – No one cares about their jobs enough to do a good job. Walk into any store and you can find the staff standing around gossiping and chatting. Beyond a quick hello, expect no help until you have to ask for it. Forget special requests, the answer will always be NO – not because they can’t do it but because they don’t want to spend the extra time to make it happen. Countless friends who have staff have mentioned that unless they are there to micromanage every move, nothing will ever get done. The moment they leave the office or their home, the staff will immediately cease working. Also, no one is empowered to make any decisions. They always pass the buck to someone else who passes the buck to someone else and so forth. You could talk to 4 or 5 people before you find someone who has the answer to your problem. If I were to go on a hiring spree here, I would only hire 5 people. That’s the amount of people that have impressed me with their work ethic the entire time I’ve been here.
- Lack of sanitation/hygiene – B.O is not a good smell. Ever. Oh, and I would appreciate it if you washed your hands before you prepare my food. Thanks.
And lest you think that I completely hate this place (which is the furthest from the truth), stay tuned for my next post about the top 11 things I love about Bali. And yes, it’s 11 because the positives always have to outweigh the negatives.