You’re a Guest Here, Behave Stranger!
About Dion Wicaksono
Hi. I'm Dion. Your trusted agent. I like music, drinking beers, reading books and writing stuffs.
That’s what I read on a t-shirt someone wore last weekend in Poppies Lane II when I was hanging out with my friends, enjoying a punk rock gig at Twice Cafe. It put a smile on my face, a big grin even, for the truth it conveys.
Other than Balinese, we’re all strangers here in this island. Some of us marry the locals, buy a big house, build another, start a business etc in an attempt to make Bali our home also. Some succeed. Some failed. Yet people keep pouring in to Bali: to experience its charm and magic; to heal a broken heart or to experience what it feels like; or simply to take the same journey Elizabeth Gilbert took in Eat, Pray, Love. Whatever.
We’re strangers here, yet many of us act like we own the place. No respect whatsoever. Manner gone awry. Australians act like bogans do, Americans act like rednecks do, Indonesians do what preman (Indonesia wise-guys) do and so on.
Whatever culture we’re from, at some point we’ve been taught to mind our manners. Smile is easy and saying ‘Thank You’ when its due is not that difficult. So what’s the problem? You can keep all the rudeness and profanity to yourself.
The Island of Gods has much to offer but it can offer only so much. The rest depends on how we carry ourselves.
On another level, it’s not about manner anymore. It’s about how we think of others. Some westerners act like landlords back in colonial days is not that uncommon. They give low salary to their employees (local Balinese or migrants from Java, Lombok or other places in Indonesia) who bust their ass of working day in-day out. Some pay a mere Rp.500000 for a month’s worth hard work and yet still able to argue that what they give is still higher than what their neighbor pay. I mean come on! Are you fuckin’ kidding me? Don’t they deserve more than that, for savings, for wiring it back home?
Bali is not a place for people with puffed-chess, forward thrusting-chin and downward gaze acting like the Lord of Universe. So, behave stranger, this ain’t your home!!!
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