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Intro — What is the mark of a bule? In this issue we talk a little trash, get a fresh haircut, eat trendy desserts and sit down with some of Bali’s quirky characters. We breathe a little foam dust and take some photos. We go surfing. But before we paddle out, let’s try an exercise. Take a quick look in the mirror, c’mon all of us. Did you get that ink here? Bonus points for a map of Bali or anything with waves. Are you wearing any Bintang merchandise? Driving a Honda Scoopy with your Deus Customs shirt flapping in the wind? Haviannas or Rainbows? How about bandages? Nice, reef or asphalt? Both? Strong work. Is your surf rack bent off your motorbike like a crooked elbow from hooking a pedestrian handbag or roadside tree? Do you ever dismount and impale your undercarriage? New board? Hypto or Dumpster? Don’t worry, it will be dinged up soon enough. Bali keeps us all rough around the edges that way. The mark of the Bule manifests in many forms. And there’s nothing wrong with what you wear, your ride, your greenhorn mistakes; it’s your opportunity to grow and enjoy yourself here. The important thing to remember is we are outsiders, guests in a land of adventure that exists in a fragile balance. It’s so easy to fall in love with this enchanted island, but there are heartbreaks in this relationship. We’re poisoning the ground water, choking the air with pollution and overdeveloping the land. We’re fast approaching a critical mass in many of these areas. Some would argue we’re already there. We’re quick to fault the Balinese for mismanaging their home, but the truth is we are all part of the crisis. And that presents a most exciting prospect, because we can all be part of the solution. We must assume ownership of the problems we ourselves perpetuate, and extend a helping hand in place of a pointed finger. We’re still holding up the mirror. Let’s take a closer look. – Bali Belly

Bali Belly Issue 005