PRISON I stabbed a guy. He's actually my good friend. But I gave him a scar for life and I went to jail. My daughter was a tiny baby at the time and my wife had no money because the restaurant was closed. She had to drive to Kuta every day to bring me something to eat. Every time they brought the food into the jail I had to share with everybody. I slept in a small room with 20 other people. Because I was a bule (westerner) they wouldn't beat me up. But anyone else who comes in, it's a ritual to beat the fuck out of them. The guard says, don't do this, don't do that – with a big smirk.
THE SYSTEM If you can't set up a deal with the cops in 21 days and get out, you go to court. Now you're in the system. Now you're official. I had some friends who were Balinese and connected. Around week number two and a half, they came in and grabbed the guy who I stabbed and told him, if you don't drop the charges right now
you're leaving Bali and not coming back. So he dropped the charges.
what my parents didn't give me.
FIRE MADE LANA He has something with Uluwatu. It's hard to explain. It's like Gerry Lopez and Pipeline; they have a connection. I'm always talking with my daughter about this because she says she wants to surf like Made Lana. The guy has the best backside style. He's so relaxed; he doesn't really care. He's comfortable with his lifestyle. He doesn't have to prove nothing. He just goes out and surfs.
FATHERHOOD I've been a single parent since she was a baby. When my daughter was born I was an addict. I decided I had to get my shit together. For ten years I didn't have a drink. I stayed clean and got back to doing what I do, big wave surfing at Uluwatu. Now I live a simple life. I work very hard and stay disciplined. She's gotta go to international private school. I want to give her a future. I want to give her
I got a phone call at six in the morning and they told me, your restaurant is on fire. I got over there and life was over. All I had left was me and my daughter. Every single thing I owned was destroyed; I didn't have insurance. Everybody came to me said, don’t worry, we're gonna get you back on your feet. They did a surfboard auction for me; people auctioned off paintings; they did a fundraiser and made the biggest party I've ever seen at the Uluwatu Surf Villas. There were so many people who helped us. I still can't believe it. Now when I leave my house, all the time I stop the car and go in reverse. I have to go back inside and make sure the gas is off and everything is unplugged. It happens to me at least five times a week. It's like obsessive compulsive. I can't help it.
WOMEN'S SURFING I am fully behind it, but it's hard to find support for the women surfers. This is the
strangest country. You have a woman elected president (Megawati) – we've never had that in America – but there's no support when it comes to women's surfing in Indonesia. It's hard to find sponsorship and there's no women's division at a lot of the contests. Sometimes my daughter and I will go to one of the grom contests and she will be the only girl. We need to change that. I want to give my daughter an opportunity in the surfing world.
INDONESIA Indonesia has been good to me. And the Balinese have been very good to me. A loser like me can be a millionaire here. I live like a millionaire. What I make here, I better not even bring that money to America. I might as well bring toilet paper. Because rupiah has no value in America. Over there I would be a waiter or something, working for somebody else from 9 to 5. But over here I'm a boss. And I have the opportunity to surf the most beautiful waves. For that I will always be grateful.
Bali Belly is an independent youth culture magazine based in Bali, Indonesia.