Two months in Bali
It’s no suprise, that time flies by and it’s no different when you are travelling longtime. Our eight weeks here in Bali are ending tomorrow and although we didn’t know what to do with our time in the beginning, we ended up seeing a lot and time flew by pretty fast. Instagram gave us a lot of ideas what to see, but once we’ve landed in Bali we quickly realized, that these photo spots were not the ones we wanted to see.
Of course we did visit some of the hiped places, but after we got a good glimpse at the Insta crazy crowds with girls bringing different outfits just to sit on a swing or posing at a tiny waterfall as if they were Brooke Shields in Blue Lagoon, we tryed to steer clear of these places. It was amusing at times to watch these crowds but in the end we were conflicted by these unreal persons/images scattered over the internet and easily visible once you type in the searchword BALI on Google.
The reality is much different. The rice terraces (as Tegalalagan) are primarily there to attract and pamper tourists. There is trash and plastic everywhere. At the side of the road, in the backyards, on construction sites (the buildings go right on top of the trash), in the woods, at the beach, in the sea, in the water canals by the side of the road and in the ones used to water the rice fields and the rice fields themselves.
The locas burn their trash (wherever it is) regularly and the toxic fumes wander through the ricefields and drift across the villages. The majority of the local population is unaware of the fact, that these fumes are highly toxic and could be responsible for a lot of their illnesses. Also they are mostly unaware, that the plastic that drifts in the ocean finds its way back into their foodchain. We have talked to some locals that are aware of the fact and they are trying to educate others as good as they can, but without help from the governement and international companies, they won’t be able to change the behavior of their people. And let’s be honest - the masses of tourists do not help either….
There are international organizations like 4Ocean that are cleaning Balis beaches and try to stop waste entering the ocean and there are some Trash Hero projects within local communities which are a very good start. The situation in Bali is very similar to other countries we have visited in the past 16 months and this has contributed to our own education on the matter. Since travelling we have become more aware of our own behaviour and have realized how unaware of some facts we had been ourselves.
Growing up in Switzerland was like living in a bubble, where everything is taken care of and we don’t add to the worldwider problem. As we found out, that is absolutely not true and a lot of people in Switzerland are living in their perfect world where others are the source of the worlds trash problem but nut us no no no…. Through research, reading articles, whatching movies such as A Plastic Ocean, Cowspiracy and What the Health made us aware, that we all contribute to the problem - no matter where we life. Realizing that made us change our behaviour. We are mostly eating vegetarian, we buy large 19 liter bottles and refill our water bottles, we don’t buy groceries wrapped in plastic and we use our packpack to carry them home. Also we support www.sealegacy.org with a monthly amount. We try to do as much as we can while travelling and we encourage all of you to do the same.
Back to our Bali travel now. We have seen a lot during the past weeks and were fascinated by the balinese craftsmanship of statues, furniture, houses and tempels. We have visited a lot of tempels and museums. Have seen a lot of ceremonies and have met tons of happy and very friendly balinese people. All of our balinese Airbnb hosts and homestay families were a delight and we will keep them in our hearts. Also we have met a lot of traveles from around the world and expats living in Bali. All of them contributed to make our stay here very memorable.
Last but not least: Bali is our food heaven, when it comes to the variety and creativity of healthy foods. But it has to battle with Mexico of course 😉
Tomorrow our journey continues to Kuala Lumpur and from there by train to Bangkok. Thank you for your time and as always we appreciate your comments.
Nur ein paar wenige Beispiele zum Thema Abfall.