An open letter to my countrymen (and shielas too)

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Dear fellow Australians,

Here are just a few notes that maybe you should take into consideration when visiting Bali so I don’t have to cringe every time I see and hear some of you.

1.  When someone asks “how was your meal?”, “Grouse” isn’t a particularly appropriate response.  Even though the Balinese speak very good English, it still sounds awfully like the word “gross” to the un-Australian.  While I know you meant “tops”, “awesome” or “rather delicious, thankyou ma’am”, I don’t think that waitress did.

2.  On the beach, it is acceptable not to wear shirts.  In shops, restaurants and streets more than half a kilometer from the nearest beach, it just makes you look like a tool.  Yes, you have a six pack.  Once someone has drunk a six pack, it won’t matter anyway, so get over it.  This rule especially applies to packs of young Australian men hooning around on scooters.  Your abs won’t be so pretty if you fall off it, idiot.  Same goes for chicks in bikinis.

3. Don’t leave Australia if you don’t like foreigners.  Why bother?  And metropolitan Sydney or Melbourne probably has a higher proportion of non-Australians than Bali anyway really…

4.  Stop patronising the local staff by practically yelling your orders at them.  Most of them speak better English than you do.

5.  Hiring a motorcycle that has those prongs on the side to mount your surfboard comes with the responsibility to not hit pedestrians with those said prongs.

6. “Omigosh, it’s so dirty.  I don’t like it here.”  If you think Kuta is dirty, try visiting Jakarta, or a hell of a lot of other SE Asian cities.

7.  “Do you have any normal food?” is a particularly stupid way to ask if a restaurant has Western food.

8.  Complaining don’t maketh the holiday.  You booked a budget hotel.  Deal with it.

9.  You can’t haggle in restaurants with a printed menu and price list.

10.  Haggle reasonably.  Don’t overpay, it makes it harder for the rest of us.  Don’t underpay.  What’s a dollar to you means a lot more to someone else.  It’s not a sport.

There might be a second installment, but just work on these things first, ok?  Bali will thank you.


PS. The Bali Memorial isn’t really an appropriate place for smiling family holiday snaps.  See those names?  Those people died, remember?

3 Responses to " An open letter to my countrymen (and shielas too) "

  1. Kieran says:

    oh gawd… I’m cringing from here.

  2. bellesbits says:

    First visit to Bali after being in Jakarta 3 months eh? I had EXACTLY the same experience. Suddenly easy going= rude, enjoyment of alcohol actually appears to be embarrasing alcoholism and that endearing colloqualism comes across as a concerning lack of culture. oh dear. seeing australians from the outside in.
    cringe X

  3. Ashlee says:

    Ya, I mean some of them are ok, easy going etc. Talked to some friendly bogans at my hotel who were bogan but friendly. But some are just rude and dumb. I remember this cringing feeling any time I ran into a Contiki tour when I was in Europe. But I was young and stupid then too, so it wasn’t such a big cringe factor as now.