Tiara Lestari's Personal Journal

My words, my feeling, my memories, my experiences. Mostly, this is me.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

The good, bad, ugly and the island Gods






As I step out of the plane at 9.00am Bali Time, December 31st 2005, I realize something good... maybe even something great about this place. The Bali sun embraces you with the warmth of a thousand Gods. You almost don't have to see the hundred of temples built a thousand years ago to know why this place is called the island of Gods. You just know the moment you breath the air out here. The moment you feel the sun gently touches your skin.. especially after spending a couple days in a place like Jakarta where you don't know of you are breathing O2 or CO2. A couple of days in Jakarta is enough for me. Being here, not a hundred meters from the plane, I know one hundred days may not be enough.

As I get into the car with my favorite Balinese driver, Mr. Wayan Bandem, I immediately noticed something bad is going on in Bali. It is too quiet and it is entirely too empty for being December 31st. At first I thought.. well.. It is 9 am after all. It may be too early for people to get up after being too drunk last night. But at 12.30 pm as I was on my way out to lunch with some friends, it is still the same. Empty. This is bad.

Where are all those people who usually flock the market, the stores and the main roads like Legian and Kuta. Where are these people?

In the evening, I went and had a romantic dinner with my boyfriend before meeting up with my cousins and friends later. We had dinner in an Italian restaurant called Fabio. It is a lovely restaurant with great atmosphere not to mentioned great food. Yet once more I am stunned with how empty the place was. I can literary count with my hands how many people enjoying new year's eve dinner there. This is bad.

We left the place around 11.00 to catch up with my cousins and friends to a place called Buddha Belly. The road on the way there was usually pretty dense especially this close to midnight. Well not tonite. We arrived at Buddha Belly in no time.

This place is new. It is a great place with very cool design. The reason we went there was the fact that my cousin's boyfriend was the DJ for the nite. There weren't really that many people there. It is more than enough to have a lot of fun though. And it was fun. I had a blast there. It certainly feels like we were having a small private party in a really big place.

Even though I had fun, I wish there are more people. Not necessarily for me.. but I am getting a bit concern with my brothers and sisters who live and work in Bali. I have spent new years in Bali before and I don't remember ever being this empty. I am sad to see this fact. I think this is beyond bad. It is ugly.

You see, Bali is a great place with nice, friendly people in every corner of the island. They don't deserve this.

I can't help but noticed that there weren't many people from Europe or North America the way it used to be. If you are reading this and you are from those regions of the world... I have a message for you: Screw your government's Travel Warning and come here. Get yourself a ticket and fly here where the smile of a thousand Gods awaits you. Call me simple minded, but there is no war happening here. It was an act of a few people stupid enough to ruin an entire population. Besides, haven't you heard the saying "Lighting don't strike twice in the same place"?

I am simply saying that Bali is not like any other place in the world. And if you're not here.. you are missing out. Period. These people here deserve to have their livelihood back to where it was before the stupid bombs. And you, my European and American friends, deserve to be here. A place where a thousand year old temple exists happily side by side with fast food restaurants and the first Hard Rock hotel in the world. Where pop culture meets old culture with such ease that they do actually live happily ever after.

Most people in Bali are Hindus. It is my understanding that in Hinduism there is God whose sole job is to guard specific parts of nature. Whether it is rain, or sun or life itself. I am here in Bali enjoying every minute of my time here. I pray that their Gods and my God protects this island and its people. I also pray that the same Gods opens the eyes of the world that Bali is still one of a kind in the world and everyone should be here. At least once in their life. Trust me.

Happy New Year 2006!

Tiara

26 Comments:

  • At January 01, 2006 12:20 PM, Blogger Sophmore said…

    Great to have you back, Happy New Year

     
  • At January 01, 2006 9:18 PM, Blogger richoz said…

    hi tiara
    congrats!
    u are in the 1st place
    asian sex gazette top 20 asian woman

    keep on rockin'!

     
  • At January 01, 2006 9:19 PM, Blogger richoz said…

    happy new year 4 u, too

     
  • At January 01, 2006 11:40 PM, Blogger solid808 said…

    welcome back Tiara!

    The travel warnings you refer to will be hard for most people to ignore when considering Bali as a vacation destination. It's good that you try to shed some positive light.

    If I had listened to most people, I would have never discovered Rio De Janeiro, Brazil...The people, culture and city are beautiful. Yes, Brazil can be dangerous, but you only live once and there is so much to see!

    Sounds like I will include Bali on my list of places to visit. Solid!

     
  • At January 02, 2006 4:19 AM, Anonymous patricia_oktavia said…

    Been to bali, ain't that great..there are thousands of gays and the beaches are filthy, there are vendors trying to sell you shits and very aggresive...nothing beats MIAMI!!

     
  • At January 02, 2006 9:07 AM, Anonymous rieke said…

    tiara , take off your ugly WIG !

     
  • At January 02, 2006 5:53 PM, Anonymous kalong said…

    actually i want to congrats u for the "asian sex gazete thing" but richoz seems overpass me...

    congrats anyway. :)

     
  • At January 02, 2006 8:20 PM, Blogger Soulful said…

    Welcome back , Tiara! Looks like you had a great new year celebration ;)
    May this year be filled with blessings and success for you! Best wishes...

     
  • At January 02, 2006 10:11 PM, Blogger Mickell said…

    Happy 2006! :D

     
  • At January 03, 2006 2:08 AM, Blogger sontoloyo said…

    HAPPY NEW YEAR.

     
  • At January 03, 2006 4:45 AM, Anonymous Ming said…

    Tiara, Why not try to get contract with Garuda or other tourism interests to sponsor you to promote Bali in 2006?

    Not sure if you read some bloggers said you need to improve your English. Not a bad idea.

    Happy New Year

     
  • At January 03, 2006 7:51 AM, Blogger TiaraLestari said…

    Happy new year to you guys too!!

    Tiara

     
  • At January 03, 2006 8:14 AM, Anonymous raya said…

    I'm with the "screw the travel warnings" but perhaps we need to rethink the "lightning doesn't strike the same place twice" argument cause in Bali's case I think it kinda did. Seriously, Bali needs its paradise image back.

    Anyway, happy 2006 to everyone here. Where have you been, Tiara? Thought you quit the blog.

     
  • At January 03, 2006 9:34 AM, Anonymous lucia said…

    Glad to have you back, Tiara! Happy New Year 2006 to all of you. Best wishes.


    Cheers

     
  • At January 03, 2006 10:28 AM, Anonymous malukucing said…

    hallo Tiara,

    selamat tahun 2006.

    my heart cries for Bali, it is such a beautiful island and suffers so much because of the bombs

     
  • At January 03, 2006 6:47 PM, Anonymous biggdogg said…

    The terrorism in bali is horrifying to most people who would consider a holiday there. I went there for my last vacation and had a great time (even concieved my son there :) but upon hearing about the locations of the bombings and realizing that I went to dinner with my wife and daughter in the same Jimbaran beach restaurants that were bombed and we shopped in markets adjacent to the place in Kuta that was bombed I feel so angry and frankly scared. Twice Bali has been bombed. Tiara, can you tell me that you don't feel the tension and fear knowing that there are people there that DO want to kill you and what you stand for.
    On the other hand, I don't want give these terrorist assholes the knowledge that they have created that fear. I too wish people would return to the island for vacation...I know that even with the fear, i will return...but I will be cautious and limit the public places that I visit.

     
  • At January 03, 2006 8:30 PM, Blogger Avi said…

    I was in Bali for NEw Years too. I spent mine at Hu Bar. I also noticed that Bali was very quite and most of my friends who own clubs there told me that things were really slow. I just hope they pick up soon. Happy New Year. And for the chick who thinks Bali is full of trash and vendors, you just dont know how to roll. Check out my blog.

     
  • At January 04, 2006 12:56 AM, Blogger solid808 said…

    Bis you got a cool blog.

    In regards to checking out Bali, people are going to love it (like you and Tiara) and people are going to not love it (like Patricia).

    The important thing is that you all went out in the world and checked it out, got your experiences and came to your own conclusions. Solid!

     
  • At January 04, 2006 1:48 AM, Anonymous Maffin said…

    Hi Tiara, happy new year! I just found out about you an hour ago, so to speak. Although I'm sure you've heard it a million times, you are absolutely beautiful. Your journal entries really make me want to go back to visit Indonesia. I really wish there was a larger Indonesian population here in Canada. I feel like I'm losing my culture these days...

     
  • At January 04, 2006 10:53 AM, Blogger rocky said…

    Dear Tiara, I wish you a very happy New year.

    I also wish I could be as optimistic as you are.

    The big Islamic terror attacks were done in Bali to remind the Balinese that they are just a minority in the country, even though a majority in their own island.

    I see Islam growing in Indonesia and along with this growth comes intimidation of those who do not conform to Islamic standards.

    I pray that God will protect you and your open-midedness from the growing militance.

     
  • At January 04, 2006 9:41 PM, Blogger meshell said…

    Hi Tiara, Saw you on Asian Gazette and thought I check out your blog. Thanks for the Bali travel invite. I've always wanted to enjoy paradise there! Have a great 2006!

     
  • At January 05, 2006 9:27 PM, Blogger Binky Sphinx said…

    Message Bold Word Count:

    3 bad(s)
    1 ugly
    1 Gods

    What could it all mean!?!

    Waiting for more clues before I attempt unlocking the Le Stari Code.

    Trent

     
  • At January 21, 2006 5:42 PM, Blogger ATB_NL_indo said…

    I will go to bali if u accompany me Tiara :) happy new year!

     
  • At January 23, 2006 8:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    No I don't think theres a war going on there either. But if you happen to be in the vicinity where one of those minority explodes a bomb, it could be more than your day that get ruined.
    Its when it comes down to it a question whether people are willing to take the risk, however minimal. Sometimes the love for the place is so great it outweigh everything else. For the less sentimental, there's literally a world of alternatives.

     
  • At February 02, 2006 4:18 PM, Anonymous Sam Ward said…

    "Lighting don't strike twice in the same place"

    Except in Bali, it did. People were willing to give Bali a chance after the first bombing. Not any more. It is plainly clear that Bali is not safe and the Indonesian government is unwilling to do anything about it.

    I have been to Bali since the first bombing, but I won't go again. Why should I when I go can go to Thailand instead and face no risk of being bombed?

     
  • At February 14, 2007 10:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Lovely tits babe. How about you spreadyour legs wide next time and hold your pussy open for the cameras. Look forward to seeing more of you.

     

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