Bali and Nusa Lembongan: Exactly how we imagine Paradise. Just not thaaat heavenly. Andreas Finzel on a scooter on Bali

We went to Bali: The world’s best surfing spot, Paradise for old rich white tourists and perfect example for social injustice. The beaches of the island are clean and surrounded by fancy hotels and villas, but as soon as you enter the backstreets you find trashy backyards and the poor housing of the few local natives. The island seems to be populated with two kinds of people. Rich white people and less fortunate locals. Indo works and Bule pays. In India the majority of tourists are domestic but on Bali you can tell by one’s face if he is here to make money or to spend it. We consider ourselves budget travellers and even we ended up in infinity pools where Indonesians would serve us drinks and help us take selfies. I wonder how often they actually get the chance to appreciate the paradise they life. And how they feel about us invading shirtless, drunk and armed with selfie sticks …

On the last day we set of on scooters to go and explore the island. Maps can be misleading and we quickly found ourselves on bad but steam roads in the jungle. The scooters managed impressive things before one of them broke down. But ultimately we left two girls behind to walk through the jungle while we took off to get the scooters fix. The locals tried to help us and got us separated so that I found myself alone with a broken scooter. We have had a tight schedule but with three Germans in the group we managed to break and fix the scooter without delay.

temple on Bali


The coffee pooping LuwakAndreas Finzel and a Luwak from Bali

This is me holding a Luwak. If you are not familiar with these cute monsters: This is the animal that shits the world’s best coffee. And this is no joke. They eat the beans and we humans collect their remaining to roast them and sell them expensively to countries that are developed enough to pay for animal poo.

Indonesian Luwak

Street Exorcism or something like That.Andreas Finzel in Indonesia

The other day we went to the old town of Jakarta which is basically a big square where people sit on the floor to drink (ice) tea and talk. Some smoke Shisha, nobody is drunk. So much to the differentiation of developing countries and those where hardly anything after 22:00 does not involve booze.  And as we walk through the small streets that surround the square we found a bizarre scene in between all the small vendors sitting on the floor. Two men with about a dozen horns growing out of their back, and two more sitting above them, holding torches and more horns. It really looked a lot like Indonesian street exorcism.  What else to do than join in?

So we went to bargained about the price and I lay down to see myself what this is about. Suddenly I find myself on a thin plastic tarpaulin on the hard ground, stray cats and cockroaches around me.  Was more fun than it sounds like. They use the torches to heat up the air in the horns and stick it to your bods where the under pressure pulls your blood and creates massive Haematomas. It doesn’t hurt. However they although give you a massage. And that one hurts so much that I started wondering rather they have so much or so less knowledge to do something hurtful. Probably the  later. It is exciting to do and my back felt kinda nice the next day. But those bruises stayed for over a week.

Andreas Finzel with bruises

Soundtrack of my life: Emelie Sande – Read All About It (Stefan Biniak Bootleg Remix)