Monday, 25 April 2011

Bungklang Bungkling: Town (Kota) by Wayan Juniartha

Taken from ‘Bungklang Bungkling’, ‘Kota’, a column by I Wayan Juniartha, published in Bali Post, Sunday 17th February 2011. Translated by Putu Semiada.

Town (Kota)

It has been raining for three days: some of palm toddy association members (karma sekaa tuak) are spending their time in the warung, drinking tuak.

“I prefer sleeping at home to going out – but I can’t stop drinking tuak,” says I Wayan Geris Geris (Sleeping Soundly).

No comment from the others.

When it rains nobody really wants to comment: they prefer drinking tuak and eating peanuts.

Everyone is surprised when someone comes into the warung without permission and takes a bottle of tuak and sips it.

“Oh My God, I had looked for this address but I couldn’t find it: I didn’t realize that Denpasar has changed a lot,” says I Made Jadul Dusun (Old Fashion and Countrified).

I Made has never been anywhere: the farthest place he has been is to river where he usually takes a bath, or to the meeting hall to watch cockfights. He had been to Denpasar when he was a child, when his mother took him with her to sell sweet potatoes and salt.

Just this morning he went there again. He was asked to deliver (bazaar) vouchers to a banjar in Denpasar.

“When I arrived at Monang-Maning, I saw a big lake. It used to be rice fields, but now water is everywhere. I can’t understand why they enjoy living in houses on the lake?

Everyone laughs loudly. How silly I Made is! How come he doesn’t know that the houses often flood.

“When I passed Buagan, Jematang, Beraban, Pengiasan, Tulangampian, Kerobokan, I felt sorry for the people in those areas. How can one live in a small storey-house – sleeping, working, dry clothes in there, etc.

Everyone laughs loud: they are sure that I Made doesn’t know that the ‘houses’ he refers to are called “Ruko” (shop-houses) and “Rukan” (house-office). He might not know that ‘modern’ means ‘efficiency’, and a modern town must have lots of high buildings – no matter how tight the space is – and one building should be higher than the next.

“What a silly man you are, Made! Why do you feel sorry for people in Denpasar? When one lives in a Ruko, it means he is rich. Don’t you know that a “ruko” costs hundreds of millions of Rupiahs? So when one has a “ruko”, it means he is rich and has much more money than you do for sure,” says I Wayan.

I Made says nothing: he can’t understand how these rich people can stand living in tight “ruko” or “rukan”.

“I could never imagine living in that kind of house. How can we escape when there is an earthquake or a fire? We might get trapped inside and get burned. And if there are more and more “ruko” and “rukan”, the land might sink into the ground – what will Denpasar be like?

I Made might forget: if the “ruko” and “rukan” are sunk into the ground, there will be more and more ‘Denpasarese’ living “on the lake.”

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Bungklang Bungkling: Cacad (Handicap) by Wayan Juniartha

Taken from ‘Bungklang Bungkling’, ‘Cacad’, a column by I Wayan Juniartha, published in Bali Post, Sunday 10th April 2011. Translated by Putu Semiada.

Cacad (Handicap)

Every one is busy discussing the article “Holidays in Hell” featured in Time Magazine last week which describing Bali today.

“The writer knows nothing about Bali. How could he say there are heaps of rubbish everywhere in Bali and no rubbish collecting?” says I Made Jele Melah Gumi Pedidi (Right or Wrong it is My County).

“Where can you see rubbish here? Which part of Bali is dirty? Didn’t he know about Tri Hita Karana’s concept. It’s one the best concepts: that the Balinese have. No way that rubbish everywhere in Bali,” adds I Made as he has one more steamed chopped pork (pesan celeng).

He eats it and throws the wrapping under the table.

Everyone nods. Some have pesan celeng and the others have packed rice (nasi jango). Once they finish, they just throw the wrapping under the table.

“And how could he say Bali undergoes water shortage. Didn’t he know that there was so much water in Bali that it flooded our houses and the streets? It rains almost everyday, so how can we lack of water?” comments I Komang Ajeg Bali (Sustainable Bali).

“No matter if we are lacking of water as long as we have enough stock of palm toddy (tuak), palm wine (arak), and rice wine (brem)” says I Wayan Sengal Sengol (Rubbish comment).

When Bali often has power blackout, city water problem: it is just the Balinese “strategy” to use power and water economically, so that the world can be saved from global warming. Balinese are so serious in implementing Tri Hita Karana.

“What a stupid journalist he is. Doesn’t he know that Bali has been awarded as the world’s best destination six times? How dare he say bad things about Bali?” says I Wayan.

Everyone agrees with I Wayan. One of them beats his chest saying Bali is the Island of Gods, a paradise, an Island of Ten Thousand Temples. His friends try to hold him tight as they are afraid that I Wayan might be going into trance and claiming himself as “King of Bali”, or even worse, “the God of Tourism.”

The journalist must be idiot: He likes talking about traffic jams. I never had a traffic jam when driving my motorbike because I often drive on the sidewalk when I’m struck in traffic jam. The sidewalk is wide enough,” comments I Putu Kebut Maut (High Way Star).

“I would say that only the blind, deaf and idiots cannot enjoy the beauty of Bali: only ‘handicapped’ people consider Bali is like hell.”

That’s probably why there are some Balinese who don’t agree to have a school for the handicapped people in Denpasar: they might be afraid that they will find out that this paradise island is actually a hell,” comments Ni Luh Makin Digosok Makin Sip (The More You Rub The More She Likes It).

Everyone is quiet. It can be understood that ‘normal’ people do not want to be close’ physically, with handicapped people: if they do, they are afraid that other people know their own ‘handicaps’ too, especially envy, greed, and stupidity.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

TRAVEL DIARIES: Hyderabad-Sydney

Published in Now! Jakarta, Mei 2011


Taj Khrisna waiter stands guard in the moghul pavilion.

Last month I went to Hyderabad for the engagement party of Mallika Reddy, daughter of GVK boss Sanjay Reddy, with Siddhart.

GVK has just been awarded the job of renovating Bali’s airport, after their successes in Mumbai and Bangalore.

The party was completely over the top: jewelry-clad socialites with the extended Reddy clan who played host to half of Hyderabad).

The evening started with a ‘choir’ of Brahman pre-teens (from the local Hindu ‘pesantren’) reciting Vedic hymns on the covered lotus pond; behind them, a giant screen showed the arrival of the fat cats in big cars.

The house, and the bride-to-be, had been decorated, lavishly, by Sandeep, of Abu and Sandeep, Mumbai’s top couturiers.

In the ‘Moghul Garden’, which I had designed some years ago, I found some topiary-style Indian musicians (after Jeff Koon) in a marble pavilion, attended by one of the Taj Khrisna’s elegant, orange turban-clad banquet staff.

• • •

Dia Reddy and her sister-in-law Mallika Reddy at the engagement party.

The choir of chanting Brahman schoolboys in front of the big screen at the Reddy’s house.

Sanjay Reddy with Jero Wacik

The day after the party I visited Priya Paul’s latest ‘design hotel’ — the S.O.M design Park, Hyderabad, a master piece of modernism. Miss Paul has asked various Delhi designers and artists to do the interiors which have a refreshing, exotic Indian look.

• • •

From Hyderabad I travelled to Kochi to start work on a new Banyan Tree hotel on an island in the backwaters near Kochi — a resort that promises to be spectacular, with a Venetian-style canal entrance ‘drive’.

The view to lake Hyderabad from the pool deck of the Park Hyderabad.

• • •

On the way to the site I spotted a Kerala-style mosque complex — a tiered roof timber structure that lead to a stepped tank. Connecting the tank and the handsome 19th century mosque was a curved corridor cum ablutions block (for the Muslim wuduh performed before prayers) that was also a ‘masterpiece of modernism’, only more inspiring that SOM’s Park Hyderabad. Truly angelic Mopla Muslim schoolboys in white turbans — from the local Madrasah — completed the atmosphere of perfection and old world charm. From Kochi I took the train to Kasargod in North Kerala, to the site of the Taj Bekal, the superb boutique beach resort which nears completion under the able stewardship of Bali-based architects and landscapers. Oddly, Indians are coming to Bali to build tropical airports and the Balinese are going to India to show them how to do tropical gardens.

LEFT: Young Muslim students at the heavenly mosque near the Banyan Tree Kochi jetty, Kerala, India.RIGHT: Tough worker in chic Malayalee (Kerala) day wear (Lughi and Paul Smith shirt) on the Banyan Tree Kochi project site.

The seven hour train trip went quickly, passing though some delightful towns and countryside along the Malabar coast. An exquisite teenage Punjabbi ‘Sloane ranger’ joined us for the last half of the journey and enchanted the coach-load of merry Malayalees.

In Bekal I witnessed the last night of a series of demonic possession rituals called Jlema Lengeh at a local temple. There was a lot of slaughtering of animals and squirting of blood which seemed unnecessary. After Bali, the Hindu temple rituals of India seem chaotic, if heart felt.

LEFT: A painter in Jackson Pollock inspired T-shirt at the Taj Bekal project site.RIGHT: A Punjabbi beauty on the train from Kochi to Kasargo, Kerala, India.

The next day I spent a few precious minutes documenting worker fashion in the workplace, for my coming book.

It is a fact rarely noted that the Indian workers on construction sites, from Singapore to Libya, are very stylish — the most stylish being the Malayalee (Keralites) and Tamils, whose darker complexion takes bright colours wonderfully.

• • •

My next ‘pit-bull stop’ was Mumbai where I stayed at the truly remarkable Grand Hyatt, designed by yet another venerable N.Y. firm of architects and interior designers, Kohn Pederson Fox. The collection of contemporary Indian sculptures, part of a hotel-wide art consultancy by Delhi-based Rajiv Sethy is awe-inspiring.

Mumbai was in the grips of World Cup fever — with headlines such as “Born to lead” and “No fly zone over stadium” — so I was glad to leave Sydney on Singapore Airlines heavenly early morning flight that gets into Singapore at three and connects to Sydney on an A380 at 8 p.m.

6 April 2011, Sydney: A chance encounter with two living treasures:
Early April saw me back in Sydney for the sensational Amie Leibowitz exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art, and to take in some nature, generally, after three months in the urban sprawl of Asia.

Sydney and Melbourne really are the perfect antidote for Sprawl-itus, and for the early onset of bloody-mindedness — there are so many fabulous arthouse cinemas, and theatres, and concert halls, and VIEWS.

Living in South East Asian cities — Singapore being the exception — one tends to forget about the joy of ocean, harbor and mountain views so immersed is one, almost constantly, in traffic.

Australian Parliamentarian Alison Anderson Nampitjinpa giving a speech at the opening of her Solo art exhibition in Sydney.

Walking in the Whitely Gardens in Lavender Bay I happen across celebrity gardener Wendy Whitely and famed author Nicholas Rothwell, with his partner Aboriginal Australian politician and painter Alison Anderson Nampitjinpa.

Alison is having a solo exhibition at the gvh gallery tonight and I am invited back to Wendy’s home, the ‘Taj Mahal’, to see a DVD on Alison’s work, and her community of artists, near Darwin.

The film featured painter-women doing extra-ordinary pointillist works while saying mundane things (“Edna just bashed Gwen on the head there was blood everywhere”). There was quite a bit of spirited dancing (while holding fistfuls of gum leaves) which I loved. The Northern Territory landscape —the background to the plot, and to Allison’s art — is sublime.

When one has an Indonesian-islander perspective the Aborigines’ sound a tad “sacred and secret” when talking about their (threatened) culture. The people of Alor share many cultural traits with their distant cousins in Australia but they don’t sound pious and New Age when explaining their culture, just child-like, like the Balinese High priests.

No one wants to go wading into a mine field of mystical metaphor but one thing is for certain: the attachment of the indigenous Australian to their land and their worship of nature is intense — a lesson to us all.

Friday, 8 April 2011

Stranger in Paradise: Keeping Up with the Pemecutans

Anak Agung Putra Anapoe, a Pemecutan Palace insider, camping it up with a green dragon effigy at Pura Batur Temple

The House of Pemecutan is the most prominent royal family in Bali —historically, and in modern times. It is generally agreed upon, by royal-watchers that they are the most ‘august’ as the house has a distinguished history as freedom fighters and also has major connections to the holy temples of Besakih, Batur, Sakenan and Uluwatu.

In Denpasar alone the family boasts 44 moncol or vassal princedoms, with an average of 18 family heads each.

Every Pemecutan male has a whip tattooed on his chest — the pecut (whip) being the emblem of this family, who once traded ponies as far away as Sumbawa.

The present Cokorda (Raja) is Anak Agung Ngurah Manik Parasara S.H., the most adored man in South Bali. During the Soeharto years — when he was titular head of Golkar, the ruling party — he enjoyed an almost messianic following, replete with Ben-Hur style political rallies and black Land Cruiser motorcades.

He was a Judo champion when studying in East Java, in the 1960s and, during the 1980s, an intelligence officer, head of the Boy Scouts in Bali, Head of P.H.D.I. (the Holy Hindu See) for West Denpasar, and a member the of National Legislative Assembly, among other posts.

And he comes from an illustrious line of super-achievers.

Many centuries ago the founder of the Pemecutan line had 555 ‘wives’ and three royal ‘queens’: the present Cokorda has been chasing that record, too.

• • •

The Cokorda’s father, Cokorda ‘Gambrong’ (“The long haired one”), took 12 bullets from the Dutch during the palace’s mass suicide (puputan) in 1906, and survived. His 1986 cremation was a riotous affair which closed nearly half of Denpasar: the present, island-wide trend for wearing tight black T-shirts to cremations dates from that day.

• • •

My love affair with the family started in the early 1970s during my university days in Sydney, when surfer mates would return from “the magical island of Bali” (now billed as “a cheap exotic gateway”) with tales of Anak Agung “Timin” Adiyasa, the Raja’s cousin, who ran a popular-flop-house and also Denpasar’s only hip radio station.

I heard tales of the torching of girly-bars in the rice fields and of the Pemecutan princes predilection for “blonde shiela” mistresses from Australia’s middle class. (I recently interviewed one who said she met her first Pemecutan prince-lover when she discovered him at Adiyasa’s losmen) pleasuring himself near her outdoor shower booth (a Balinese speciality she informed me).

“It was the start of a beautiful affair,” she said.

• • •

When I washed up on the shores of Benoa some months later I was given asylum from the red-head bigots of Australia (Rangga-phobes) by the Prince if Kepaon village, I Gusti Made Oka, a Pemecutan vassal.

His sons and cousins became my great mates: on big occasions — such as the night of the chariot of the gods return from Turtle Island, or at royal cremations and such — we would huddle near the gamelan and watch the arrival of our liege lord, the Cokorda Pemecutan, and his entourage, always immaculately dressed and groomed, and always gracious. The men often wore dark sarongs and cummerbunds of IKAT cloth — a reminder of their connections with the islands of Eastern Indonesia.

Over three decades I have documented, in this column, the big Royal Cremations and many of the goings on of the colourful Pemecutans, the family’s warm relations with South Bali’s Muslim community and their sometimes deadly palace intrigues).

I admired the Cokorda because he was a ‘People’s Prince’: he always turned up for the body-washings and cremations of all his distant cousins (some hundreds), especially those of my adopted family at Jero Dalem Lanang Tanjung Kepaon. Today a good share of Bali’s palaces are empty because the sons of the last Rajas do not want to take on the awesome responsibility.

The Cokorda and I developed what might be called a working relationship: I did the adoring — he loved to be adored.

Last month the 30 year relationship moved up a notch when I was invited to join the royal party on a juggernaut (Yatra) to Pura Batur temple on the tenth full moon. This was perhaps due to all the good press I’d be giving them lately, at a time when the palace is under siege by rumour-mongers and arrivistes

Official Pemecutan Palace line-up in the high pavilion at Pura Batur (Jero Alit priest in white fur coat)

The outing was sublime and rather regal.
Traditionally one arrives on time at the palace for these ‘yatra’ and then sits for an hour in the big burgundy velveteen brocade lounge set with the prince’s inner circle, a band of palace insiders with chequered pasts and mundane presents. There is much scandalous gossip and cruel ‘ragging’ before the Cokorda finally emerges from a back courtyard preceded by the first family, all beaming good will.

The prince is helped with his buttons — valets have long disappeared — and the coaches are called. The crown prince has a smart black Range Rover with a gold whip painted on the back window. The Cokorda and family go in a black mini bus from the family owned Grahadi Hotel (a Kuta pleasure place) and I take up the rear in my strassenpanzer, with the palace’s Charge d’Affairs, Anak Agung Poetra Anapoe, a screamer-chops of the first order, and his incredibly macho-mystic Pemecuatan cousin who lives in Kesiman, East Denpasar.

The Cokorda with his loyal driver in his famous open format jeep in the early 1990s

We all have PEMECUTAN PALACE stickers, emblazoned with the whip, on our front windscreens.

During the 90 minutes drive Anapoe doesn’t draw breath as he recounts the past glories of the Pemecutan clan and the length and breadth of their influence across the land, his favourite subject.

At the temple the barriers are lifted and we are all ushered, en masse, all 34 of us, into the royal pavilion where the Batur temple priests — visibly thrilled to have a royal presence to compliment their incredible 13 day temple festival climax (arguably the biggest and the best in the land). A certain amount of scraping and groveling goes on with the Cokorda always smiling and half-bowing, as the Thai and Japanese royals do when on show.

There is NO rubber-necking by the proletariat: the ‘presence’ has not gone un-noticed; in fact the temple courtyards are positively brimming with satisfaction that the island’s biggest royal has turned up for the climax. The Balinese are not impressed by celebrity, nor are they fazed by it (unless of course, it’s a soap star from Jakarta). It’s all just a part of the show, and the show must go on.

We are offered coffee and cakes, and then pray in the pavilion. We are then served a delicious pork and banana trunk soup lunch in the temple’s dinning hall.

A spirited cymbals player in the house gamelan at the Pura Batur Temple festival.

On the way home I quiz Anapoe as to the family’s almost royal custodian (pengemong) status at the temple: he doesn’t have an answer but his cousin, Anak Agung Putra ‘Macho-Mystic’ Gambrong, recounts how, in the 19th century, Cokorda Pemecutan sent his shaman cousins, Kyai Amecut and Kyai Anulup to help the Emperor in Klungkung rid himself of the curse of the black crow. Since then, he explained, the House of Pemecutan has always had a special ‘sakti’ power, via their magic whip, which resides at Pura Batur.

A Royal Visit to the Taman Bebek
On the way down the hill from Batur it was suggested that H.R.H. might like to stop at my petite budget boutique garden hotel, the Taman Bebek (, in Sayan next to the Four Seasons.

Now, the last royal to visit the Taman Bebek was the King of Comedy, Charlie Chaplin, in 1936, when he visited musicologist Colin McPhee in his Sayan home (now the Taman Bebek) with Walter Spies, the legendary Ubud-based German painter-composer-writer.

I suggested we ring H.R.H. in the lead car, a suggestion which sent Anapoe into flap.

“It’s not that easy,” he explained breathlessly, “he keeps changing his hand phone number because his wife has thrown eight mobiles into the river this year already.”

Mr. Macho-Mystic smirked.

Fortune favours the brave as minutes later, H.R.H. rang Anapoe and graciously accepted to drop in for tea.

I quickly sms-ed the font desk to break open the Assorted Cream wafers (H.R.H’s favourite) and to ask Komang, the pretty cook who runs our cafĂ©, “The Warung”, to serve us tea, topless.

Half an hour later we turned into the hotel to find the best china out and Supandhi, my loyal Javanese butler, in glamorous Pakistani mufti.

The men in the royal entourage were intrigued by this far flung hotel’s potential as a future free bolt-hole/love nest, and the palacewomen made a cursory tour of the near gardens, while H.R.H. chatted to Supandhi who speaks passable Balinese.

None of the other staff seemed the least impressed; but I was so flustered that I fluffed the only snap (see this page).

H.R.H. riveted by the company at my little gathering at Taman Bebek, Sayan.

• • •

I stayed the night at the hotel — bathing in the afterglow of the royal visit. I half expected my Balinese neighbours, who occupy the hotel’s carpark, to at least say something and be impressed.

• • •

The next morning, late morning, I was at the ‘cyber corner’ in the lobby building when our only aristocrat staff member approached from the direction of the spa, looking unusually hot and bothered.

(“This is it,” I thought “payback time for almost 40 years groveling”).

But before I could let him kiss the hand that had lead the Cokorda Pemecutan into Pura Batur temple he blurted out:
“Remember that American Gay and Lesbian travel website we joined? Well, we got two gays already and they’re in the hot-tub! Should I send the saucy mountain guide?”

Sigh! The Balinese are nothing if not practical

• • •

The incredible Baris Tekok Jago dancers from Banjar Jambe, Kerobokan perform in front of the funeral byre, at Ibu Melati’s funeral.

15th March 2011: A Royal Cremation on Sunrise Beach, Sanur
In the 1970s many first sons of Bali’s many royal families joined the tourism industry — as hotel owners, guides and hotel staff.

Bapak A.A. Alit from the Gerenceng palace in Denpasar started Alit’s Bungalows north of the Grand Bali Beach in Sanur just as Bapak I. B. Kompiang was starting the Segara Beach Village Hotel; shortly before and a host of otherr Brahman families opened a string of hotels along the Sanur coast.

January saw the death of Pak Alit’s popular wife Ibu Melati, one of the pioneers of Sanur tourism. Her cremation was a grand affair ending at Sunrise Beach North Sanur Cremation Ground. Still on the beach were remnants of this year’s riotous PENGERUPUKAN night (Nyepi Eve 5th March): floats of wildly fanciful design had been dumped on the foreshore, as in the custom in some villages. The most exotic depicted a tuxedo-clad skeleton on a push-bike wearing a sign “Victim of the Girly Bars”!

Pemecutan and Gerenceng Palace royals at Ibu Melati’s cremation.

LEFT: Prof. Dr. A.A. Putu Rai Palgunadhi; Ida Cokorda Pemecutan XI, A.A. Ngurah Agung of Gerenceng.
RIGHT: Mrs. Ngurah Agung (Biang Dayu)

At Ibu Melati’s cremation I bumped into the Cokorda Pemecutan whose grandmother is from the Grenceng palace — and my old buddy A.A. Putu Rai Palgunadhi back from India after 30 years teaching history at Delhi University! (His family noted in history for their scholarship).

After the immolation of the bull sarcophagus dancers from Banjar Jambi in Kerobokan (a vassal prince of Pemecutan) performed, beachside, in front of the disguarded funeral pyre, an exquisite magical BARIS TEKOK-JAGO dance of the celestial warriors. They darted and dove and postured with spears as Pak Alit sat with relatives on a low wall in front of his wife’s burning coffin looking at photos of the Chicago Club’s recent outing to Jakarta.

The Balinese royals are nothing if not unsentimental.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Bungklang Bungkling: Pacul (Farmer) by Wayan Juniarta

Taken from ‘Bungklang Bungkling’, ‘Pacul’, a column by I Wayan Juniartha, published in Bali Post, Sunday 3rd April 2011. Translated by Putu Semiada.

Pacul (Farmer)

I Made Hibrida C64 comes and sees his friend to ask them to sign a letter of support for him.

“Please just sign, don’t ask,” says I Made as he reads the letter.

“Please vote I Made Hibrida to be chairman of PSSI (Indonesian Football Association),” that’s the point one of the letter. The other point says: “Vote Hibrida to be chairman of Legislative Assembly,” and “Vote Hibrida to be Majapahit King (Gianyar branch), with title Sri Sri Srayang Sruyung Kirang Langkung (Just Accept No Matter How Stupid He Is).

“I have been sick of being a farmer, work hard but gain nothing. That’s why I want to try new career” says he.

No can understand why I Made wants to have such a high career.

“I know I’m not bright. That’s why I try to chase positions which need no ‘skills’ and ‘certificate’. You know, just to be parking attendant or cleaning service, you will have to have skill and certificate.”

“Look at the chairman of PSSI. He is very “stubborn”, talk a lot and has no shyness.”

“It is similar to chairman of Legislative Assembly, He is not smart, but stubborn; just a stubborn person who asks for a new office which cost Rp. 800 million while million of Indonesian people whose house are worse that pig pen, can not afford to send their children to school and have sick parents because they can not afford to get them medicine.”

“The same situation comes if you are ‘king’, you don’t need to be smart, either. Just watch your appearance and give orders as many as you like.”

The thing is that the three positions are very promising. One can make lots of fortune and gain various facilities; it’s much more than being a farmer.

“Today being a farmer does not always means ‘poor person. One can follow some programs (organic system, loan for farmer, etc); you stil can make a living from being a farmer,” comments I Wayan Jubir Jurkam (Campaign Speak person).

“You seem to hear too much speech from the high ranking officials. If you think being a farmer can make a good fortune, why don’t urban people go to villages to become farmers? And why don’t the Chinese sell their shops and become farmers?

What happens now in Bali is that investors come to Bali and buy our rice fields and change them to villas and hotels. On the other hand, the Balinese sell their lands and change rice fields to real estate and houses for rent (kos-kosan).

“How much you can earn from being a farmer? No matter what agricultural system one uses! As a matter of fact, even one uses organic system, one still can earn more if he sells his own rice fields.

It must be noted that working in rice fields is a very hard work, muddy, and consume lots of your energy, time, but in the end you gain nothing; there will be a problem of plague caused by pant-hoppers; global warming; and bad brokers.

“I’m sick of working hard; it’s time for me to do easy job with big fortune. It’s time for me to drive a luxury car, wear tuxedo, have a Blackberry and show up on television.”

That’s why I Made plans to sell his rice fields to be able to support his goal to be chairman of PSSI, or chairman of Indonesia’s Legislative Assembly or King of Majapahit in Gianyar.