Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Cari Duit

In Denpassar today I passed a policeman with a sub machine gun. Yes. It made me feel . . . safe.

After that it started raining and the air actually got hotter than it had been before the rain. It came down thick, drenching, and everyone took cover under the barung awnings, and then after about 20 minutes the rain stopped, just as if someone in the heavens had slammed a door shut.

We had gone to look at our house--or rather the shell of our house, all conception, lacking material--no furniture, no beds, no kitchen, most importantly no air conditioning units (for a place without air conditioning here in Bali is not a house but a hell)--and so we imagined once again, and worked with the numbers. To make up our house will cost us approximately one million billion trillion rupiah. Oh well, no problem. It’s a couple thousand bucks US.

Nearly everyone here is a cheat--or rather an entrepreneur (which is still French for cheat), and so you have to be careful. Cari duit, is the familiar saying. Looking for money, making a buck. We all have to live, and that’s the truth. We all gotta have our daily bread.

My wife knows these people, I do not. I am eternally trusting, which is to say I am callow. My wife is suspicious. Which may just be the same as wise.


Lester Migues said...

I take it that you trusted your wife on that, Richard. It really pays to be vigilant when it comes to home renovations. When it comes to finances, projects like that are no joke, so you better have more control on what's going on. How did it turn out, btw? I sure hope you had your A/C unit! I heard that the climate's hot there in Bali.

R.W. Boughton said...

Well, Lester, that particular house fell through. When the renovator refused to talk to me about what he wanted to renovate and why, I figured we had best move on. We rented a place in Sanur instead, and now have recently moved to Biaung, which is a beautiful location, much cooler than Denpasar and Sanur, and surrounded by stunning green rice fields. Nice. But still a bit hotter than hell, as is the case all over Bali. Thanks for writing.