Sunday, April 10, 2011

A Three Hour Tour

So get this. Recently, in the pitch black hours of a stormy midnight, a tourist boat transporting passengers to Komodo Island (yes, that’s the one with the dragons), crashed into rocks off the coast of that island and swiftly began to sink.

As the passengers scrambled in panic to grab lifejackets from the hold, they found that these and the mesh containing them were inextricably tangled together, rendering the jackets quite useless. It was then discovered that the rubber lifeboat was also useless, as there was a gaping hole in it.

As the boat listed to the starboard and slipped ever more completely into the sea, the passengers were told to gather at the side and jump into the water.

“Swim for the shore,” they were told.

One of them was a 10 month old baby.

And so they jumped. And so they swam.

Miraculously, all survived the swim and all reached the rocks. None had other than minor injuries, although a few went briefly into shock.

Later, all agreed that only one young man among the boat’s crew had tried to do anything to help them throughout the course of their experience.

Everyone for himself! It’s the way of the road here, and also, apparently, the way of the sea.

Soon enough they were all picked up by another boat and taken to the nearby island of Flores; it being thought by those in charge, no doubt, that a night spent with Komodo dragons would not be quite appropriate at this juncture.

In recompense for this unfortunate accident the passengers were given a night of free lodging on Flores. And a meal. They were told, however, that the tour boat company could not afford to fly them back to Bali, or to replace property that had been lost in the incident. Such as one woman’s laptop computer.

Now what kind of tour boat company operates a ship with useless lifejackets and a lifeboat with a hole in it? That is the question.

One often hears people here say that the Balinese are lazy. Personally I cannot believe it. They all seen no nice.

What then to make of the evidence above?

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