Thursday, 9 August 2007

Warnings from Paradise

So anyway it is last Sunday evening and we are all at home. I had packed my bags as I had a 10.15pm flight to Singapore where I would stay overnoght and then fly early the following morning up to Bangkok.I would have to leave the house just after 8pm to get to the airport.

I had packed everything and we were having a quiet beer with the "Vons" our South African neighbours Michele and Louie, and another couple Arienne & Toby who are marring in Jan next year, she is half American and French. He is Australian and about 10 years her junior. Perfect match! But I digress. We are sitting laughing and carrying on. At 7.50pm I went upstairs and said night to the boys, they were watching a DVD in my bedroom. I came down again and right on the left of the door, where the telephone table is I notice that my 3 bags were now 2. Of course I went straight into panic mode, where was my camera bag. I use the NikonD70 with a 25-80 and a 80-300. Couple of batteries, filters blah blah, so quite a little investment in one bag. I went to the office to see if I had left it in there as I had stuck the power cables for my laptop in the front of the camera bag. Nope not there either. I am really panicking now. I was about to fly overseas on a recce of 3 hotels in Bangkok, 3 in Phuket and 3 in Chiang Mai. I take on average 100 photos while in a hotel. Some of these resorts I take as many as 200 and then there is all the mood images I take which I then try to work into the event theme thereby saving on image purchase fees. It is an important tool for me, one that I can not go to work without.

I tell the 5 adults there what has transpired and ask them all to help with the search. Of course they all thought I was bullshitting and laugh nervously. When they see that I am earnest they reluctantly jump up to help. The very idea that it had been stolen was scoffed at. We were all sitting there, no one could have come in and out without someone seeing what had happened. Surely I had just left it somewhere. The 6 of us went through the house over the next 10 minutes and it didn’t turn up!
In the end I had to grab a taxi or miss the flight. That wasn't an option.

What I think transpired is a thief slunk in across the front lawn and up to the edge of the house. Besides the pile of shoes there on the step the first thing you come to is the telephone table on which I remember as the spot I left my camera bag. So this guiltless fiend must have slipped to within 5 metres of us lifted the bag and made away into the darkness of the night.

So the domino effect was unleashed, it went like this. I went and brought the D80 kit the very next morning. I brought it at Changi airport for S$2200. I had no options and in my heart of hearts know that if I was in Singapore over at Sim Lim square I could have knocked that price down to about S$1700-1900 or so. Bugger!

Back home another set of events was off and running. Gabi had to call the police, we are trying to see if I can claim something on the insurance. But in Bali the police are just a hassle one has to go through. You have to speak to the Bunga, or local council, of which there is a group who are the heavies. They are the protection one needs in this set of circumstances. They consoled her and offered one of their own, who needed some work, as a night watchman. Oh his name is Agus, Looks like a nice chap. I suppose I meet him next Sunday night when I get home!

Gabi told Stephano one of her gay friends who has a shop there and he took her to see his shaman. Bali is renown for it’s black magic So his paranormal priest to find out more about the thieves. He said after his praying that he saw three guys from Lombok, one in the house two outside watching. They used black magic so we wouldn’t notice the guy. He then told Gabi I had to pray, burn 11 of his incense sticks every day and use his holy water. Then they wouldn’t be able to use their magic anymore.

And the last tumbling tile in this story I want to tell you about is the new addition to our house. Chucky I believe his name is and while Gabi has been hassling to get a dog for the kids for some time it was the ideal time to relent and we are the proud owners of a little black, Labrador I think, puppy. I also get to meet him on Sunday night when I get home.

I very different way to head out of the house to the airport and a big wake up call. For although we may call Bali home we are still Strangers in a strange land. Caution has to be a catchcry if we are to endure and enjoy the island of the gods.

1 comment:

stealthstyle said...

Hey good story.any chance you can get back to me? Im interested in homestaying or doing a feral trip in the bay of plenty.
My email is