Here we go again. "My holiday to Bali has 'gone' wrong' and it's Bali's fault": Of course; isn't it always?
Australians love Bali; our island paradise. But we also love to 'bag' Bali whenever things go wrong and more than often when things go wrong due to our own stupidity or bad behaviour.
So now we have the 'Bogan-Brain Brigade' at it again. This time blaming Bali for cancelled and delayed flights due to the APEC Conference this week.
Sure, could the authorities have done it better? Certainly. But generally the Indonesian Government did the 'right' thing in informing airlines and travel agaents well in advance (months, not weeks!) that disruptions would occur. Some airlines such as Garuda Indonesia acted promptly to re-arrange flights etc., and informed their customers so that alternative arrangements could be made.
Other airlines, such as Jetstar, contacted their clients and outlined what could happen over the APEC dates, and thus gave passengers choices. The fact that too many of them just threw the letters in the bin, thinking, "We'll just take the chance,'' means they got what they deserved!
Some low-cost airlines also did not do enough to advise their customers of the likelihood of delays and even possible cancelations. But then again, if you want the cheapest fare in town for a flight to Bali then the level of service you get will match the cheap price. That's the way it goes folks.
Yet despite so many people not taking early action and 'just going for it', we now have them screaming on the current affairs TV shows that they have been 'inconvenienced'. Well, sorry but you should have been aware of the high possibility of this happening months ago...and also done something about it.
The APEC Conference has been a huge logistical challenge for the Bali authorities; and as it was close to the opening of the new airport, things will, and did, go wrong.
But don't always blame Bali everytime something goes wrong, and if you get robbed whilst drunk on the street of Kuta at 2am, then once again, maybe that is not entitely Bali's fault?
Aussies are great travellers, but we need to 'get real' and realise that international travel does have its pitfalls and risks. If you don't like it then stay home.
And perhaps a good start to having a 'safe' and incient-free holiday in our favorite island might be to take out travel insurance before you go, and acting with respect and courtesy whilst having a good time once there.
"Common sense" you say?
Sadly, when it comes to Aussies in Bali, 'common sense' is not very common!
Ross Taylor AM is the Chairman of the Indonesia Institute (Inc)