I decided to interview my uncle Peter, he had been living in Bali a few years ago and I managed to visit him once while he was living and working their. He said that he lived in Seminyak, a great little area on Denpasar, Bali, for just over four years, he left about 3 years ago to move to Christmas Island to help with the growth of a new hospital there.
His work in Bali was a little different to the norm, he oversaw the setup of the Eye Hospital at the BIMC Hospital in Bali, after this he became the manager of the Eye Hospital wing. This was a step up for him as he worked for the Red Cross in Sydney.
He described the Balinese people as kind and giving, I think it is to do with their religion and their sense of family. He absolutely loved working with the Balinese people. He recalled that the only problems that he ever encountered were to do with some small work ethics; arriving late, wanting to leave early. But these were very minor problems.
He lived in a great little kampung, it had it’s own gate an security, with a perfect Warung at the entrance. Over the years he grew to know many people in the kampung, including the owners of the Warung, so it was a lot of fun, many laughs were had. At work the conditions were pretty comparable to back in Sydney, not much different. During the construction and fit out of the hospital he was a little worried, you know, having something built in a third world country, seeing how careless some of the construction workers were, walking around bare foot. But everything was fine, being a hospital I think they took extra care.
I asked him as a foreigner did he think it waseasy to fit in with the local community? He replied that neing the tourist destination that it is, is was pretty easy fitting around. He thought was a bit different when you live there though. Initially it was a bit lonely, but over time he made some great friends, both locals and internationals. The people in his local kampung were very interested in him when he first moved in, I think that they just wanted to practice their english. When I visited him back in 2008 I also noticed this.
When asked about the social life being in a foreign speaking country, he said that it was pretty good. There were lots of Warungs close to him, so I was eating out most nights as the food is so cheap. There were also many bars and restaurants close that catered to foreigners so it was pretty interesting.
Bali and Indonesia seem as a vibrant area yet relaxing and welcoming.