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from ubud: the apple of bali's eye

Ubud High Breathing In ~ Latest Bali Breaths

Take your pick of the latest news and views from Ubud, The Apple of Bali's Eye.

Ubud ATM Fraud ~ Be Worried...

It used to be a Sanur/Kuta/Seminyak problem. But these things have a habit of migrating. Ubud's infamous Ubud Community at Facebook are reporting more and more ATM frauds around Ubud.

Hacked Bank Permata ATM outside Delta Dewata supermarket on Jalan Andong, Ubud
Hacked Bank Permata ATM outside Delta Dewata supermarket
on Jalan Andong, Ubud. Note the newly-glued card-slide
that has been replaced by a fraudulent card-reader.
© 2015 Ubud High

The ATMs to steer clear of are, in no particular order: all outside Coco Mart supermarket at the bottom of Jalan Hanuman; inside the convenience store directly opposite Coco Mart; all Bank Permata ATMs; and the Bank Mandiri ATM on Jalan Pengosekan.

The ATMs outside the Pertamina petrol/gas station on Jalan Pengosekan have been flagged as dodgy. Likewise all outside Bintang Supermarket on Jalan Sanggingan, especially the Mandiri, are suspect.

I hate thieves.

One unlucky person's failed attempts at trying to report a fraud to the Police runs like a Kafkaesque soap opera after her credit card was ripped off at the Bank Mandiri ATM outside Coco Mart in Central Ubud:

"If you happen to get your foreign bank account emptied because of a scam in some ATMs here in UBUD... GOOD LUCK getting your money back.

Your insurance needs a statement from the police. Should be possible, right? I accompanied my friend to the Police station in Ubud to translate, but we were told that cyber crimes cannot be processed in Ubud. Off she went to POLDA in Denpasar, to be told that they cannot write a statement, and that my friend had to go to the embassy (in Jakarta!). She went to her consulate here in Bali; the consul himself gave her a letter asking the police to write a statement for my friend's insurance. Back to POLDA to be told that this letter wasn't acceptable because it didn't have a stamp. And even with the stamp, my friend couldn't get the statement.

Better to forget the money, my friend was told. Back to the consul to find out that he can't help anymore, because he can't go against the laws of Indonesia.

Wow!!"

Wow indeed. Solutions? If you've been hit, talk to your bank - not the Police.

Withdraw cash from an ATM outside a bank that has a police (or heavy security) guard, like the ones outside the main BCA Bank on Jalan Raya Ubud, or the CIMB Niaga Bank - also on Jalan Raya. Or go inside a bank, crack open your credit card and withdraw direct from a human teller.

ATM fraud-victims have been popping up in Ubud like singed toast since July 2014.

Watch your wallets.


Rabies Returns to Ubud

A street dog is netted and vaccinated against rabies by BAWA vets during the 2013 rabies epidemic
A street dog is netted and vaccinated against rabies by BAWA vets in
Ubud at the height of the rabies epidemic in 2013.

© 2015 Ubud High

Rabies reared its extremely ugly head in Penestanan, South Ubud, on Thursday 26th February 2015 when a rabies-positive dog was caught and killed after biting several pets and people in the area.

Five people were reportedly bitten.

Without instant medical intervention, rabies is 100% fatal for humans and animals - and results in a terrible death.

If you know anyone who has been bitten recently near Penestanan, advise them to immediately get a series of post-exposure rabies injections.

Ditto any pets who have come home bloody from a fight: they'll need booster vaccinations right now.

Could you spot a dog with rabies? Rabid animals usually stop eating and drinking in the early stages. They'll chew at the bite site, develop a fever and bark weirdly.

Then they'll start to hide in dark corners and become increasingly irritated by light, the wind, water and moving objects.

A street dog is netted and vaccinated against rabies by BAWA vets during the 2013 rabies epidemic
A pet dog is vaccinated against rabies by BAWA vets in Ubud
at the height of the rabies epidemic in 2013.

© 2015 Ubud High

In the next phase, they'll either become groggy and disorientated - 'dumb', or 'paralytic' rabies - or turn highly vicious and bite anything that moves - 'furious' rabies, or 'Mad Dog Syndrome'.

In the final stages, a dog's jaw will lock open - which is why they foam at the mouth as they can't drink - and paralysis quickly sets in, killing them.

Unfortunately, the Penestanan dog - a black-and-white Bali dog with grey markings - developed furious rabies and had at least a two-day-window to attack anything that moved. Several tourists outside Alchemy had close misses when it ran towards them and bit their shopping bags. It also attacked a kitten at Sari Organic.

The evening before it was finally caught, a resident living near Round Bar spoke of hearing "a massive dog fight, very scary... very different to the usual" - with her two Bali dogs coming back bloodied the next morning.

A third dog in the area was badly mauled.

Beware of dogs that appear drunk or unsteady on their feet. And although the next bit kind of describes most (healthy) dogs on Bali, beware of dogs that constantly growl and bark; that appear restless; that look highly anxious; that run after moving objects such as motorbikes or cars; and - unlike most healthy Bali dogs - who attack ferociously without provocation.

If you've been bitten or scratched by a suspected rabid cat or dog, immediately scrub the wound with soap and running water for 20 minutes, apply alcohol or Betadine and head straight for Ubud's Toya Medika Clinic.

If you see any suspicious dog behaviour in South Ubud over the next few weeks, please contact BAWA - the Bali Animal Welfare Association - on 081 138 9004 or at info@balianimalwelfare.com - with a full description and location.

And if you want to understand how rabies sank its teeth into Bali back in 2008, have a read of "Once Bitten, Twice Shy: The Story of Rabies on Bali" by Ubud High.

Time to lock up your daughters for a while.

Ubud High

The Big Read

Want to stay on the road? Find out how President Suharto shaped Indonesian Cinema? Dodge a snake? Survive a rabid dog bite? Or just get off the beaten path?

Start chasing your Bali tail...

Surviving Bali on a Scooter

Surviving Bali on a Motorbike

Ubud High takes a look at renting a scooter on Bali's monster roads - and doesn't rate your chances.

Imagine a school of fish moving together. Go with it. Anyone outside that flow is the one who's going to cause an accident. Stick to an imaginary lane. Don't drive aggressively. Keep an eye on who's overtaking and undertaking you, and don't make any sudden moves unless you're about to hit something...

»» Read on ...


Once Bitten Twice Shy: The Story of Rabies on Bali

With rabies rearing its ugly head on 26th February 2015 in Penestanan, Ubud, it pays to be very aware.

Keep yourself up to speed on the continuing story of rabies on the Island of the Dogs.

Far in the volcanic highlands of Bali, a young girl trails her mother and father on a pot-holed road. Stealing up on her is a striped, mean-looking dog that stands on its hind legs and bites her quickly on the shoulder.

She doesn't panic, or run or shout out to her parents. The dog veers back into the bushes, her parents none the wiser that their child may have less than six months to live...

»» Read on ...


Cinema Paradiso

Ubud High chooses a front-row seat to peer at Bali's place in Indonesian Cinema.

The History of Cinema on Bali

The most famous of Bali's 'bare native' film sub-genre has to be 'Goona-Goona' (1932), alternatively known as 'Love Powder' and 'Man's Paradise' when it hit the salles of New York.

To the thrill of New York's backrow 'nudie-cutie' fans, 'Goona-Goona' shimmied past the censors - the skin on show was National Geographic brown, not prudish pink - and it became a huge hit. No surprise then that guna-guna - referring to a Balinese aphrodisiacal narcotic, or 'love magic' - swiftly entered the North American lexicon as a street-level synonym for the F-word...

»» Read on ...


Faces of Trunyan Village

Ubud High assures the wary traveller that Trunyan offers a lot more than just skulls and surly guides.

Faces of Trunyan, Kintamani, Bali

Like their counterparts in a handful of other remote Balinese villages, the ethnic Bali Mula of Trunyan are considered to be the 'original' Balinese whose unique traditions predate all others on the island.

Staunchly isolationist for more than a thousand years, Trunyan is best known for its open-air cemetery where corpses are left to decompose under a mystical banyan tree.

The village's initial engagement with mainstream tourism has fallen on hard times: it was blacklisted by Lonely Planet for 'aggressive' behaviour, on an island well-known for the softest of welcomes.

Find out why you shouldn't always trust your guidebook...

»» Read on ...


Insects, UFOs, Snakes, Furry Caterpillars & Other Strange Bali Tails

Insects, UFOs, Snakes, Furry Caterpillars & Other Strange Bali Tails

Nowhere is free from the Tax of Life. We all have to pay a little for our slice of Paradise.

And this often comes in the form of our crawling, flying, slithering cousins.

Like most other reptiles, the last thing a snake wants to do is come into contact with a human. They just don't dig us. Problems occur when they wander into a space they long-felt was theirs, and we inadvertently make an uninvited acquaintance with a creature we wished we'd never come across.

It's the downside of environment-sharing...

»» Read on ...

Doing Java Time

Ubud High walks you across to Java, Bali's Big Auntie.

Monkey Business

Trip out with the delinquent masked macaques who terrorise the Big Durian - Jakarta - with their young handlers.

Monkey Business: 'Topeng Monyet' on the streets of Jakarta

Syarifudin's been playing the streets since he was nine, shining shoes and sniffing glue from under his T-shirt until he ended up working for the monkey boss.

Like all of the boys, he and his busker-friend Sito, 16, rent a monkey and props from the boss for Rp.30,000 (2) a day. From dawn to dusk they hope to make enough to eat, smoke and buy the odd plastic bag of arak that they sip through a straw when they're feeling flush.

Most of the boys are lucky to have passed primary school...

»» Read on ...

Slow Burning in Chinese Indonesia

Ubud High examines the history and plight of Indonesia's most influential and most persecuted minority.

Chinese coins - 'uang kepeng' or 'pis bolong' and Balinese woodcarving, Ubud, Bali

May 1998: Jakarta, Indonesia. More anti-Chinese riots. The forty year-old engineer is standing behind a barricade.

To his right, a petrol station. To his left, a row of gutted shops. Andreas has hidden his wife Neneng, 31, and their three-year-old daughter Vania in the centre of the country's capital, away from the worst rioting and rape in the north and west of the megacity.

In front of the engineer are four handguns, laid out on a neighbour's kitchen table in the middle of the street.

- "Today, Andreas," the off-duty Naval officer says to him, "you can kill. Shoot anyone who comes over the barricade. You have my permission" ...

»» Read on ...

"ALL about it, eh—sure you do?—all?"

"Pretty sure."

With finger pointed and eye levelled at the Pequod, the beggar-like stranger stood a moment, as if in a troubled reverie; then starting a little, turned and said:—"Ye've shipped, have ye? Names down on the papers? Well, well, what's signed, is signed; and what's to be, will be; and then again, perhaps it won't be, after all. Anyhow, it's all fixed and arranged a'ready; and some sailors or other must go with him, I suppose; as well these as any other men, God pity 'em! Morning to ye, shipmates, morning; the ineffable heavens bless ye; I'm sorry I stopped ye."

"ALL about it, eh—sure you do?—all?"

"Pretty sure."

With finger pointed and eye levelled at the Pequod, the beggar-like stranger stood a moment, as if in a troubled reverie; then starting a little, turned and said:—"Ye've shipped, have ye? Names down on the papers? Well, well, what's signed, is signed; and what's to be, will be; and then again, perhaps it won't be, after all. Anyhow, it's all fixed and arranged a'ready; and some sailors or other must go with him, I suppose; as well these as any other men, God pity 'em! Morning to ye, shipmates, morning; the ineffable heavens bless ye; I'm sorry I stopped ye."

"ALL about it, eh—sure you do?—all?"

"Pretty sure."

With finger pointed and eye levelled at the Pequod, the beggar-like stranger stood a moment, as if in a troubled reverie; then starting a little, turned and said:—"Ye've shipped, have ye? Names down on the papers? Well, well, what's signed, is signed; and what's to be, will be; and then again, perhaps it won't be, after all. Anyhow, it's all fixed and arranged a'ready; and some sailors or other must go with him, I suppose; as well these as any other men, God pity 'em! Morning to ye, shipmates, morning; the ineffable heavens bless ye; I'm sorry I stopped ye."

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