Stubble in Paradise – by Rebecca Pickett
On the 2nd July 2015, an eruption from an Indonesian volcano sent the lives of thousands of Australians into disarray. They could not even deal. Their perfect plans had been thwarted. What ensued in the following weeks can only be summed up one way:
How DARE you God/Mother Nature? Why couldn’t you just let the privileged folk enjoy their Bintangs and Club Sandwiches, whilst being massaged poolside at the Hard Rock Hotel (a luxury the other 80% of the world’s population won’t ever get to experience) and allow them to return relaxed and rejuvenated, to their plush and entitled lives without a hiccup?! The unjustness of it all!
Soon after the volcanic ash started violently spewing, just like Melissa had been doing at 3am in the toilets at Potato Head after too many Arak Attacks, their lives were thrown into turmoil. Their bubbles had been burst. The airlines were the bad guys though. Real bad. It was ALL THEIR FAULT. They were accused of being ‘appallingly negligent’ by not cancelling flights the second the other airlines were. They were then ‘A joke Jetstar!’ by choosing to cancel flights when others had not. Nobody died but that is not the point… They wouldn’t answer their phone! Or blow away the ash cloud. Jerks.
So in the ensuing days holidaymakers were stuck – Apart from Trish and Daz who were still in Perth and missed Macca’s wedding in Kuta.
Words like ‘Ordeal’, ‘Despair’, ‘Nightmare’, ‘Torment’ and ‘Hell’ were being thrown around by the Australian media. Oh and the ever-recurring ‘Trouble in Paradise’ made a few appearances. #original
Masses were trapped in air conditioned hotel rooms and had to continue to call on this thing called ‘room service’ (a modern day form of slavery) and consume even more club sandwiches whilst on the free wi-fi and watching MTV Asia. Relatives had to be called upon to send money instantly via bank transfer, kids lucky enough to have access to education missed out on school for a few days, medication provided free from our government ran out because people didn’t take extra (tut tut), those lucky enough to be able to afford to travel in the first place had to fork out extra money from their savings prior to their insurance companies reimbursing them. Shayla just wanted to relax after her cheap boob job but the ash was making her sneeze and it hurt her chest. People were forced to drink more beer and Australians took to social media quicker than Schapelle could say ‘Can you pass me that joint, Ketut?’. Soon enough Jetstar’s Facebook page was under attack, the knives flying more freely than at a Stark Wedding, providing a deluge of material for clickbait journalism. Denpasar Airport became a writhing sea of singlets, sunburn and Southern Cross tatt… Oh, wait. Hang on… It’s always like that.
Once again…Ordeal. Despair. Nightmare. Torment. I’m fairly sure those words are more suited to describe the current situations in say Nepal, Syria and the DRC. #justsaying
Contrary to popular belief the airlines were not being jerks because they wanted to:
A) Crash and hence kill people because they are ignorant and annoying.
B) Stay grounded and hence piss off people in the hope they would eventually just go away because they are ignorant and annoying.
In actual fact the airlines were just doing what airlines do by assessing the situation, following company protocol and advice from meteorologists and the Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre and adhering to CASA regulations which, by the way, are primarily responsible for the maintenance, enhancement and promotion of the safety of civil aviation in Australia and blah blah blah. That’s it. They were not trying to upset anyone. They were actually trying to keep you safe. #whowouldhaveknown?
Note: Volcanic ash is abrasive and can cause engine failure for planes. Engine failure can make a plane crash. Crashing can make you die.
There were reports that ‘The lucky’ ones had returned home. The rest are obviously destitute. They have to WAIT. The horror. Although they’ll still be able to come home to Australia and pay off their limited edition 2015 HSV’s after five swings on-site, get to vote in a democracy and be able to marry freely (unless they’re gay of course…but that’s a story for another time), they will be missing The Voice Live Auditions on Sunday night. Destitute. #teamricky
But things are about to get much worse because meanwhile and according to the media, Australia had actually turned into Antarctica with the surprise arrival of this thing called ‘Winter’. Again…God/Mother Nature!! What is WRONG with you guys!? Just chill!
Then again we always have the option of jumping on a plane to go somewhere close, cheap and warm to escape the harsh realities of life.
About me: I am a ‘half-bogan’ from WA. I live in Collingwood, I like Dane Swan and meat pies. I also like cold beer and would not turn down a free trip to Bali. I have been there six times. My immediate family is currently stuck there. #savethem
you are so freeking funny – i love you !
What a great great story
From one half-bogan to another, I think I love you. Thank you for writing this so I don’t have to make the effort, you’re a champ. xo
Good onya mate….
Well done. Sums it all up nicely
bravo, you summed it up perfectly!!
I’m just kicking myself for procrastinating on NOT booking to be there …to get “stranded” in the first place ..running joke now is that I’ll probably use that excuse in future trips
Love your sense of humour! Been to Bali many times myself and feel deeply sorry for the Balinese having to put up with these whingers for any longer than they have to.
This is the best thing I’ve seen all day! Thank you for the laughs!!
It would be funny except you say that those complaining that Indonesian flights were flying were somehow wrong. I was in Bangkok on Sunday. In fact, I enjoyed 12 hours at the airport, very calmly and like all other passengers, with understanding. It was simply not their fault. (Their communication was shite and last time I checked the flight status update is still at 12 July even though there were many delays through to 14 July…but that’s another issue.)
I spoke to the co-pilot moments after Jetstar decided to NOT fly. We were all about to board. Air Asia were okay with flying. I expressed my nervousness. One flies, one doesn’t. At night. Who is right? Who can tell?
The co-pilot said that she was nervous, as she had two children. She seriously looked like she did not want to get on that flight.
We changed flights.
I live in Bali. I am an author on Bali. I do get your humour in most of what you say. But those who were expressing disbelief in the inconsistency? You were not standing in their shoes when you have the track record of Australia’s aviation history vs that of Indonesia’s.
I got onto a plane and half an hour in, heard banging and noise that sent my heart shivering. We were off-loading fuel. The flight had taken off AFTER the Bali airport was closed. We could not land with a full tank, so flew around for a coupla hours to make sure we could do so safely.
I do appreciate your humour. But there are bits that jar. Personally, I only saw one idiotic woman from Perth who claimed it was a joke and she would never return to Bali. Seriously. We are glad for that. Mt Raung did us all a favour, at the expense of many to ensure she stays away.
Overall, I have seen most travelers to be balanced.
And hope you take this as it is meant. Balance. The whingers will always whinge about their privileges being stripped away by Mother Nature.
And thank you for the smiles. A Bali Bogan that erupts is worth gold to watch…so much more material.
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