Putting Away For a Volcano Day. Two very deeply intertwined stories with vastly different realities.
Alan was incredibly relieved. Running a restaurant is a challenging gamble even when things are going splendidly smooth. There’s always the possibility of a turn-down in the economy. Global Financial Crashes do have a cyclic habit of occurring, loss of popularity happens and of course competition vying to lure patrons away is ever present. The competition on Bali for restaurant space is only outdone by the constant surge of tourists, hordes of increasingly hungry foreigners demanding more gastronomical supply structures, filling eatery spaces as fast as they filled their faces. Their insatiable hunger has driven the establishment of an unending array of restaurants. There appeared to be no end to the insanity.
Alan was incredibly relieved, humbled, grateful and eternally thankful that his Balinese business partner had suggested putting some profit aside from the tourist boom windfall their restaurant had enjoyed. There is a misconception that Balinese people live only for today, that they don’t plan for tomorrow. This appears to be a type of reverse ethnocentrism, as if foreign people are generally much more prudent in their financial planning and possess expansive and much superior wisdom. Alan’s partner certainly blew that theory to bits and thanks to all his Gods he did. Theirs was a very popular and successful restaurant, surviving where and when many had failed and establishing a reputation that enabled them to feel secure, as long as nothing disastrous happened.
If you’re in the tourism industry, running a tourist dependent business and residing on a part of a planet that has a massive horseshoe shaped string of active volcanoes, commonly referred to as the Ring Of Fire, then death and destruction of body and business isn’t something you’re going to spend every waking moment focusing on, even if you should.
An eruption of Gunung Agung wasn’t supposed to happen, which of course is like saying that death isn’t going to happen. You know it’s there, you know it’s going to happen but there’s plenty of time and it won’t happen until long into the future.
Whatever Alan’s partner was thinking and mulling over a few years ago, business minded or otherwise, it was certainly fortuitous as the largest volcano on Bali awakened from its long sleep.
For now Alan and the Restaurant staff are financially secure thanks to awareness and forward thinking on past historical events. For many others, as Allan painfully explained, the story and outcome is already disastrous, staff layoffs, closures and family infighting, just some of the consequences of Nature’s fury.
Made and Wayan had done well through sheer hard work, long hours and dedication to roll with the punches of life. Having worked with and for someone else for the majority of his life in the tourist sector, Wayan decided to take a calculated risk and begin building a family business dedicated to accommodating and serving tourists. They built two superior villa dwellings and Made was successful in securing a prime spot for a shop in the central market. It was financial boom time in Indonesia, nearly everyone was enjoying the spoils of National success and patriotic pride was high, Bali was raking in the Rupiah.
For Wayan and Made, their number one priority was family and like most Balinese families they had a large contingent to support. They had saved hard and where prudent enough to project financially far enough ahead to look at schooling and University funds for both their children. Even a fire that swept through the Market couldn’t kill off their enthusiasm and belief that balance on Bali is everything and that it would all work out.
An eruption of Gunung Agung wasn’t supposed to happen and even though Made and Wayan had living relatives who could remember the last time volcanic ash rained down, no one wanted to think or believe it could happen again.
Speaking with Wayan it was evident that faith in balance karma a good deal of belt tightening and severe budgeting was the only option in the face of what could be a protracted event. Looking at Made it was obvious that her world had been turned upside down, worry lines were evident and the stress of possible financial ruin apart from purposeful work was weighing heavily upon her very slight shoulders.
Gunung Agung and the effects from this latest eruption have probably affected over 100,000 local people. At the pointy end of the funnel refugee’s number in the tens of thousands and those numbers will climb if no end is quickly forthcoming.
There is no competition in respect to suffering, situations or reactions in this event, all things are relative. The eruption of Gunung Agung has been a massive leveler, a stratovolcano will do that.
At this time Agung is still erupting, tourists have not returned to Bali in numbers sufficient enough to ease the emotional and financial stress. Media has been blamed for scaring tourists away but the reality is that a level 4 warning is still in place and a very big dangerous volcano is still smoking.
Observing whats real is becoming increasingly difficult. This site is my view, my perception and my commentary on what I believe to be real, from my own unique position.