I’m just reminiscing about Bali, while chilling on the now humid coast of western Japan, so excuse any typos, thanks.

My arrival into the airport was nuts

I’d just flown a lot – from London and finally, at long last, I was there….Denpasar, Bali.

My head was giddy from the culture shock that was beginning to kick in, as we(tourists) scuttled into the exit area of the weird airport.

As I was trying to work out how on Earth to get out of the airport, I saw I needed to go and buy a 25 dollar visa before going to immigration desk.

There were these official looking guys in uniforms.

“Fast Track?” He shouted to me…

I was at the stage where I would happily pay a few rupiah to get out of this chaos a bit quicker, so I was like, “”Yeh sure!”.

So I got out my wad of rupiah and started putting some in his hand, he kept saying it wasnt enough as I was putting more and more notes into his hand. I soon realized that this dude was basically trying to rip me off about this fast track thing. The real giveaway was his ‘official’ comrades who were videoing the entire hustle on their knockoff phones. Welcome to Bali aha…

I immediately snapped out of my giddy slumber from the exhausting journey and snatched the cash back out this conman’s hand. “It’s OK!” I said, “I’ll wait in the que and get my own visa without your KIND help.”

So I got my visa in a matter of just a few minutes. And was through immigration with my one month visa affixed to my Passport.

The whole reason I was going to Bali was to become a wan@ing real estate man, ahh so cringeworthy when i look back now, but hey, it was what it was. I was promised the forbidden fruit by my old marketing boss that I had previously worked around the world with. He had married a Sumatran gangster woman and opened a real estate office there. I had worked out if I sell a good amount of land and property, I could have a good financial future sorted….

So in his last email, we’ll call my old boss John shall we. Well yes, John was like “You’re arriving for sunset. We’ll pick you up and take you straight partying.” I thought that sounded like a master plan.

So I proceeded to the exit of the airport, visa’d up and optimistic. And there was one final step, it was an additional xray of baggage.

There was also a beautiful sign next to the xray machine saying ‘Drug traffickers will be executed.’

‘Oh how quaint’ I thought. Needless to say I’m still alive so I didnt bring anything through.

Right now I was on my way to the actual exit. I did have a lovely house booked through Airbnb in the area of Jimbaran…but I didn’t know where Jimbaran was or how to get there etc. As far as I was concerned, I was being picked up by me old boss.

So, I get outside and it is absolutely, and I mean crazy full of people hustling and offering rides, the culture shock had definitely kicked in at this stage.

I was thinking ‘Where the hell am i? And more to the point, Why the hell am I here again?’.

So anyway, I was walking with my trolley and a truckload of gear, guitars included, trying to manage all my belongings while being surveyed and harassed by hundreds of local guys.

I felt the energy from lots of them was like vultures and I walked through the crowds back and forth for like 40 minutes.

No sign of John whatsoever.

After about an hour, I realised that he had forgotten or couldn’t be as@ed picking me up as he had promised, a sure sign that this was not the guy I should be around or working for, but hohum, I could not read these signs back then, or just didn’t want to, shall we say.

So I stopped parading up and down and found a little place to sit for a while. I really didn’t feel comfortable getting in a car with the guys that were hawking and barking at me, so I just took a little time to think and get my bearings.

As I was sitting there, a really cool indonesian guy walks over to me and says “Hey bro, are you ok?” I instantly thought, this guy is ok.

I told him my situation and it turns out that he was a driver and he actually lives in Jimbaran too…so cool, I got a lift with my new friend, Kadek in his people carrier.

So I had made it and was comfortably en route to my luxury villa in Jimbaran…

Check back tomoz and I’ll share the rest of the adventure of my crazy Bali arrival, with some pics too.

Thanks and stay well.

Nino San