Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Mystique of Bali









Family photo taken at Ku De Ta, Bali

It has been quite a great closure of 2010 as far as business developments are concerned. I feel blessed that most of the strategic planning worked thoroughly well and I have only this to say – there are some things cooking and you’ll hear about our latest projects [ Adamaya] soon!

Then to wrap up the year and welcome 2011 , my family and I were invited by our new found friends from Indonesia to Bali in conjunction with the launch of his latest club in Kuta cum Hotel called Stones. We were chauffeur driven the whole entire trip and was provided a luxurious Villa in Seminyak to stay for 6 days. We had a great time exploring Bali and enjoyed every minute of our holiday . Though at times I could recall friends telling me to be cautious and be extra careful especially in Bali. At the back of my mind I thought they must be referring to Tsunami or Bombing….

Yes I was cautious ..but I guess it slipped my mind to be extra careful …taking things for granted as so far everything was going so well and peaceful until……..

On the day after celebrating New Year my husband and I wanted to change more Rupiahs so without hesitating much we went to one of the money changers kiosk at the road side of ‘Legian’ a shopping area in Bali. We saw a few foreigners changing their currencies there and we thought.. ok we’ll do it there.

There were 4 of them, 2 at the counter handling the money and another 2 persons outside the counter talking to the clients. They offered 3million Rupiahs for 1 thousand Ringgit and it was quite a good offer. But I suddenly I felt weird when they said that some of the serial numbers on our Ringgit notes were not acceptable..but still we obliged and gave them 1 Thousand Ringgit and they slowly counted their Rupiahs in 20, 000 Rupiah notes with a total of 3 million right in front of us while we watched on.

During this time my instincts started to caution me that something was not right when the other 2 persons were trying to make petty conversation with me such as where i was from, where did we stay and were we on our honeymoon….etc as if to divert my attention from concentrating on the counting of the notes so I kept looking at my husband and the process of counting he money. Finally it was all stacked up and given to my husband and he put them in his bag..

When we got in our car..my husband took out the money again and wanted to give 1 million Rupiahs to me. So he gave me 1 million Rupiahs but left in his hands only 1.2 million Rupiahs! We counted again and again and at last we realized we have been conned by those money changers and it must have been black magic of some kind coz we didn’t even stop to spend on anything yet! Suddenly my husband remembered that he felt a bit dizzy during the process of counting the money and a breeze of wind came blowing on them at one point before the handed to him. Well you know it didn’t end there…

I went into a shop and wanted to purchase a short dress… then when I took out my wallet to pay …abracadabra …..all the 1 million Rupiah notes which was handed to me by my husband…totally gone ! all of them !!!! At this point I just couldn’t believe that all these were happening to us.. and there was nothing we could do coz if we had gone back to claim the money it would backfired coz there was no proof of cheating on their side as the money were counted in front of our very eyes and handed to us!

We thought and thought and finally came to a conclusion to just accept the fact that we had been conned using black magic and we put our safety as priority. If we had gone back to claim the money…for just a small amount of 1 thousand Ringgit it would have cost us the safety of our lives…

The next day onwards we kept reminding ourselves to be extra careful and watched over each other. Until…..

Today the 3rd of Jan 2011, our last day before leaving Kuala Lumpur, we decided to stop at a mall called Centro on the way to the airport for lunch and a bit of last minute shopping.

My husband were with my kids and my PA Robin was on his way to join us. The shopping mall was in good ambience and I thought I’d just go upstairs alone to get a pair of shoes despite being warned by my husband that we should stick together no matter what but …stubborn as always I told him that it would just be for a while…

I went up and was browsing around the shoes department and I decided to text my husband to inform him exactly where I was. Then a group of 3 young well dressed girls approached me and asked me where I got the glitter powder from [ I was using glitter powder on my arms and chest at that time].

So I told them and one of them was writing the name of the powder in her mobile phone. Seriously I didn’t feel anything strange at that time coz they seemed like harmless bunch of girls.. Then I kept browsing and finally decided to text my husband again to ask where he was and guess what……..my bag zipper on the front compartment of my ‘TODS’ bag was opened and my phone was not there!!!! Oh god I felt there wasnt any no blood in my body at that point and panicked and went straight to the security. They helped me searched for the phone to all the areas I went to and we even tried to go through the cctv but they couldn’t fast forward it. At the same time I was worried coz they couldn’t call my husband coz it was an international number..

Finally I asked them to just page for him by making an announcement. My husband finally came to meet me but there was no way we could have gotten the phone back.

So the moral of the story …. When people tell you to be careful ..you just have to take it seriously. And for me perhaps I was too stubborn and selfish not to listen to my husband as I always get too carried away when shopping.

Lesson learned!

So everyone please take this experience of mine as a '' food for though''t if you happen to go to the land of mystique….Bali.

Thanks for reading..

Have a great year 2011 and may it bring you great health, prosperity and significance.!


Shawati

3 comments:

r-zy@n said...

seriously, after read ur experience, i felt that Bali is TOTALLY insecure place for us

crazyviolet said...

these are the work of the Javanese. too many of these petty crimes are committed by these lot. Balinese ppl are not at all like that.

HiDa said...

Thanks for the tip. My friends and I are going to Bali in a week's time, and I am glad that I read your entry.

Will definitely be careful and cautious.