Like any responsible human being that is an expat – no, digital nomad, hmm…traveler?
Uh! I know! A location-wise undecided creature – i periodically need to do my visa run.
Like, every month.
For those of you who don’t know, there is an option for chaotic people like me when it comes to Indonesian visa. Meaning, you arrive in this stunning country, smile nicely at immigration and get free visa for 30 days, no questions asked. The catch is that you have to ship yourself out of the country at the end of those 30 days; if you don’t, well…you get fined for 300k rupiah…which is roughly 25$. Per day.
Anyways. Up until now i had to leave the country every month due to work, but now i actually had to do this run. So, i responsibly booked my flight to Singapore (the closest and cheapest options for these runs are ‘Pore or Kuala Lumpur. 2-3h flights and the price of the ticket is around 80 bucks).
Nothing spectacular happened there, for once. But on return, per usual had to make my way through the taxi drivers.
Yes, like any other airport, I Gusti Ngurah Rai airport, has licensed taxi drivers. A SHIT load of them, half of them, in reality, being illegal; but hey, they do know what a Xerox is and getting similar shirts with the real drivers is no problem.
The difference between other airports i’ve been too and the one here in Denpasar(yep, the capital city of Bali), is that these drivers are allowed inside the airport, just as you exit the doors at the arrival terminal. And they jump you. They jump you better than Jordan would jump on the basketball court.
From the moment you step out, you automatically learn how to really small talk to south east Asians.
Today, though, it went a bit different. Had to say no to somewhat 50 guys. While walking slowly towards the exit, i pull out my cigarette pack and i realize there was this weird dude following me.
– No taxi?
– No, brotha!
– Oh…Australian? Scooter?
– No, man. I’m good
– Ah…smoking. Look, here is the smoking place. Only 50.000 rupiah. Cheap. Smoking allowed.
And that was the moment i stopped and turned and had a jaw drop. I mean…WTF? are you seriously trying to sell me the smoking area? The airport’s free smoking area? Yes he was and was serious about it. So i ask:
– 50.000 rp? Too much. In Singapore is cheaper. 10.000 rp.
– 10.000 rp? Nooooo, we do cleaning. Nice place. Clean. 30.000 rp
– Too much, bro. 20.000 rp.
– Ok, ok. 20.000 rp
And he just thrusts out his hand, waiting for me to pay him 20.000 rp to smoke there. In the designated smoking area.
Yes, i was evil, i was mean, i played with his heart like a Thai lady boy. But i couldn’t help bursting into laughter… i mean…these people are actually willing to sell you anything. And they do count on human’s stupidity.
But that makes me wonder…if they do it like this..it means that sometimes it has to work. Right?