Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Sarong, even handy for men

56 ways to use a Sarong

From cotton, rayon, silk or hand loomed fibers, this easy to wear cloth is commonly called a Sarong.
It is the most universally and most useful textile around.
If you have but one Sarong to your possession, you will be well dressed and in possession of the greatest utilitarian garment around.

But it offers you more possibilities than just wearing it around your waist and legs.
Below are just a few of the simple ways this handy textile can be wadded, wrapped, tied, thrown or tacked into everyday uses.
If you don’t have a wardrobe of 10, or take one as a souvenir to everyone you know, you’ve missed one of life’s simplest treasures.

A Sarong can be used as:
Baby-carrying sling
Bath towel
Beach cover up
Beach mat
Beach towel
Bed sheet
Dish towel
Dust cloth
Dust cover
Fabric, sewn into any garment
Foot warmer (in air conditioning)
Head scarf
Horse blanket
Interior deco
Lamp shade
Lap robe
Laundry bag (tied)
Mini skirt
Muffler (neck)
Pet bed
Pool mat
Pool towel
Room divider
Safety belt (motorcycle)
Seat cover
Shopping bag
Table cloth
Waist bag
Wall hanging

Good luck and pleasure with trying out.

Johan Hensen
E mail:

Tuesday, August 23, 2005


Living, holidaying, honeymooning or retiring in Bali

Living in Tropical Paradise Bali

So You Think You'd Like to Live in Bali?
Breaking away from the stressful city life and escaping to a sunny tropical island sounds like an idyllic fantasy.
Most people acknowledge that it's just a fantasy and would never pursue the idea.
Many of Bali's visitors say they love the place but couldn't live here.
Others, however, claim that they feel a strong affinity with the island: - As soon as I arrived, I just knew that I wanted to stay!!!
I felt very strongly that I was meant to be here!!!
Immediately I got off the plane, I felt like I had come home!If you're really considering the possibility of living here you'll have probably already spoken to some, or many, of the Westerners who already do. You'll have probably heard some mixed reports; most expats will have had many similar experiences.
You will have heard some incredible, heart-warming, magical stories, you might have been told about the great business possibilities - or the numerous business initiatives that have failed. You'll have heard some scary stories and some horror stories.
You'll never really know what living in Bali is like until you try it. A two-month holiday or a series of two-month stays might help, but nothing can prepare you for the real thing!
The truth is that Bali is not entirely the Paradise that people imagine, it's stressful - but in a different way from the West - don't expect things to run smoothly. I
t is expensive - sure you can buy street food for as little as Rp 3,000; but visas, imported commodities, education, and medical attention are all expensive requirements.
Paradise is hot, wet, dangerous, exciting, challenging, scary, and wonderful.
You can fulfill your dreams here or you can drown in a treacherous sea.
If you make this momentous decision as part of a couple or a family, you can help and support each other, but if you don't share the same passion for the place it won't work.
If you come here on your own, you will only have yourself to consider, initially.
But during those difficult early days you'll have a lot of challenges to face alone.
There is so much to deal with like making friends, finding somewhere to live, securing a means of making some money, learning your way around, mastering the language and understanding about the way things work here.
If you've never lived in Asia before the first six months will be a culture shock.
You won't think of it as culture shock, you might think you're coping well, but you'll wonder why your emotions are so intensified.
Why do you feel so happy, joyful, tearful, angry, frustrated and scared!If you're financially comfortable, you may find yourself a target for the rip-off merchants.
You can make things easier by employing someone to help you deal with the complicated necessities of living here. But isolate yourself too much from the reality of everyday life in Bali and you might find that you're not learning the essential lessons.
Moreover, you will be ill equipped to cope with some of the challenges that you are presented with.On the other hand, if you're struggling to survive on a tight budget, you will probably find yourself living in fear of the immigration department - in the house from hell - with an unreasonable landlord - and a demonic employer.
In fact, if you're hoping to find employment here, it's not an easy road.
It becomes a bit easier after you've lived here for a while, have made the appropriate contacts and speak the language.
If you try to fight the system you will just stress yourself out, there's no point in getting angry with every taxi driver who says he hasn't got any change, or the supermarket check-out girl who gives you candies instead of coins.
The frustrations of living in Bali and attempting to conduct business here are enough to try the patience of a saint.
Why is everything so complicated?
Why isn't it possible to pay the bills by direct debit?
Why does so much incoming post go astray?
Why don't things work properly?
Why is everybody always late?
Why are there so many power-cuts?
Why is the traffic so terrifying?
Make friends with the local people, learn the language, acknowledge the dangers, take care on the roads, accept the things you can't change, embrace the challenges, explore the island and the culture, and be open to the intense spiritual energy here.
Bali is full of magic and wonder, if you truly want to be here you will find a way to make it work. There are a lot of lessons to be learned on the way, but if you have a passion for Bali, the joy and rewards of living here are immeasurable.
Good luck!

If you want to know more about living, holidayong, doing business or retiring in Bali, feel free to contact me:

Johan Hensen
Expatriat living in Bali

Wednesday, August 10, 2005


Love Poem from Bali

My Dear Love,


If I knew it would be the last time
That I'd see you fall asleep,
I would tuck you in more tightly
and pray the Lord, your soul to keep.

If I knew it would be the last time
that I see you walk out the door,
I would give you a hug and kiss
and call you back for one more.

If I knew it would be the last time
I'd hear your voice lifted up in praise,
I would video tape each action and word,
so I could play them back day after day.

If I knew it would be the last time,
I could spare an extra minute to stop and say "I love you,"
instead of assuming you would KNOW I do.

If I knew it would be the last time
I would be there to share your day,
of which I was so sure you'll have so many more,
so I can let just this one slip away.

For surely there's always tomorrow to make up for an oversight,
and we always get a second chance to make everything just right.
There will always be another day to say "I love you,"
And certainly there's another chance to say our "Anything I can do?"
But just in case I might be wrong,
and today is all I get,
I'd like to say how much I love you and I hope we never forget.

Tomorrow is not promised to anyone, young or old alike,
And today may be the last chance you get to hold your loved one tight.
So if you're waiting for tomorrow, why not do it today?
For if tomorrow never comes, you'll surely regret the day,
That you didn't take that extra time for a smile, a hug, or a kiss
and you were too busy to grant someone,
what turned out to be their one last wish.

So hold your loved ones close today,
and whisper in their ear,
Tell them how much you love them
and that you'll always hold them dear
Take time to say "I'm sorry," "Please forgive me,"
"Thank you," or "It's okay."
And if tomorrow never comes,
you'll have no regrets about today

Your one & only

Friday, August 05, 2005

Why Terrorism can occur and continue?

The battle against Terrorism is far from over.
Let us really help & support each other in this long fight.
Not with bombs or narrow-minded, useless operations or accusations, not with isolation, but by a continuing, positive, open dialog. With full respect for each other’s cultural values.

It is not a fight of West against East
It is not a fight of Rich against Poor
It is not a fight of Religion against Religion
It is a joined battle against unscrupulous elements in our global society, with which each country (poor or rich) is confronted.

The tragic events in New York, Bali, Madrid and recently London and Egypt, are sufficient proof, that our society, where-ever it may be, can never be protected for the full 100%, against insane persons or groups.
Also mad actions such as by snipers, serial killers, hijackers or “traffic idiots” can never be completely avoided.
Even the richest, strongest and democratic countries do have security or other problems.
How many new rules or regulations are made to create a safer traffic environment? Still, everyday it takes hundreds of fatalities.
Should we therefore “ban “all car, train or air transportation?

On one hand, huge amounts of money has been made available (soft loans, grants, donations) or promised, to financially help Bali / Indonesia & its community. Mostly on government to government levels.
But for the common man, the community itself, it is a painful, complicated and bureaucratic process, filled with obstacles and regulations that they simply cannot comprehend.
Indeed, there may be an urge, a need for support, but till now, NO-ONE from the Balinese / Indonesian Community asked for that. They want to stay in direct contact with their international friends and neighbors. Learn from them, improve and interact, proudly exchanging the good things they have and know.

But on the other hand, the same institutions are willingly and professionally devastating a total economy, by discouraging their country men to stay away. As a result of which, many small & medium industries (the backbone of Bali’s economy) will go bankrupt soon, followed by massive lay-off’s.
The ease by which this is done, is in my eyes TERRIFYING.
This is exactly the effect, that those instigators of this attack hoped for.!!!
By doing so, cutting off an open, vibrant, international oriented, peace loving culture & society from the rest of the world. By doing so, making it unreachable for their friends & business partners and possibly creating a poverty that leads to crime & devastation of age-old values.
That will only create an ideal environment with nutritious soil for incomprehensibility, unease, misunderstanding, grudge, revenge & isolation.
A situation, that these instigators of Terror were eagerly looking, hoping for. It is offered to them on a golden plate.
The first, direct and best help, that is really necessary, is open dialog, direct contact, exchange of thoughts, ideas and solutions, not only on government or business/trade levels, but direct Community to Community.

Johan Hensen
Intermediary Services in Tourism & Trade and International Media Support


Bali, safer than ever

I dare saying that Bali is SAFER than EVER.

And Bali was already a model, a paragon of safety, an oasis of aggression- & stress free environment, without any trace of hatred or violence. No intimidation, aggression or threats towards visitors. Although some (sensation oriented) international media loves to insinuate, to create that impression.

One must have been in Bali, to really know or trust this.
As a foreigner and guest staying in this extra-ordinary fascinating country and living in Bali, I can assure you all, that life here is more safe, more peaceful, than in any country or destination in Europe, Australia, America or Asia.
Many other expatriates from an enormous variety of nationalities, are of the same opinion and don’t see the urge or need to leave this country. On the contrary!!!

Why not first check with these experts in the field, to learn about the real situation? They are the same people that together with the locals of Bali took care of the victims, the wounded, the families & friends. Who made this rescue operation a big success?
Now they have to watch with bleeding hearts, how the international institutions are dropping Bali as a hot & rotten potato. Isolating it as a pariah and taking away their means of living. As if they are the criminals, the perpetrators.
Just as thanks for what they positively contributed towards international Tourism & Trade, for ages.
Bali as the promoter of Peace & Non- Violence.
This is seeking the way of less resistance.

In her battle against Terrorism, the world community could be better off by helping and really supporting others, not by isolating them.
By making sure that Bali & Indonesia (a young & developing nation on its way to democracy) can survive, on the short as well as on the long term.
This can be done, among others, by Tourism, by buying Indonesian products ( stimulating Trade & Export), more cultural & educational exchange programs, investments, Grants, Donations or participation in really necessary projects, such as:

· Medical Facilities & Infra structure: well-equipped, modern hospitals, training, management, health care, ambulances etc. Up-to-date Medical University
· (drinking) Water supply & Infrastructure
· Independent Electricity / Power supply
· Sewage systems, garbage recycling & infrastructure
· Destination PR & Marketing training & education facilities
· Better telephone & Internet facilities & infrastructure
· Upgrading Education, Schools & Sport facilities

But most of all, a lasting, continuous, direct dialog & co-operation, most of it carried out in Bali, to ensure the participation of the Balinese and - very important- to make the Balinese Culture an integral & central part in this all and in Tourism.
This alone will guarantee the Uniqueness and the further development & existence of a SAFE & PEACEFUL BALI / Indonesia and good relations between the neighboring communities.

International Tourism & Trade has taken and received a lot from Bali. At the expense of its land, nature, agriculture etc.
Now it is time to do something back.
But only if meant seriously, not as a buy-off, because of feelings of guilt or sorrow.

I call on the international communities and especially our neighbors from Australia, to put some pressure on government and related institutions:

· To keep Bali open and accessible for (individual) Tourism & Trade or other visits
· To endorse interactive Information and Communication on community levels
· To only initiate and realize useful projects, as mentioned above
· To initiate more real publications and real documentaries on TV / all kind of media, about foreign communities, to achieve better understanding & communications.

Only then, we can successfully fight a joined battle against injustice, poverty & terrorism.
Only in that way, we can honor the victims and their relatives.

Johan Hensen
BITS-BALI, Tourism & Trade Intermediary Services and Media Support


Is Bali truly a Paradise?

Is Bali really a Paradise?
No, far from it!!!
Of course, surely it still (but for how long) can be said, that the island is gloriously green and verdant, with lush countryside, rice paddies, palm trees, terraced landscapes, lakes, beaches and other tropical ravishments.

In the matter of inner resources & culture, Bali is still very rich.
But there is desperate poverty as well, sometimes even starvation, when crops and tourism business is insufficient.
The people need many things in the line of materials, worldly goods, basic foods, health care, education, human resources, etc.

The Balinese (and Indonesian) people are in no way different from people around the world, when they also want a better future.

Poor families (farmers) are selling their land, so that their children can go to school / university, get a job.
For obtaining a better future, also for the family itself.
But now, there are no more jobs, the land is sold and the income gone.

For already more than 50 years, tourists from all over the world are coming to Bali, attracted by the fact that it is the center of spiritual inspiration, a guarantee for mental & psychical relaxation and re-charge of the human batteries. What a real holiday should stand for.
An island, full of cultural activities, in which all Balinese citizens participate, from young till old, from rich till poor. Dance performances, the arts of painting & sculptures, religious festivities. Bali was and is a Living Museum, full of daily activities and a source of inspiration.
With love, they shared this with who-ever was interested and respected them.
The international visitors mostly came especially for the unique Art & Culture, fascinating Nature and the unforgettable, impressing and refreshing interaction with the Balinese people.
No world traveler was able to rest, before visiting Bali. And once “hit” by the Bali – Virus, a second or third visit surely followed.
Because of that, it became the popular holiday destination in Asia among Europeans, Australians, Japanese, Taiwanese and Koreans.
It was because of this warm, human interaction that some Public relation / Marketing people from the travel industry “invented” the image of Bali, the Paradise on earth.
But was and is it a real Paradise for the Balinese themselves? No, because a real paradise, does not know poverty, starvation, illiteracy, gender- physical or religious discrimination or corruption. It does not lack basic goods, basic human rights, and freedom of expression. It would have equal distribution of wealth and power.
Maybe for the short term visitor, Bali / Indonesia appear to be a paradise, as they don’t have a look behind the façade. Like what happened in Spain the 1970’s and 1980’s.
But the Balinese / Indonesian communities are mere bystanders, on-lookers in what is going on and not full participants.

See also our next blog story titled " Bali safer than ever"

Johan Hensen
Intermediary services in Tourism & Trade and International Media Support

Tuesday, August 02, 2005


Hi From Bali!

Greetings to you all from the beautiful island of Bali.

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