A person who is actively involved in Bali’s green and clean campaign (which at times must feel like a Sysiphean endeavor – you know, the king sentenced by the gods to roll a boulder up the hill, only to get just up to the top and have the boulder roll back down, over and over again, but in Bali this would be a huge plastic bag full of other plastic bags full of rotting garbage) wrote a comment to the blog post Auctioning the Surf
It’s worth bring it up to the front here.
Steve says “We all would rather see nominal surf pass entry fee , yes we all thought of that as the first option as well. But like the airport we would all wonder where that would end up as the site of Uluwatu where you pay for parking is actually somebodies property , and it is they that get the income. Although they like the idea of a functioning sanitation system they do not like the idea of adding to the admission price nor giving any of it to the project. This is the problem all over Bali , no real ability to see the problem for what it is , or sufficient resolve or desire to create a solution. The idea of auctioning off an hour here or there to get funds to implement this sanitation system is a very small tax for all. Those that complain that they cannot surf for that hour might learn something about give and take . Their giving is sitting it out so in a way they are also contributing .. They can watch the surf and feel good to be somehow involved with a bunch of people with no financial interest in the project that are doing this just because it needs to be done. If there is no other way to get the remaining funds then another session or two would be a very small loss for a very large gain. I like your suggestion of winning the bid and having the lineup empty for that hour as a sign of respect to a location that has given so much ..
Nothing looks better than a bitchin set going off with nobody on them , my favorite wave shots are always the empty ones.”
Some excellent points. I reckon lack of political and civic will to tackle problems is itself the biggest problem of all when it comes to Bali’s increasingly self-evident troubles. (Anybody ever surf Serangan in the west monsoon and enjoy a session blessed by the fragrance of Eau d’ Garbage Dump, not to mention the pleasure of surfing surrounded by a school of Indonesian’s national fish, the Great White Plastic Bag?)
It’s also a good comment that those watching the auction winners in perfect Padang pits should sit back and enjoy the show, knowing that they too are contributing to a good cause. Me, though, I write fiction, and when you write fiction, you look on the bad side of things. For example, my protagonist goes into ask his boss for a pay raise because his young daughter needs medical treatment. Instead, his boss fires him. And then as he cleans out his desk, his office enemy who got the pay raise and promotion goads him into a fight and he gets arrested for assault. So maybe writing stories has jaundiced me on basic human nature, but I doubt in real life that many of those excluded from Padang perfection for that hour are thinking calm, positive, benevolent thoughts. They’re probably thinking, “those rich a**holes thinking they can throw money around and buy a break.” Of course, though, Steve’s comment on learning about give and take is directed especially to those folks.
But I was thinking of something else, actually. There’s basically one entry point, the cave at Ulu, the channel at Padang, and I was thinking more along the lines of setting up a “pass” station there, say Rp 5000 for each non-Indonesian surfer heading out, Rp 50000 for the stand up paddlers. Issues of transparency and logistics aside, there will always be purists (another name for cheap bastards) who would not be happy, claiming the nobody owns the ocean, this is just another illegal levy, as they toss the plastic from their surfboard wax bars into the bushes. Well screw ’em.
This is a pretty obvious idea so I’m sure that’s been discussed by ESRU and others actively involved in Ulu clean and green. At least those guys are stepping up and trying to do something. Easy for your blog correspondent to sit here in his hermit hole and pontificate.
May a blessing of perfect compost be upon them! (Well, at least scattered about their gardens).