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Stranger #125: Tour Guide | by Universal Stopping Point
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Stranger #125: Tour Guide

...I wrote his name down somewhere. I'll find it when I get home.


Anyway, this guy asked me if I wanted a tour of Ubud. By tour, he meant for me to sit on the back of his moped as he drove me around from place to place. I was ok with that, as it was before my moped wipeout later in the week. I specifically requested that he take me to places off the beaten path, because I was sick to death of all the tourists in Bali, hippie-natural Ubud included. If you're looking for the one non-airport Starbucks in Indonesia...look there. Its reputation as this secluded back-to-nature haven baffles me. Posers. Anyway.... He assured me that he could take me to these places. As I was halfway prepared, he took me from big tourist temple to big tourist temple, despite me specifically saying, "I don't care about temples." I did, of course...just not one after another, and certainly not ones overflowing with whities and panhandlers.


He also swung me by a couple of his buddies' tourist traps, in an effort to get another cut of sales. That's to be expected, of course, but still annoying.


Despite all this, he was friendly enough. The evening ended with him taking me to a veggie-friendly restaurant, where I bought him a meal and we chatted as well as our limited language abilities would allow. At one point, I was trying to ask him if he liked dealing with tourists, and he responded with "I do not have problem with it. People can be gay." I suspect that he thought I was hitting on him. Awkward. He also let me know that he's Hindu and doesn't understand Muslims. He's a lifelong Balian and has little desire to leave, as he's literally scared of the world beyond the island...even other islands in Indonesia.


And, as you can tell, he was rather comfortable with photos.

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Taken on August 28, 2011