Saturday, March 15, 2014

It don't matter if you're black or white, though as usual white is preferred

Bali's beaches are segregated by a natural apartheid that tends to see black sand discriminated against and left for the dark-skinned locals while stretches of white sand are celebrated, monetised and congested with equally white beach bums (equal in that neither the sand nor the people are actually white, that would just be freaky).

I'm not sure quite why this should be the case - aren't all beaches essentially dirt? I made sure to visit both ends of the monochromatic spectrum during my time here, and on closer inspection, do you know what I found? It's all just basically grey. And that's a bit like people, isn't it? Or maybe aliens.

Pasir Putih (White Sand Beach, Virgin Beach, call it what you like),

With most of the 'beaches' in Candidasa being little more than heaps of finely ground pebbles stacked up against the rocks, many visitors feel inclined to make the arduous journey to the famed White Sand Beach. There are black sand beaches in the area too, but they don't get to be proper nouns.

It was quite nice and everything, but required such an annoying trek out of town, downhill and off-road to get there, by death-defying motorbike or clumsy taxi, that I can't really understand the people at our resort who gleefully headed there every single day. But then, they were Australian, which is all the explanation needed for any scenario I have trouble understanding.

It's more grey, really

But you can make it look white if you're not very good at taking photos

White person in Bali? What's next, trash burning in the streets?

Each island gets its own tree and cloud. Just the one, mind

- 'Yes, massage massage?'

Badung Beach (don't think it's got a special nickname),

Canggu is a nice place to stay for a few days, especially in comparison to the chaos of nearby Kuta. It's managed to stay mostly pastoral, either by choice or lack of funds, but like every other spoiled paradise across South East Asia the tranquillity is shattered by the 24-hour stuttering of motorbikes and every surface being plastered with the ominous face of whichever local politician's currently bribing his way into office. The locals don't really care about tourists here, and after the relentless hassle of the last few weeks it was refreshing to be ignored.

The other side to Canggu is the extensive black beach with colossal waves, which I wasn't stupid enough to swim in (this time) and which only gets busy in the evening when the surfers wake up. Watching those young people skilfully ride atop the waves before plunging into the froth and losing their boards, I was filled with absolutely no desire to join in. If I wanted to skirt around a slippery surface then fall into water and hurt myself I can do that in the bath.

It's more grey, really

Slightly less popular by day

The humans come out when the sun goes down.
I guess that means I can call it a night

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