Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Reflections on Bali

Unfortunately I did not have much time to look around Bali. Took a walk to the markets just outside the resort complex (Nusa Dua) and did a bit of a lightning trip to Kuta before catching my plane back. People are generally very friendly and courteous.

The shopping is great, and in the markets a bit of determined bargaining will work wonders to the price. Balinese craftsmanship is exlempary and I only wish I could have taken some of the artefacts and furniture home. Maybe a purchasing trip to Bali to outfit a house/apartment could be really worth it. I like linen clothing and there was some nice stuff I picked up - shirts and the like. A visit to the shopping centres is recommended as well, more expensive than the markets but gives you and idea of pricing. Matahari around Kuta Square is good as is the quite large Centro Discovery Mall facing the beach. There is DVD's galore at ridiculous prices (try around USD 1.50) but they are not exactly the most legit version, much the same goes for software.

Taxis are cheap, but only catch one which uses a meter if you don't want to get ripped off. Ask as soon as you get in to the taxi, and get off if the driver does not agree. There are no shortage of taxis. Stick to ones which are part of large fleets. These are easily identifiable with newer vehicles in good condition, well dressed drivers and lettering on the side doors with phone numbers and company name. I stuck with the Blue Bird Taxis group which worked fine for me.

As you move around Bali, you will likely get approached by many locals giving you a scratch-it ticket. Scratch this and you win a prize they will tell you. Well not exactly, its a bit of a scam to sell you stuff, so avoid them. They can be insistent and say they are not selling you anything and its all free, etc. I took one from one gentleman and gave it to another down the road and said Here, you win this time. You may also come across some asking you to fill in a survey form about your visit to Bali. It's pretty much a different spin on the same scam.

All in all, Bali was not too bad. I did not care much for the beaches, coming from the Pacific Islands that's a given. I do intend to go back one day perhaps and spend a bit more time looking around.

And most importantly, my primary benchmark for a country I visit: Bintang is the local beer, and it ain't too bad either. Best served extra chilled with a skewer of satay or two!

Saturday, March 03, 2007

I've been to Bali too

Well not quite like the Red Gum song, but somewhat close.

I had to organise somewhat of a last minute dash to Bali. After much discussion (over a considerable length of time), there was light at the end of the tunnel with the establishment of APRALO Asia Pacific Regional At Large Organisation, part of ICANN's At Large Advisory Committee. We hoped to sign off on the MOU and Operating Principles and finally get moving with the real work.

There was an impressive turnout with 12 out of 13 ALS' present. After day-long deliberations, we did reach consensus on the MOU and Operating Principles with some 10 of the present ALS' provisionally signing off on the documents, with the others needing to refer back to their Organisations. Progress at last!

We also decided on a timeframe for election of APRALO officers and ALAC Reps, and should finalise this by mid-March or so.

I also managed to (in the limited time I had) attend some of the APRICOT 2007 proceedings. David Meyer's Telecommunications Perfect Storm is worth a look. Vijay Gill's (Google) talk during the APOPS Plenary on How an ISP might attain Tier-1 status was interesting as well, I don't have a link to his presentation though.

We also managed to pull together an ISOC Chapters meeting, which was fruitful. In attendance were Australia, Hong Kong, Japan (who I learned were the first ISOC Chapter to be formed), Pacific Islands and Taiwan. It was good to meet up with old friends and make some new ones.