My Life Abroad During the Pandemic: Being Stuck in Bali, Indonesia Pt.1

The calm before the storm.

You’re probably in tears over my current situation. You’re stuck in Bali? Wahhhhh! My heart bleeds for you. hahahahahahaha It was not my plan to be here this long. The original plan after leaving Hanoi, Vietnam was to stay in Bali on the social visa for about six months and then go to Guanajuato or Isla Mujeres, Mexico.

After speaking with the immigration officer in Jimbaran, he clarified that I’m allowed to work online as long as it’s for a company outside of Indonesia. That took balls because he could’ve detained me if the answer was “no.” However I did because if you decide to come here, and get one of the six month visas, then you should know the truth.

It’s best not to advertise your work situation to everyone in case an immigration official is having a bad day and interprets your work as illegal. Those recent YouTube videos you see of uber hot couples on the beaches of Canggu or taking you on a motorbike drive around Ubud…um…If they’re getting affiliate money then technically, they’re working illegally and could be deported.

Ugh…It really is a difficult subject, so feel free to shoot me a private message for more information.

Onto my time here. In my opinion, I think Bali has handled the situation well. The “scare” started the day after my birthday on March 18, 2020. Since my birthday’s on St. Patrick’s Day, I met a few people at La Favela. It’s a popular dance spot in Seminyak. The kind of place that might mash up Poison by Bel Biv DeVoe with New York by Frank Sinatra.

I remember being really excited because I rented a small house near La Favela, so I wouldn’t have to bother with taxis after leaving. The night I turned 40 got a little messy as it should.

The next day…exciting Seminyak…was a ghost town. The feeling was very eerie. Half of the places were closed.

March 17 was the last normal day in Bali.

I returned by motorbike to my little room above a restaurant in Ubud. My ride back to Ubud gave me the creeps. Normally, the roads are heavily congested with traffic. On March 18, there was no traffic from Seminyak to Ubud.

Gede, the restaurant manager, would normally greet me closely on my return. He treated me as if I had the plague. Loneliness started to set as fear made all of us super paranoid of each other.

Facebook groups started popping up…Americans Stuck in Bali, Russians Stuck in Bali, Koreans Stuck in Bali, etc. Everyone was desperate to get a flight home. That time was extremely emotional.

How most of us felt during Ubud’s strict lockdown in 2020

To be continued…

Disclaimer: This country doesn’t have freedom of speech online, so I’ll add more information once I’ve left Indonesian shores which will be shortly.

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